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At the End of a Pointed Gun

Lyrics by William Laskin (Strutting Day Music/Fogarty's Cove Music)
Melody traditional, Erev Shel Shoshanim

 

We first heard this song as a kind of background music to conversation.  One by one we were drawn to the beauty of the melody until, all at once, the only sound in the room was the song.  "Grit" Laskin is the writer responsible for this, having
put new words to a haunting traditional tune.  He is a very fine writer and musician from Ontario, Canada who, as we are writing and singing, builds some of the finest acoustic instruments in North America.

Grit has put himself in the position of the father of one of the Israeli athletes killed at the Munich Olympic Games.  We feel he describes perfectly the personal thoughts and feelings of a father embittered by useless violence and death.  The pain and anguish felt at the loss of his only son should be a reminder to us all that, no matter what colour, politics or religion we might have, the loss of a loved one is equally painful.

We sing this in the hope that one day man will not be so ready to inflict this pain on his fellow human being.


LYRICS:

I've laboured through two world wars
An old war that still fights on
I'll dare any man says I've not worked
This land that I stand upon
A homeland both free and strong
To harbour my only son
I hoped he'd never see as I
The end of a pointed gun

Chorus:

   My nation and my son, my nation and my son
   One found its birth, one found his death
   At the end of a pointed gun

Oh praised be Olympiad
Was echoed the whole world round
Nation to nation unified
On one chosen stretch of ground
Oh proud were the boys as mine
To play for their own country
I wish to God he'd never gone
But stayed with his family

Chorus

The games scarcely had begun
When out of each winner's joy
Bloodshed rose unexpectedly
Eleven dead and one my boy
How does a father mourn
His murdered hopes and dreams?
How on this earth can he escape
The agonies he has seen?

Chorus

I've laboured through two world wars
An old war that still fights on
I'll dare any man says I've not worked
This land my boy rests upon

Chorus

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