when he died they gave him a 21 gun salute
seven rifles, seven faces, fourteen shining boots
and the burning pavement burned their faces
as each of them expended three blank cartridge cases

and the woman dressed in black was looking very pale
as she tried to hide her milky tears behind the darkened veil
and the children left their inhibitions stranded in the car
and they cried and wept and carried on til they couldn't cry no more

well the consummate professional rarely has good friends
and the man that's in the service hardly gets what he deserves
until it ends and they ship him home in a white pine box
with a piece of metal on his chest that doesn't cost a lot

and the wives all dress in navy blue
will point their withering glares at you
'cause the grief feels like a vacuum that wants to pull you in too
but the children left their scruples stranded in the past
and their lives are all just goin' downhill, goin' downhill fast

but if there's good for me then there is good for you
if there's good for me then there is hope for you
if there's hope for me then there is good for you


Lyrics submitted by lyricsdude

21 Gun Salute song meanings
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