Scarborough blazing scarlet battalions

I didn’t remember Simon & Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair / Canticle being an antiwar refrain, even as the Canticle interwove its haunting soldier imagery. Apparently the Canticle was a retooling of Paul Simon’s The Side of a Hill, adding “Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground … War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions.”

On the side of a hill
In a land called somewhere
A little boy lies asleep in the earth
While down in the valley a cruel war rages
And people forget what a child’s life is worth

On the side of a hill a little cloud weeps
And waters the grave with its silent tears
While a soldier cleans and polishes a gun
That ended a life at the age of seven years

And the war rages on in a land called somewhere
And Generals order their men to kill
And to fight for a cause they’ve long ago forgotten
While a little cloud weeps on the side of a hill

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