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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Need to be remembered....


I am a big fan of the famous Actor, film director; Mel Gibson. Sometime back I got a copy of "We were soldiers" film, released in 2002 and got the time to watch it last week. It's all about war, to be exact, what happened in Vietnam war between Vietnam army and US army. In the film I got the attention of the song "Lay me doon".

I thought initially its old English, but after some background research I get to know that its Scottish. The name of the song is "Sgt. McKenzie", written by Joseph Kilna McKenzie. It has a history and if you like just google it. The song is beautiful and word goes like this.

"Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun... //

When they come a wull staun ma groon - Staun ma groon al nae be afraid
Thoughts awe hame tak awa ma fear - Sweat an bluid hide ma veil awe tears
Ains a year say a prayer faur me - Close yir een an remember me
Nair mair shall a see the sun - For a fell tae a Germans gun

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun... //"


The English Translation goes like this.....


"Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone ... //

When they come I will stand my ground - Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid
Thoughts of home take away my fear - Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears
Once a year say a prayer for me - Close your eyes and remember me
Never more shall I see the sun - For I fell to a Germans gun

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone...//"

If you like to here it, here is the audio Lay me doon (Listen to this with your eyes closed....)

This reminded me a poem that I learn during my school life, which gave me the same strong feeling. The title of the poem is "The Soldier" written by the famous English poet Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915). It's words are like this....

"IF I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
        Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
        In hearts at peace, under an English heaven."

This represents his life I guess.  He was born in England and was a member of Royal Naval division when he was died in 1915 as a 28 old soldier in Skyros, Greece. He was buried there. 

So thing about war songs is that they are sad, at the same time the beauty of its words and feelings make us like it. I just wondered whether Sri Lanka has a song like that, feelings from a soldier, because we were at a civil war for over 3 decades. While doing the search I find this song very attractive.

Song title is “සෙබලානනේ“ (Sebalanane - Fellow Soldier). Listen the song first. It's beautiful.... Sebalanane

This is sung by Raj Wickramasinghe, lyrics Sunil Yogendra and Music by Ernie Pieris.

Simple meaning of this song goes like this... (BTW I'm not very good at translating, but this may help)

"My fellow soldier, you are not dead - but you blossomed as a flower in my heart
Be a tear in my eye - and make me cry during this night

I can still remember that we are on war, together in distant lands
But you went along with the death unexpectedly, making rivers of blood on the motherland

Brother you are not dead - but you blossomed as a flower in my heart
Be a tear in my eye - and make me cry during this night

You left our nation like a hero, hence there will be red flowers blossomed to your name
I am living a very painful life without you and may this song be an offering to your name"

So those are three beautiful war songs that took my heart. And there are in 3 languages. That's the surprise of it.
Make some comments if you like these. Good day.....

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