My life is simple, humble pleasures
The girl I love, summer leisure
‘The Duke is dead’ the prime minister says
‘Your time has come, you must do your best’.
My heart grows large, my eyes turn red
One final kiss, I lose my breath
My mother weeps, my father stares
His parting words ‘you must do your best’.
We train for the task that lies ahead
Our tools of evil, our countries crest
Brothers forever, until the end
The sergeant says sternly ‘you must do your best’.
The foreign soil, our blood it thirsts
We do not falter, we march and curse
We face our destiny, we march abreast
My father’s voice follows me ‘you must do your best’.
The fight is hard, our spirit put to the test
Death follows us, we cannot rest
Our bravery triumphs, ‘oh how our country will be impressed’
We do our duty, we do our best.
But the victory is fleeting, our brothers fall
Staring eyes, cold skin, we loved them all
Our grief immense, we lay them to rest
They were the bravest, they did their best.
The darkness surrounds us, our souls to stone
They want to end us, to send us home
I raise my weapon; one man lay dead
I have taken, life most precious, I have done my best.
The war is over, the Duke avenged
We wander home, those who were left
return to crowds, they stand abreast
They thank us all, ‘You are the best!’
The war is over, still a battle I fight
My hands tremble, sleepless nights
I see his face, where his body rests
My heart is cold, no pride, but guilt instead ‘I did my duty, I did my best’.
My parents proud, my love distressed
My suffering is silent, put to them instead
They grieve for me, the boy that left
The Man, broken, who survived, who tried his best.
A fatherless son, sonless mother
A widowed wife, man’s lost brother
Their pride is poison, a shot to my chest
I confess my sins, they do their best.
My life was simple, now changed beyond measure
The girl my wife, our children treasures
‘The Duke is dead!’ she says to them
‘Your father went, he did his best’.
A WW1 soldier struggles with his duty and his conscience.