Gift of Years…….”As most people know I have written a few songs with WW1 as the main theme. This song is by far my favourite of that genre, it’s being sung here by Mr Martyn Wyndham Read, and his version of this song is one of my favourite versions. “The Gift of Years” is also the shortest song I’ve written about WW!, so it’s a win-win situation all round….” Eric
A truly emotive song written by whom I regard as one of the finest song writers, if not the finest, Eric Bogle, in this song of an old man going back to visit the grave of his fallen mate at Gallipoli seventy five years ago. A relevant song for this time of year with ANZAC day on April 25th, showing the horrors of stupid senseless war. Martyn
GIFT OF YEARS BY ERIC BOGLE.
Well old friend here I am I told you I’d be back
And as usual mate I’m bloody late seventy five years down the track
And for the last time here I stand on this familiar foreign land
Back with the mates I left behind fixed forever in their time.
And of all the ghosts of all the boys who haunt this lonely place
Only one of them wears your cherry grin your Queensland jokers face
When I drown in all those bloody dreams of helpless young mens dying screams
I feel your hand give my arm a shake and your voice say steady mate.
Well the country that you died for mate you would not know it now
The future that we dreamed of mate got all twisted up somehow
The peace that we were fighting for the end to stupid senseless war
So it would not happen to our kids well old mate it did.
But thank you for the gift of years and the flame that brightly burns
For the time you bought and the lessons taught ‘though mostly wasted and unlearned
Less we forget cried the multitude as if I ever ever could
So forgive an old man’s tears and thank you for the years.