Marching Orders


English: Garhwal Rifles Parade in New Delhi, India
Image via Wikipedia

When the sap is running in the maple trees,

And the snow still lingers on the hill,

Remember when young soldiers marched,

And went through their numerous drills,

 

Proudly they would stand in silent rows,

With precision they’d show their skills,

Ready to display how they could march,

Ready to count their kills,

 

It was about this time in early morn,

When I saw them coming over the rise,

They were proudly marching, marching,

But not ready for our big surprise,

 

Behind trees our soldiers were concealed,

Rifles primed and ready to fire,

And the soldiers kept marching, marching,

Their situation was extremely dire,

 

Behind cover our cannon waited,

Ready to rip and kill and shred,

To stop the soldiers from marching, marching,

What thoughts ran through our heads,

 

Why aren’t they home safe and warm,

Where rifles don’t hide behind trees,

Instead they’re marching, marching, marching,

Trying to ignore warnings in every breeze,

 

We held our fire until we saw them clear,

Then our shots the silence shattered,

But they kept marching, marching, marching,

As if the formation was all that mattered,

 

The cannon roared and shook the earth,

Our rifles fired from the trees,

Until the soldiers quit marching, marching,

But they struggled back up to their knees,

 

The cannon and rifles took their toll,

Bayonets took care of the rest,

No soldiers were marching, marching,

No longer were they the best,

 

I walked among the fallen foe,

And saw someone’s husband, son, or friend,

Who will never go marching, marching,

He’ll never go marching again,

 

They’ll never go marching home tonight,

With a parade to show they’re best,

Family and kin will march around graves,

Where they’ve been laid to rest.

 

 

“To the Ready, Forward March!”


 “Grab your trombone and have some fun!

We can circle the square and stay in the sun,”

I feel like marching when my trombone plays,

Sometimes even on windy or rainy days,

Seventy-six trombones” is my favorite song,

Because it’s happy and boisterous as I march along,                                  

What better way to make everybody’s day,

Than to let them hear the trombones play,

The music and rhythm tickles me inside,

Especially when I’m marching with you in stride,

We’ll play “Stars and Stripes” as we begin,

And when we get to the park, where we end,

You can play “Fantasy” to show your skills,

While I get ready to give the audience thrills,

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about,

I’ll explain it to you and erase all doubt,

I’m more than a musician, I’m also a clown,

I enjoy hearing laughter all around,

Music and laughter are both good for the soul,

If your foot starts tapping, I’ve met my goal,

And if you laugh with me, you’ve made my day,

That’s all I need, that will be my pay,

If I distract someone and see a happy face,

The whole world will seem like a better place,

Grab your trombones, cornets, or your reeds,

We’ll march across the highway into the weeds,

“To the ready, Mark Time, and Forward March”

A lively cadence but without all the starch,

If laughter and music is quicker in pace,

The world will seem like a better place,

So let’s go marching with our trombones,

We’ll be royalty without our thrones,

We’ll go to the park where we’ll slide but not swing,

We’ll laugh at ourselves, and enjoy everything.

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