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Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs

Men Behind the Guns

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Phil Ochs - Men Behind the Guns

Tom: Dm

  			Dm                          C 
Let's drink a toast to the admiral, 
    Dm                     F 
and here's to the captain bold, 
     Am                  Dm 
and glory more for the commodore, 
          F                  C 
when the deeds of might are told. 
 
      Dm                         C 
They stand to the deck with the battle's wreck, 
          Dm                   F 
when the great shells roar and pound, 
    Am                        Dm 
and never they fear when the foe is near 
    F                C 
to lay their orders down-- 
 
           F                      Dm 
      But off with your hats and three times three 
          F              C 
      for every sailor's son, 
              Dm             C 
      for the men below who fight the foe, 
          F               C 
      the men behind the guns: 
              Am              Dm 
      oh, the men behind the guns. 
 
Their hearts a-pounding heavy when 
they swing to port once more -- 
with never enough of the greenback stuff, 
they start for the leave ashore. 
 
And you'd think perhaps the blue-blouse chaps 
had better clothes to wear, 
for the uniforms of officers 
could hardly be compared: 
 
      Warriors bold with straps of gold 
      that dazzle like the sun 
      outshine the common sailor boys, 
      the lads who serve the guns: 
      oh, the men behind the guns. 
 
Say not a word till the shot is heard 
that tells the fight is on, 
and the angry sound of another round 
that says there must be (God? gone??) 
 
Over the deep and the deadly sweep, 
the fire and the bursting shell, 
where the very air is a mad despair, 
the throes of a living hell. 
 
      But down and deep in a mighty ship 
      unseen by the midday sun 
      you'll find the boys who make the noise, 
      the lads who serve the guns: 
      oh, the men behind the guns. 
 
And well they know the cyclone blow 
loose from the cannon's steel. 
The know the hull of the enemy ship 
will quiver with the (peal?). 
 
And the decks will rock with the lightning shock 
and shake with the great recoil 
while the sea grows red with the blood of the dead 
and swallows up her spoil. 
 
      But not until the final ship 
      has made her final run 
      can we give their rest to the very best: 
      to the lads who serve the guns -- 
      oh, the men behind the guns. 
 
Let's drink a toast to the admiral, 
and here's to the captain bold, 
and glory more for the commodore, 
when the deeds of might are told. 
 
They stand to the deck with the battle's wreck, 
when the great shells roar and pound, 
and never they fear when the foe is near 
to lay their orders down-- 
 
      But off with your hats and three times three 
      for every sailor's son, 
      for the men below who fight the foe, 
      the men behind the guns: 
      oh, the man behind the gun. 

    	
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