Words: Hal Frank
Music: "The Sheffield Apprentice"

My name is Constant Roberts, Sir. You would not know that name
  Outside our town of Marthy's Well I have no worldly fame.
I've served my time on Contract; now I work the blacksmith's trade.
  I love my God, my wife and son - for them my life was made.

At sixteen years I left the school, a conscript lad to be.
  They 'signed me to the Redlegs then, in the bold Artillery.
I leveled gun and launching tube; I primed and fused the shell,
  And I gloried in my uniform, for my Elders taught me well.

And then one day the shipped me out - me and ten thousand more
  To trade our blood for vredit in some God-damned alien war;
With our cannons left behind us in some hot and dusty town,
  With rifle gun and bayonet to keep the Locals down.

Right soon I rose to Bombardier, a leader over ten.
  Then in the cold, grey light of dawn they called me and my men,
Saying "Take ye up your rifle guns - and don your best array,
  For there's a fellow to be hanged upon this market day!".

I never asked no questions, Sir - 'twas no concern of mine;
  They'd signed us up as constables to guard that transport line.
And if we had to kill a man - well, that was duty, too.
  But I never touched no hangman's rope, and I swear by God that's true.

It's easy for to kill a man, I first did see that day:
  A little swing upon the string and the soul is bound away,
With a paper on his breast to show his crimes for all to see:
  A child of God like you, my friend, or a child of Hell like me.

They always hang them to the tree, since mankind first begun:
  The thief, the witch, the prophet, or God's One Begotten Son;
With half a troop of soldiers to guard them to the tree:
  The Legionaires of Pilate, or the Friendly lads like me.

Soon after that they pulled us out and shipped us up the line,
  And firing counter-battery I got this stump of mine,
And they took me back to Harmony and gave me back my life;
  With an iron forge and an iron hook and a true and loving wife.

And now Conscription's coming 'round, and my son has gone sixteen.
  And will he be a Redleg as once his Dad had been?
And will they take him from Harmony to someplace - God knows where?
  And place upon his mother's son the things no child should bear?

Material copyrighted © to the author - Brought to you by the Dorsai Irregulars []