THE LORD GIVETH
          It was an old stone house on a country lane.
          Looked like a good place to get out of the rain.
          The roof was half gone and part of a wall,
          But the stone chimney was still standing tall.
          The place looked deserted;  no one home at all,
          Just a couple dead cows lying in a stall.

          Here in France in nineteen forty-four,
          The sun never shines, the rain constantly pours.
          So we thought we would go in and build a fire
          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 earth.
          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 rough.
          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 it hot,
          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 died.
          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 a jeep
          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.

          Elmer Ake
           
           
           

            GIGI, WIGI and MIMI
                 
          The place was cold and dark completely without charm,
          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 forty-four
          When the captain peeped through the open door.
          The whole western front was now on fire
          It was to be the Germans finest hour.
          Now they would show the world they still had power
          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 profile.

          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 smart,
          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 eat.
          They were the hungriest girls I ever did meet.
          Must have been empty down to their feet.

          I think the girls names were Gigi, Wigi and Mimi
          At least that's what I thought them too be.
          I don't think they ever had a comb run through their hair.
          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 place;
          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 hide.
          It seems the battle raged all night
          As we lay huddled together in fright.
          Then things quieted down with the coming of daylight.
          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 replied.
          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 the door.
          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 good man.
          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 and play;
          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 a cross
          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 oversee?
          Why Captain, that was Gigi, Wigi and Mimi.

          Elmer Ake
           
           
           

            MERCI, PAPA JEROME
          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 doubt.
          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 hell
          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 play.

          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 would splat.
          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 krauts
          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 Jerome
          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 line
          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 stays
          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 day.

          Now Smitty and Roy were from Chicago, too.
          They thought his story didn't sound real true.
          They said later the murderers were never found.
          It would be easy to hide behind a crucifix and gown
          And the cops could turn the world upside down
          While you hid in a little French town.

          Then Roy spotted some Germans just out of range.
          They were running and pointing and acting strange.
          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 there
          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.

          Elmer Ake
           
           
           
           

            AU REVOIR, HENRI
          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 flight,
          But if you got too close they would turn and fight.
          Henri would know a way to the left or the right
          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 rise
          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 slave.
          But across the years I can look back and see
          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.

          Elmer Ake

Copyright © 1998-2007 by Elmer Ake.  All rights reserved.

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