It was an old stone house on a country lane.
Looked like a good place to get out of the
The roof was half gone and part of a wall,
But the stone chimney was still standing
The place looked deserted; no one home
Just a couple dead cows lying in a stall.
Here in France in nineteen forty-four,
The sun never shines, the rain constantly
So we thought we would go in and build a
And maybe dry out for a couple of hours.
But sometimes you get things you don't desire.
We had no idea what was going to transpire.
So we went in and looked around,
And we were sickened by what we found.
A man and woman were laying on a bed,
Parts of a collapsed wall on their heads.
When we checked the man was dead,
And the woman was hanging on by a thread.
We could see she wouldn't be long on this
When I pulled the covers back we could see
she was giving birth.
Now us four guys thought we were tough,
We could walk around and brag how we were
We didn't know anything about this stuff.
What do you do when fate calls your bluff?
I told Vern get me some water and make
But I didn't have no idea for what?
Then the poor woman let out a sigh
And the baby popped out before my eyes.
Now you're supposed to make a new baby cry
But nobody ever told me why.
When I thought to check the poor woman had
Perhaps that is why the baby cried.
Us guys were proud what we had done.
We were godfathers to a little son.
We had fought death and we had won.
We were four happy son-of-a-guns.
The little guy was hungry we could tell;
And he had good lungs cause he could yell.
He was about the youngest kid to ride in
On the way back he didn't make a peep.
He just lay on my lap and went to sleep
We gave him to the Red Cross to keep.
The place was cold and dark completely without
Just another desolate forlorn Belgium farm.
No wisp of smoke coming from the flu,
No light anywhere shining through.
The front door was open just hanging askew,
A place where death welcomed you.
It was in the Ardennes forest in nineteen
When the captain peeped through the open
The whole western front was now on fire
It was to be the Germans finest hour.
Now they would show the world they still
And the American army they would devour.
Of people around there was no trace
The Captain said go check out the place.
So like a pack of hound dogs hot on the spoor
A squad of us rushed through the door,
And gave the place a hasty tour.
We found three girls huddled on the floor.
The Captain came and looked, boy was he mad.
Some things in war are really sad.
He thought about the problem for awhile,
Then turned to me with smile.
You stay here in this domicile.
Don't go outside; keep a low
An order is a command and you have to obey,
So the Captain left some rations then they
packed up and went away.
And now the real war is about to start:
The war of the sexes for mind and heart.
And these three girls were so flirty and
It would be love before we would ever part.
What to do with these girls was on my mind,
When I turned around to find
Three faces wearing silly grins.
Three faces that never knew sin
Three faces that looked so gaunt and thin
Three hearts waiting for me to come in.
When I looked at them I just fell.
They really put me under their spell,
But I made a fire and got some heat.
Then fixed the girls something too
They were the hungriest girls I ever did
Must have been empty down to their feet.
I think the girls names were Gigi, Wigi and
At least that's what I thought them too be.
I don't think they ever had a comb run through
Dirty rags was all they had to wear.
The house was empty, the floor was bare.
Just one bed for all to share.
Three little girls left here in this lonely
No warmth no food no one to wipe the tears
from their face.
Gigi was nine, maybe ten, Wigi was eight
and Mimi was five.
How did they manage to survive?
Were their parents no longer alive?
Was there some help I could contrive?
Now the sound of the battle was just outside,
So I took the girls down to the cellar to
It seems the battle raged all night
As we lay huddled together in fright.
Then things quieted down with the coming
That's when I awoke to a fearsome sight.
German soldiers filled the place.
Their weapons pointed at my face.
They made the four of us walk outside.
I had to carry Mimi cause she cried.
An officer asked questions, it was Gigi who
I just wanted to go someplace and hide.
The officer looked me in the eye, and I felt
my chances getting slim.
Then Mimi looked up and made a face at him.
The officer laughed then broke into a roar,
Made us go back inside and put a guard at
He sent us some food, enough for four.
Mimi ate hers and wanted more.
Locked up there I learned to love these girls.
Gigi, Wigi and Mimi were truly pearls.
And the officer of these troops he was a
Maybe he had daughters back in his homeland.
In war you never know what fate has planned,
But I'm sure he would help us if he can.
Then one day we heard a loud roar.
It was a Sherman tank outside our door.
It was a bright sunny Christmas day,
The Germans just up and melted away.
Now Gigi, Wigi and Mimi could go outside
The American army was back to stay.
I wish I could give this story a happy end.
What I say now will cause your heart to rend.
These shameless girls that I loved so,
Now flirted with every G.I. Joe.
