Fish:Fortunes Of War

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“Fortunes of War”
Artist: Fish
Albums: Suits (1994)
Yang (1995)
Kettle of Fish (88-98) (1998)

Rose beds scattered across the lawn
Like the squares at Waterloo with bayonets of thorns
Repelling small children in search of lost tennis balls
Imaginary cannonballs
That were fired at the legs of galloping cavalry
Resting their dreams in the shade of the apple trees
Toy soldiers
Drunk on warm lemonade

And the children dream of glory
And fortunes of war
They're safe in bed with stories
Of fortunes of war
Fortunes of war

As the sun sets low on these playing fields
An army returns with its swords and shields
Dustbin lids and raspberry canes
They'll live to fight another day
For warriors medals milk bottle tops
Battle flags fashioned from mother's old tablecloths
Bright colours run in the summer rain

Sometimes when they fall they will pretend
That their hanky is a bandage
To stop the bleeding
And imagine city streets and desert storms and foreign fields
And bullets flying
These are the fortunes of war

I heard a wheelchair whisper across a stale stagnant gymnasium
Trailing an ivy league jacket like a matador
Through the jitterbug steps of the night before
And I followed him down to the church parade
Where he makes his peace every armistice day
I watched him fade away
And melt in the autumn rain

'Cos sometimes when they fall they can't pretend
That the hanky is a bandage
That can stop the bleeding
They're out in city streets
And desert storms in foreign fields
With bullets flying
These are the fortunes of war

While the children dream of glory
And fortunes of war
They're safe in bed with stories
And fortunes of war
The uniforms and glory
The fortunes of war
Fortunes of war

Fortunes of war
Fortunes of war
Fortunes of war
These are the fortunes of war
Of war
Of war
Of war

Of war
Of war
Fortunes, fortunes of war
Fortunes, fortunes of war
Of war
These are the fortunes
Fortunes of war