The Broken Soldier (Lyrics)

The stone works mentioned in this song were crafted by a returned World War One soldier named William Shirley. They are in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park New South Wales.

Along a dusty, bushland track
When we were only kids
We came upon a sandstone sphinx
And some pyramids
On a Sunday outing
We couldn’t believe our eyes
A little piece of Egypt,
Under Australian skies.

Fashioned in remembrance
Where the wild flowers grow
By a broken soldier
All those years ago
His efforts kept their memory
The years could not condemn
Those poppy clouded soldiers
Who won’t return again.

He suffered in the trenches
The western front of fears
The heavy German shelling
Rang loudly in his ears
He saw the cost of battle
The sacrificial bones
Then damaged and disabled
Begrudgingly sent home.

Did he ever wonder
Why he didn’t die
And so become a hero
In his country’s eyes?

© Jim Low

Read the article Remembering Private Shirley

Available on  the CD Journey’s End