Arlington

from by Andy Revkin

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about

A ballad about the storied past and uncertain future of the national cemetery.

lyrics

Arlington music and lyrics © Andrew Revkin

In Eighteen Hundred Sixty Four, the burying began.
To spite that rebel Robert Lee, we took away his land.
Just outside of Washington, his hills spread far and wide.
Soon corn gave way to crosses, as young soldiers died.

But where will they go when there’s no more room in Arlington?
Arlington, the hills go on and on -- gray veterans and fresh fallen side by side.
Bugles blow and caissons roll two dozen times each day. At that rate in 15 years, there’ll be no room to lay… in Arlington, in Arlington.

Private William Christman was the first one we laid down.
Now there are a quarter million in that hallowed ground.
In Mrs. Lee’s rose garden, we buried near 2,000 –
those just the boys who fell down at Bull Run.

But where will they go when there’s no more room in Arlington?
Arlington, the hills go on and on -- gray veterans and fresh fallen side by side.
Bugles blow and caissons roll two dozen times each day. At that rate in 15 years, there’ll be no room to lay… in Arlington, in Arlington.

From the War to Save the Union to the War to End all Wars,
And all the battles ever since, all fought on distant shores.
But where will they go when there’s no more room in Arlington?

Arlington, the hills go on and on -- gray veterans and fresh fallen side by side.
Bugles blow and caissons roll two dozen times each day. At that rate in 15 years, there’ll be no room to lay… in Arlington, in Arlington.

credits

from A Very Fine Line, released November 28, 2013
Features Dar Williams as guest vocalist, Ben Neill on trumpet and Motherlode Trio on harmonies. Also playing are Art Labriola on piano and organ; Mark Murphy on upright bass; Jerry Krenach, drums; Peter Rundquist, guitar. I play guitar and banjo.

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about

Andy Revkin Garrison, New York

Best known for his environmental journalism and books, Andy Revkin has long been a performing songwriter (here seen on the Clearwater; photo by Susan English).

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