‘LEST WE’ WOMEN, RAPE AND WAR JUDY SMALL’S SONG FROM THE 1980s

Judy Small – the well known singer, songwriter responded to us in September 2014 to a request for lyrics to her song protesting the treatment of women in war:

‘I am indeed aware of the 1980s protests about rape in war. I was there in 1981 in Sydney holding a banner reading “In memory of women raped in war” when a returned serviceman came up to us and hissed:

“We should’ve let the Japs in. Then you’d know what rape is about!” and “Lest We” was written in response to that demonstration.’

LEST WE

It seems that in this country old soldiers never die
They just keep right on marching down the years and down the line
You can see them any April in their annual parade
“It’s for all our fallen mates” they say, “To recall the price they paid
Lest we forget”

And their step is often sprightly and there’s few don’t throw a smile
To the cameras and the children as they march their golden mile
For a day the years just melt away, they’re back amongst it all
With their mates and with the danger and their backs against the wall
Lest we forget

And I wonder as they march along just what they think about
Do they just see smiling faces? Have they blocked the horrors out?
Do they only think of comradeship or the girls from Armentieres?
Or the nights they spent in Cairo as they listen to the cheers?
Lest they recall

Chorus:
Lest they recall the countless children burned alive in napalm’s fire
Lest they recall the dead civilians lying tangled in the wire
Or the faces of the women raped and shattered to the core
It’s not only men in uniform who pay the price of war
Lest we forget

It seems that in this country old soldiers never die
They just keep right on marching down the years and down the line
But the further from the battlefield the further from their minds
Is the truth about the carnage and the mates they left behind
Lest they forget

Chorus:
Lest they forget the countless children burned alive in napalm’s fire
Lest they forget the dead civilians lying tangled in the wire
Or the faces of the women raped and shattered to the core
It’s not only men in uniform who pay the price of war
Lest we forget

Words and music by Judy Small
©1981 Crafty Maid Music

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