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The Cumberland Brigade

This song is by Beau and appears on the compilation album Edge Of The Dark: Unreleased Recordings 1972 - 1985 (2009).

My eyes are ink-stained circles peering through blue darkness,
Staring at the sun, and seeing only rain -
Staring down the valley with its awesome starkness,
Wondering, now I must leave, will I return again -
And the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching to the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

Wharfeside cranes lie down the river, strong and sober,
Calling in the distance through the early morning mist.
Lanterns flashing from their jibs say "Hand 'em over!"
Painting sombre pictures Lowry never could resist
And the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching to the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

The ship is big and rusty and it smells of cattle
Groaning in the harbour as they herd us all aboard.
In the hold, we're sick, but as we ride to battle
We sing songs of England bound to temper every sword
And the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching to the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

I've hated every Frenchman since that day in Deauville
When they called for money for the water we did drink.
A Frenchman died upon the bayonet in his flour mill,
Then we drank his water and we didn't even blink
And the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching from the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

The years came and disappeared with mud and memories,
Fading in the distance as the Christmases rolled by;
Fighting for a hundred yards of dirt; they tell me
There are many reasons why my Cumbrians must die
And the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching from the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

They brought me back to England when the war was over,
And they stood me on the dockside in my tattered uniform.
They put me to a man who sat me on a sofa
And asked me to explain the ink-stained circle I had drawn
And the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching to the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

Oh, the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching to the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

Oh, the Cumberland Brigade, they are marching to the sea,
Yes, the Cumberland Brigade are behind, and beside,
And are marching out in front of me.

Written by:

C J T Midgley