"The Grave" as written by and Don Mclean....
The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He's gone

When the wars of our nation did beckon
The man, barely twenty, did answer the calling
Proud of the trust
That he placed in our nation
He's gone

But eternity knows him
And it knows what we've done

And the rain fell like pearls
On the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown, muddy clay
Where the earth had been dry

And deep in the trench
He waited for hours
As he held to his rifle
And prayed not to die

But the silence of night
Was shattered by fire
As the guns and grenades
Blasted sharp through the air

One after another
His comrades were slaughtered
In the morgue of marines
Alone, standing there

He crouched ever lower
Ever lower, with fear
â??They can't let me die
They can't let me die here!

I'll cover myself
With the mud and the earth
I'll cover myself
I know I'm not brave!

The earth, the earth
The earth is my grave.â??

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He's gone


Lyrics submitted by asutbone

"The Grave" as written by Don Mclean

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Grave song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentDon McLean done not get nearly enough credit as he deserve.
    SoCoRocks14on April 01, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the most intense anti-war songs ever written. It's beautiful in its simplicity. It's a story about one man at one moment in time as he dies in battle. 20 years old, dying in vain for a fight that doesn't involve him. The music is so vivid that you can picture a scared young man, barely out of childhood, huddled in the trenches with bombs going off around him. Surrounded by gunfire in the pouring rain, he hides in the mud trying in vain not to die. I don't know about you, but the picture this song puts in my head is almost cinematic. The lyrics are poetic, the song is tragedy, the song is beautiful, the point is made.
    asutboneon September 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"in a morgue of marines"

    how much more intense can you get?
    sl8ron June 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favourite songs for life
    joefoxon December 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentintense is the only way to describe this song. from the part "but the silence of night..." to the part "the earth is my grave", those offbeat cymbals are just so powerful, almost as much as his voice. second best song he ever wrote after the incomparable american pie.
    sirpsycho85on January 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have grown up listening to this song, and already had my own ideas and images drawn from it in my brain, but when I saw "Saving Private Ryan", a scene from that really reminded me of it. It is near the end were Corporal Upham is lying in a "trench", basically clawing the earth as a battle unfolds around him and german soldiers run by literally inches away. The emotions of this song must have been exactly the same as what the character must have been feeling at that time.
    Rocksteadyon August 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have grown up listening to this song, and already had my own ideas and images drawn from it in my brain, but when I saw "Saving Private Ryan", a scene from that really reminded me of it. It is near the end were Corporal Upham is lying in a "trench", basically clawing the earth as a battle unfolds around him and german soldiers run by literally inches away. The emotions of this song must have been exactly the same as what the character must have been feeling at that time.
    Rocksteadyon August 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch a beautiful and powerful song, the lyrics alone could stand as a poem and still hit hard. Don McLean is truly a magnificent songwriter, the way he puts words is so inspiring.
    Deathsdoor99on October 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow. I just heard this song for the first time. It's beautiful.
    HELENzon February 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas far as i know, this song is about a young man ,barely 20, going off to Vietnam. but it could of course apply to most of the key wars in history.

    this song is beautiful. it is very emotional song. the lyrics are very poetic that almost made me cry.
    Crazy_Diamondon April 04, 2007   Link

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