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A poem by May Wedderburn Cannan (1893–1973) set to music by Chris Green

lyrics

We planned to shake the world, you and I. 

Being young, and oh, so wise; 

Now in the shaded lamp's green light
I almost see your eyes 

Light with the old gay laughter;
We dreamed of an Empire in those days, 

Setting out upon laborious ways, 

And all you asked of fame 

Was crossed swords in the Army List; 

My Dear, against your name. 



We planned a great Empire, you and I, 

Bound only by the sea; 

Now in the quiet of a winter's night 

Your voice comes hushed to me 

Full of forgotten memories:

We dreamed of our future in those days, 

Setting out on undiscovered ways, 

And all I asked of fame 

A red cross on my breast, my dear, 

For the swords against your name. 



And we'll never shake the world together now
For you gave your life away; 

And I think my heart was broken by the war, 

Since on a summer day 

You took the road we never spoke of;
We dreamed of an Empire in those days; 

You set your feet upon the Western way 

And have no need of fame - 

There's a red cross on my breast, my Dear, 

And a torn cross by your name.

credits

from The Men Who Marched Away: Songs of the Great War, released September 15, 2014
Sophie Matthews - voice

Chris Green - piano

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GreenMatthews Coventry, UK

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, they breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh and relevant for a modern audience. ... more

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