The Flowers of Liverpool (lest we forget)


In the year of Our Lord nineteen fourteen
The call came for lads to join up with a team
So they packed up their boots with their hopes and dreams
And they offered their hearts for the price of a shilling

For the crown heads of Europe bickered and fought
And millions of innocent lives would be caught
Scattered like poppies across the French fields
In a match where the cost could not be redeemed

Kitchener’s posters plastered on Liverpool walls
“Your country needs you” its message implored
So they joined with their pals all so eager to go
But one in 6 Scousers never made it home

Lord Derby he led a recruitment campaign
And 2000 Scousers joined up in just 3 days
Patriotic and proud they’d soon teach the hun
But most would be dead, fodder for the machine guns

Fathers and brothers, uncles and sons
From the bosom of the kop they came willingly down
Sent off to a country a war and a madness
Digging graves in the trenches below each setting sun

The grand club of Liverpool had patriots plenty
And eager to join for honour and pride
Joe Dines, Wilfrid Bartop and the bold Tom Gracie
Laced up their boots, and then joined Heaven’s side

So many lost wishes so many lost hopes
In the mud and the blood and the bullets and stones
Lads no more than 18 would cry out for their Mams
Beg Jesus to stop this because no one there can

Just boys in their uniforms with a rucksack and gun
Just boys for who time had no time to make men
They lived for their footy and woodbines and pints
They died for a world where no more have to fight

But the lessons of history will never be heeded
And down from the ages the blood runs as free
And they stood on the steps of God’s heaven and waited
1 in 6 “Scouser Tommys” died on those French killing fields

The tears of the Liver Bird ran down to the Mersey
For her poor shattered heart wrecked with sorrow and grief
Her children lay battered and shell shocked and bleeding
And the ones that she lost, she grieves for them still.

By Parry Maguire