Anna of the Old Guard

Anna was with the 'old guard'... in the days before the war...

before your brass buttoned uniform ...made her peasant's garb look poor

what made you think that you were so brave?

why did you laugh when you saw her shoes?

it's men like you, that have made... my Anna come to choose...

(she's come to choose...)...

 

Anna sighs, and she rubs her thighs... she wonders how you came...

with your soft and your childlike eyes. to play at a warrior's game...

she remembers the men, how they were then...

how they laughed in the face of death...

you scrawl your number on her wall, and leave with fear on your breath...

(with her on your breath...)...

 

night time falls, and Anna calls... as though she has nothing to lose

you go out searching for her, you become quite confused...

to find her death notice written. in a skid row 'who's who'...

a few words n the crumpled page... of yesterday's news...

(she's yesterday's news...)...

 

Anna is gone, but her memory lives on...

I stand in her place in the line...

I remember her song, and I wish she were here...

to make everything seem fine... just one more time...

 

 

    this is a very old lyric... the better part of a half century, f'sure..( 'f'sure' being a regular comment from Kyle/'SeekWhence')... I recall playing it for John Cisco up in the garret/studio that eventually became Joe Stable's Acme Art and Sailboat Company when it was 'fresh' and John was the only artist I had ever met (and the first fellow to play 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie  Down' on the guitar... I'd never heard of The Band...)... John looked at me with his quizzical glint and remarked: "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy"... nailing me on the Leonard Cohen appropriation of theme and subject matter... weren't we all far too enamoured of the 'soldier/whore' stereotypes of 'romantic' war...? I've only just heard the (recently) late David Olney's  epic ballad 'Paris 1917', and I think this song may have been sparked by a second world war poster I'd seen with a voluptuous siren (with death's head) in a doorway beckoning a young man in uniform to "Come on up, I knew your father..."... probably a cautionary warning of the dangers of social diseases. And now we have 'social media'...

        My old friend and mentor Cris Cddy (Jeremy Dormouse/Max Mouse) recorded this song years ago in Montreal, I believe, and though that version is most likely lost to the sands of time, he included it in his sets with Benj Rowland (Mayhemmingways) last year (2019) at The Slab here in the 'Patch. Perhaps it will surface on the resultant recording. I have never gotten round to 'releasing' this song (nor has it ever really 'released' me), though it may have been covered on my very first Artspace effort many years ago (with the late Peter Cragg/Scroads/Dr. Moonbeam) and George Bertok). There's a copy of that somewhere in the mess that I loosely refer to as 'the archives'. I remarked to Cris a while back (when he had maintained that it was a 'good song') that in intervening years, my personal experience has provided me with no shortage of life events to write about. At the time, I was equally in awe of Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot, though ol' Gordie surely seems a trifle shallow compared to our L.C. in retrospect. 'That's What You Get For Lovin' Me' or 'Rich Man's Spiritual'as opposed to 'The Story of Isaac'? ... no contest, in my books...  I've always been drawn to the 'darker' material; and have only just worked up a version of 'Isaac' in recent days... maybe 'Anna' is due to be exhumed... love to all, d.

 

 

 

 

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