Bent double like old beggars in sacks
Knockkneed and cursing or coughing like hags
Men marched on sleeping some without boots
Fatigue drunken deaf still to the hoots
Of breaking gas shells
Dropping softly behind
But limped on bloodshod
All went lame all went blind
Gas quick boys fumbling helmets in time
Someone still screaming a man in fire or lime
Under a grey cloud dim dark through green light
In all my dreaming before my helpless sight
He plunges at me
Choking guttering drowning
Put in a wagon he had to keep pace
As his eyes melt to his face
If you could hear blood
Gurgling from ruptured lungs
If you could witness
Vile sores on innocent tongues
You would not tell me
Not with such pride and such zest
The lies of history
Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori
Some desperate glory
Pro patria mori
As witness disturbs the story
Pro patria mori
Stand firm boys breathe the glory

Lyrics submitted by kornchick

The Latin One song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI had no idea that somebody had turned Willfred Owen's poem into a song. Gah. Silly people. I bet they've killed it. They've certainly killed the lyrics. Dammit. I liked the maniacs til now. Fools.
    reallyhumanon May 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was a really early Maniacs song that is actually kinda cool. It got me interested in poetry of Wilfred Owen, and WWI poets in general. For that I'd call it a success.
    TK6022on January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThough not as good as the original poem, it stays pretty close to it, and if it gets people interested in the poet, that's a good thing, isn't it?
    pwgabachitoon August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreallyhuman, really? It sounds like you haven't even heard the song. It is one of my favorite 10K Maniacs songs, especially because the gruesome lyrics are sung in such an upbeat manner. I guess the title is a bit silly though...

    I love the final ad-libbed line too; it really captures the insanity of WWI.
    clovuson October 23, 2008   Link

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