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​Loot

This song is by Maddy Prior and appears on the album Ravenchild (1999).

What is this brilliant company
Dressed in silks and satins gay
They are draped in bales of linen
That they found along the way.
They ride in gilded carriages
And they eat off china plates
Finest shawls across their shoulders
Weird and wonderful freight.

There are generals and officers
And every rank of men
They are straggled, and have struggled
On the road back home again.
They are all weighed down with silver,
They have booty rich and fine
They're a motley mix of rabble
How they shimmer, how they shine.

Mostly they have got no rifles
Nor no guns of any sort
But laden with their spoils
By their greed they are caught.
For the Cossacks they have chased them
They have harried them to death
And the frost has bit their fingers
Taking ears and nose and breath.

One hundred thousand are returning
All the men that now remain
They are broken and defeated
By the weary Russian plain.

Ambition drove Napoleon to Moscow
He thought that he would rule the world
But even snow couldn't smother
The noise of such a mighty fall
The sound of great misfortune
Will ring and echo down the years
And bring him immortality
As sure as any great victory.