NORMANDY  (It Could Have Been Me)

I N S P I R A T I O N


Someone suggested that I wrote a song to commemorate the 1944 D day landings. I drew heavily on veteran stories from what happened around that time and I found myself being drawn into trying to understand. It helped also to realise that I was born in 1953, which was a mere 8 years after the D day landings occurred. The world was still very much in recovery and that is probably still the case. It could so easily have been me. Another big help was a book called "Deserter" by Charles Glass. You can listen to the song on Soundcloud.


Normandy (It Could Have Been Me)

The sky was dark when we left home as we went to fight the hun.

Our orders were to put an end to what he had begun.

I did not know what to expect as I sat with my rifle against my knee.

Now I stand and look at the rows of graves, and I think “it could have been me”.

 

I didn’t think of myself as a hero, as I fought my way up the sand,

Across the barbed wire and the tank traps, we scrambled onto dry land.

When the ramp of the landing craft lowered, we waded through bloody sea.

Now I stand and look at the rows of graves, and I think “it could have been me”.

  

We made our way south through Normandy, to where we dug ourselves in.

We were under constant shellfire. I did not think we could win.

There was no glory in the stench of carnage and debris.

Now I stand and look at the rows of graves, and I think “it could have been me”.

 

I try to not to remember, but I cannot forget.

My best friend was blown apart and that still haunts me yet.

It chills me to the bone. He was only twenty three.

Now I stand and look at the rows of graves, and I think “it could have been me”.

 

I’ve had no desire to return to this place since nineteen forty four,

When I was simply doing my job and the country was at war.

I glance back over my shoulder, as far as the eye can see.

Now I stand and look at the rows of graves, and I think “it could have been me”.

 

Paul J Openshaw (June 2014)

 

© Paul J Openshaw 2012