The Red Feast (Ralph Chaplin)

“The Red Feast” Sheet Music (pdf).
“The Red Feast” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Ralph Chaplin.
Tune: “Hatikvah.”

Go fight, you fools! Tear up the earth with strife,
And spill each other’s guts upon the field;
Serve unto death the men you served in life
So that their wide dominations may not yield.

Stand by the flag: the lie that still allures;
Lay down your lives for land you do not own;
And give unto a war that is not yours
Your gory tithe of mangled flesh and bone.

But whether in the fray to fall or kill,
You must not pause to question why nor where.
You see the tiny crosses on that hill?
It took all those to make a millionaire.

It was for him, the seas of blood were shed,
That fields were razed and cities lit the sky,
That he might come to chortle o’er the dead:
The Condor Thing for whom the millions die!

The bugle screams; The cannons cease to roar.
“Enough is enough! God give us peace again!”
The rats, the maggots, and the Lords of War
Are fat to bursting from their meal of men.

So stagger back, you stupid dupes who’ve “won,”
Back to your stricken towns to toil anew,
For there your dismal tasks are still undone,
And grim starvation gropes again for you.

What matters now? Your flag? Your race? Your skill
Of scattered legions? What has been the gain?
Once more beneath the lash you must distill
Your lives to glut a glory wrought of pain.

In peace, they starve you to your loathsome toil;
In war, they drive you to the teeth of Death;
And when your life-blood soaks into their soil,
They give you lies to choke your dying breath.

So will they smite your blind eyes till you see,
And lash your naked backs until you know,
That wasted blood can never set you free
From fettered thralldom to the Common Foe?

Then you will find that “nation” is a name
And boundaries are things that don’t exist,
That Labor’s bondage worldwide is the same,
And, One the enemy it must resist.

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