"Battle hymns" as written by and Peter Wilhousky....
Battle hymns for the broken, battle hymns for the misled
Battle hymns for the wretched, the forgotten and the dead
Battle hymns of redemption of solidarity and pride
Battle hymns we will be singing at the turning of the tide

Can you explain to the mothers and the fathers of those
Who come riding home in coffins in their military clothes?
Shiny medals pinned to their dead teenage chests
While the trumpets blare and you lie your best
So ask all you want from the dusk till the dawn
The answer's still, no, 'cause, brother, I'm gone

Battle hymns for the broken, battle hymns for the misled
Battle hymns for the wretched, the forgotten and the dead
Battle hymns of redemption of solidarity and pride
Battle hymns we will be singing at the turning of the tide

Can you explain away the sleight of hand and the criminality
Of spending souls for oil? Well, in the mirror I can see
I am the path that leads down, I am the dark and bloody hall
I'm the reaper, executioner, hangman, judge and the law
So tie a yellow ribbon 'round the oak tree on the lawn
But the cavalry's not comin' 'cause, brother, they're gone

Battle hymns for the broken, battle hymns for the misled
Battle hymns for the wretched, the forgotten and the dead
Battle hymns of redemption of solidarity and pride
Battle hymns we will be singing at the turning of the tide

So I'm sharpening my shovel, I'm firing the kiln
I'm blind and I am purposeful, a martyr on the hill
The dream you might be dreaming might be someone else's dream tonight
I'm the whisperer of misgivings, I'm the fading tail light
I'm the call for retribution from the back of the smoke filled hall
I'm the vow of bitterness, I'm the poison in the well

I've a photographic memory of the deeds I will avenge
I'm the cold in the river hollow, I've a hat-pin, I've a plan
I don't care of cause or consequence, head shaved and body lean
I'm the go-getter, the score settler, I'm the shadow on the green
And there's a flock of blackbirds flying, nearly ten thousand strong
Who set off this morning and, brother, they're gone

Battle hymns for the broken, battle hymns for the misled
Battle hymns for the wretched, the forgotten, for the dead
Battle hymns of redemption of solidarity and pride
Battle hymns we will be singing at the turning of the tide



Lyrics submitted by ZDLR my idol!

"Battle Hymns" as written by Peter Wilhousky

Lyrics © CARL FISCHER, LLC

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Battle hymns song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentHes saying all through the song that we will be singing battle hymns. He's admitting the inevitability that war is a constant. And that even 'at the turning of the tide' - when things finally DO change, we will sing battle hymns.
    Basically, we may have to fight in order to stop the fighting.
    Beautiful song, like everything Morello does.
    BraedenVAon March 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...
    this song would've had a different tone to me.
    my brother was in iraq and got blown up by a landmine... fortunetly he is here now and though he's not 100% he's here with us.
    justedbinon June 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can't figure out excatly what the song is about
    but i can tell from listening to it, he is sad, very sad
    so sad that he's pissed off beyond belife
    GypsyWagonon January 19, 2009   Link

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