From the forthcoming album, an expanded version of the Tears of Morning album to go with the upcoming book. I’ve recorded it before, but this version is heavily edited and remixed with copious synth.
This 1917 poem by Housman refers to the British Expeditionary Force, which German propagandists referred to as ‘mercenaries’ because at the outbreak of war, Britain’s army consisted of professional soldiers rather than conscripts or the later volunteers of ‘Kitchener’s Army‘. The BEF was practically wiped out by 1916. I find it hard to empathise with either Housman’s or Kipling’s imperialist sympathies, but the poem does have power. I hope my arrangement does it justice.
From ‘Last Poems’, by the way, not ‘A Shropshire Lad’.