Monday, June 2, 2008

When The Tigers Broke Free

    It was just before dawn
    One miserable morning in black '44
    When the forward commander
    Was told to sit tight
    When he asked that his men be withdrawn
    And the generals gave thanks
    As the other ranks
    Held back the enemy tanks
    For a while
    And the Anzio bridgehead was held for the price
    Of a few hundred ordinary lives.

    And kind old King George sent Mother a note
    When he heard that Father was gone.
    It was, I recall, in the form of a scroll,
    With gold leaf and all
    And I found it one day
    In a drawer of old photographs hidden away
    And my eyes still grow damp
    To remember His Majesty signed
    With his own rubber stamp.

    It was dark all around,
    There was frost in the ground
    When The Tigers Broke Free.
    And no one survived
    From the Royal Fusiliers,
    Company, "C"
    They were all left behind,
    Most of them dead,
    The rest of them dying
    And that's how the High Command
    Took my Daddy
    From me.

    Roger Waters wrote this about his father, who died in World War II at Anzio. Roger was born a few months before his father was killed. Released as a single in 1982, this song did not appear on an album until it was used on Pink Floyd's 2001 Greatest Hits compilation. This was used in Pink Floyd's movie The Wall. It appeared in the "Enemy Bridge Was Held" and "High Command" sections, when Pink sees his dad loading a gun and dusting his army uniform.

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