Why a hundred kisses they would bestow,
For just one cup of hot cocoa.
Then came that sorry unhappy day.
The Red Cross came and took my girls away.
Now they still live in my memory
And dear girls if you ever think of me,
The love is still there and will always be
For Gigi, Wigi and my dear Mimi.
I know my Captain sleeps in Belgium beneath
Perhaps the German Officer too was lost.
But we will meet again in eternity,
And I'm sure they are going to ask me:
What was the names of the girls you had to
Why Captain, that was Gigi, Wigi and Mimi.
When Death's cold hand grabs your shoulder,
Brother you don't get any older.
He is outside now wearing a sneaky grin
Surveying the shape we are in.
He knows that he is sure to win
In a little while we will lose our skin.
Six men trapped and no way out
The grim reaper laughing up his sleeve no
Our half track just a burned out shell
Our radio it is gone as well.
We had made a wrong turn and ended up in
Without help that is where we soon will dwell.
The German army is dug in all around
They still hold this little French town.
A few dozen homes, a church and a cafe
Not far from Paris on a warm summer day.
The townsfolk had packed and gone away
They knew the German army wasn't here to
Six of us in a house next to a cemetery wall
And no way out for us at all.
And the Germans knew where we were at
Once in awhile against the wall a bullet
Just to let us know! we can see you rats
Wont be long till we send in the cats.
We were sitting and talking how to beat the
When from another room a voice rings out.
It said welcome gentlemen to my home
Would you care to use my telephone?
He was the priest from the village, a Father
He had stayed behind all alone.
We had never gave the telephone a thought
The poles were all down the service shot.
Father Jerome says I have the F.F.I. on the
They are just waiting for my sign.
He said gentlemen come have a glass of wine
Help will be here in a very short time.
Now Father Jerome is a very strange man.
Says he was born an American.
He grew up in Chicago where his family still
He said he saw the errors of his ways.
He became a priest and learned to pray
When he witnessed a massacre on Valentine's
Now Smitty and Roy were from Chicago, too.
They thought his story didn't sound real
They said later the murderers were never
It would be easy to hide behind a crucifix
And the cops could turn the world upside
While you hid in a little French town.
Then Roy spotted some Germans just out of
They were running and pointing and acting
Then some Sherman tanks came into sight
And this started a great big fight.
Patton's boys saved our skins all right
And this was the battle that saved Paris
from the German might.
After the battle the little town was no longer
With teary eyes Father Jerome knelt in prayer.
And the Grim Reaper threw down his pen and
closed his log book,
Then walked away without a backward look.
Sorry old friend about the problems you undertook,
But we just survived another Donnybrook.
Along the river Meuse in an unmarked grave
Sleeps a warrior who had rather die than
live a slave.
A fancy uniform he never wore,
Just old clothes that were ragged and tore.
He looked like a beggar from days of yore
But he was a soldier a real man of war.
The F.F.I sent him to us to act as a guide.
He knew his way around the French countryside.
His age might have been twenty or twenty-one
Most of his life he had been on the run.
And to hear him talk his idea of fun
Was to go up front and shoot the hated Hun.
His name was Henri a true son of France,
Though he looked like a clown in baggy pants.
He joined the unit in August of 'forty-four.
Said he was a corporal in a French army corps,
And when it came to wine you could be sure
You got the best in the district of Loire.
No doubt he was a good man to have around,
Cause every time we would liberate a town.
He would ride with me in my halftrack
With pretty girls we sure didn't lack,
Plenty of spirits in our knapsack.
But the Captain made us give the girls back.
But with every pleasure you pay the price
And when it's time to pay it is never nice.
This is the time the German army was in full
But if you got too close they would turn
Henri would know a way to the left or the
And we could bypass them out of sight.
War can be fascinating in a way.
And Henri thought it a game to play.
Like most Frenchmen his idea of fun
Was lots of girls, lots of wine and a chance
to shoot the hated Hun.
And if he survived 'til the war was won
He would be a hero to everyone.
It was at Rambulaet close by the river Meuse
That our friend Henri had to pay his dues.
We were standing by the river on a little
When a sniper shot him between the eyes.
That is how our hero dies.
That is why the tri colour still flies.
It was here we buried a true son of France.
Was he a hero or a clown in baggy pants?
We didn't have time to mourn his loss
But we hung his black beret on his cross
And left him sleeping beneath the moss.
Perhaps no one ever visits the grave
Of a man who would rather die than live a
But across the years I can look back and
Just what Memorial Day means to me.
I can remember a man who died for his country.
La guerre est fini Henri; AU REVOIR, HENRI.