Where Are You Now, My Son? (Baez Joan)

It's walking to the battleground that always makes me cry I've met so few folks in my time who weren't afraid to die But dawn bleeds with the people here and morning skies are red As young girls load up bicycles with flowers for the dead An aging woman picks along the craters and the rubble A piece of cloth, a bit of shoe, a whole lifetime of trouble A sobbing chant comes from her throat and splits the morning air The single son she had last night is buried under her They say that the war is done Where are you now, my son? An old man with unsteady gait and beard of ancient white Bent to the ground with arms outstretched faltering in his plight I took his hand to steady him, he stood and did not turn But smiled and wept and bowed and mumbled softly, "Danke shoen" The children on the roadsides of the villages and towns Would stand around us laughing as we stood like giant clowns The mourning bands told whom they'd lost by last night's phantom messenger And they spoke their only words in English, "Johnson, Nixon, Kissinger" Now that the war's being won Where are you now, my son? The siren gives a running break to those who live in town Take the children and the blankets to the concrete underground Sometimes we'd sing and joke and paint bright pictures on the wall And wonder if we would die well and if we'd loved at all The helmetless defiant ones sit on the curb and stare At tracers flashing through the sky and planes bursting in air But way out in the villages no warning comes before a blast That means a sleeping child will never make it to the door The days of our youth were fun Where are you now, my son? From the distant cabins in the sky where no man hears the sound Of death on earth from his own bombs, six pilots were shot down Next day six hulking bandaged men were dazzled by a room Of newsmen. Sally keep the faith, let's hope this war ends soon In a damaged prison camp where they no longer had command They shook their heads, what irony, we thought peace was at hand The preacher read a Christmas prayer and the men kneeled on the ground Then sheepishly asked me to sing "They Drove Old Dixie Down" Yours was the righteous gun Where are you now, my son? We gathered in the lobby celebrating Chrismas Eve The French, the Poles, the Indians, Cubans and Vietnamese The tiny tree our host had fixed sweetened familiar psalms But the most sacred of Christmas prayers was shattered by the bombs So back into the shelter where two lovely women rose And with a brilliance and a fierceness and a gentleness which froze The rest of us to silence as their voices soared with joy Outshining every bomb that fell that night upon Hanoi With bravery we have sun But where are you now, my son? Oh people of the shelters what a gift you've given me To smile at me and quietly let me share your agony And I can only bow in utter humbleness and ask Forgiveness and forgiveness for the things we've brought to pass The black pyjama'd culture that we tried to kill with pellet holes And rows of tiny coffins we've paid for with our souls Have built a spirit seldom seen in women and in men And the white flower of Bac Mai will surely blossom once again I've heard that the war is done Then where are you now, my son?