Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lyrics of "The Beach" by Oscar Brown Jr.

And now, I’ve landed on this beach
It takes sixty odd years to reach
As this generation of mine
is ordered on to life’s front line
The targets of a fusillade
that force us to think of God

Reluctantly we storm this beach
Advancing to fill up the breach
Created by that fallen corp
Of elders who charged here before
While we enjoyed our middle age
We moved from fire, we now engage

A withering barrage rakes this beach
Its bullets bear the names of each
Of those who set foot on these sands
Old general calendar commands
Advancing to a sure defeat
Without The option to retreat

We knew, before we hit this beach
The enemy that we besiege
Has ammunition for us all
Who has casualties must fall
Not one will manage to survive
Nobody leaves this beach alive

For those arriving on this beach
There is no prayer to pray or preach
To beg us off in any tongue
Since we’ve outlived dying young
And for surviving, in exchange
Now face the fire at point blank range

The witness we bear on this beach
Has only one lesson to teach
Here the carnage never stops
As everyday another drops
Some classmate, relative, or friend
Whose attack comes to abrupt end

So on into the breach my peers
Who knows how many weeks or years
Remain ‘til you and I are hit
As we inch onward bit by bit
We only know our lives will bleach
Eternally out on this beach

4 comments:

linds said...

Since we've outlived dying young

nothing but love for this poem. it reminds me of D-Day, I wonder if that's its subject.

beautifully written, very moving.

kfogarty said...

Thanks for posting these lyrics. i am trying to memorize the poem, and it helps. I think though the line "we moved from fire we now engage" should read "removed from fire we now engage"

Lesia said...

Thanks for posting this. It is supposed to be "Removed from fire we now engage."

It's something I've memorized for a presentation a few years ago and try to remember it every once in a while. I caught myself slipping and forgot a little.

This poem has to do do with the "war" of age. It is so powerful and profound. Oscar Brown, Jr. was a remarkable man and hearing him spit this is indeed a sight.

gina

Kikie Kilwake said...

The poem is profound, addressing the reluctant subject of old age and the certainty of death. Each word is carefully chosen to bear the impending hereafter.