"Bitter Branches" as written by and Polly / Harvey....
Bitter branches
Spreading out.
There's none more bitter
Than the wood.

Into the wide world,
It grows,
Twisting under
Soldier's feet,
Standing in line
And the damp earth underneath.

Holding up their rifles
Holding their young wives
Who wave goodbye.

Hold up the clear glass
To look and see
Soldiers standing
And the roots twist underneath.

Their young wives with white hands
Wave goodbye.
Their arms as bitter branches
Spreading into the world.

Wave goodbye,
Wave goodbye.
Wave goodbye,
Wave goodbye.
Wave goodbye,
Wave goodbye.
Wave goodbye,
Wave goodbye.

Lyrics submitted by stentorian

"Bitter Branches" as written by Polly Harvey

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Bitter Branches song meanings
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  • 0
    My InterpretationWave goodbye......
    SuzyJunkyon October 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWar affects the present and future of many more than just the poor soldier being sent to fight and possibly die. War will make you bitter. Whether a family member who has suffered a loss, or a soldier who has survived war but seen and done unimaginable atrocities, it all adds up to senselessness in the end. War solves nothing and creates pain, shame, and/or resentment through each person affected. Like a twisted, stunted tree filled with suffering and pain, there is indeed none more bitter than the wood making up the branches signifying the people of the bitter family tree of a war-torn country. Bitter roots make bitter branches.

    PJ has a similar lyric in the song "England" on the same album that conveys how she, too, is affected: "I cannot go on as I am - Withered vine reaching from the country that I love, England."
    ericacmilleron January 05, 2016   Link

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