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Finding God In the Music: John Brown

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Finding God In the Music: John Brown

Finding God In the Music: John Brown

Series: Finding God In The Music

Speaker: Brian Zahnd


John Brown went off to war to fight on a foreign shore
His mama sure was proud of him!
He stood so straight and tall in his uniform and all
His mama’s face broke out into a grin

“Oh son, you look so fine, I’m glad you’re a son of mine
Make me proud to know you’re wearing a gun
Do what the captain says, lots of medals you will get
We’ll put them on the wall when you come home”

That old train pulled out, John’s ma began to shout
Telling everybody in the neighborhood
“That’s my son that’s about to go, he’s a soldier now, you know”
She made well sure her neighbors understood

She got a letter once in a while and her face broke into a smile
She showed them to the people from next door
She bragged about her son with his uniform and gun
In this thing she called a good old-fashioned war

Then the letters ceased to come, for a long time they did not come
Ceased to come for about ten months or more
Then a letter finally came saying, “Go down and meet the train
Your son is coming back from the war”

She smiled and she went right down, she looked up and all around
But she did not see her soldier son in sight
When all the people passed, she saw her son at last
When she did she could not believe her eyes

Oh his face was all shot off and his hands were blown away
And he wore a metal brace around his waist
He whispered kind of slow, in a voice she didn’t know
And she couldn’t even recognize his face!

“Oh tell me, my darling son, tell me what they’vd done
How is it that you come to be this way?”
He tried his best to talk but his mouth could hardly move
And the mother had to turn her face away

“Don’t you remember, Ma, when I went off to war
You thought it was the best thing I could do?
I was on the battleground, you were home acting proud
You wasn’t there standing in my shoes”

“Well, I thought when I was there, Lord, what am I doing here?
Tryin’ to kill somebody or die tryin’
But the thing that scared me most was when my enemy came close

I could see that his face looked just like mine”

“And I couldn’t help but think, through the thunder rolling and stink
I was just a puppet in a play
And through the roar and smoke, the string it finally broke
And a cannonball blew my eyes away”

As he turned away to go, his mother was acting slow
Seeing the metal brace that helped him stand
But as he turned to leave, he called his mother close
And he dropped his medals down into her hands