From the recording Between the Wars

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Between the Wars

He served in a squad of brave young men trained hard as tempered steel
They knifed right in, fell ‘n bled like oil from a busted wheel
Now they lay up in those boneyards, and on that great black marble wall
Behind their names you’ll see his face still haunted by it all…

When Johnny came marching home, he was crazy from the time he served
He walked outside the bus depot and sat alone upon the curb
In the Far East Asian jungle, victory finally crumbled
So they shipped the army back home in the dark
One by one the boys returned to the factories, streets and farms
On the uniform in the photograph there’s a silver star and a ranger badge
But his smile is twisted angry like scar
On Veteran’s Day the old parade but no one shouts “Hip-hip hurrah!”
They keep the windows rolled up on the cars
O Johnny, just what did you expect
They’ll never march in step between the wars

Love of country was the curse that carried you off to war
Peace becomes a bitter word when you don’t know what you’re fighting for
If you can’t live for Jesus, make up any reason
Pick an easy number to divide
Throw away your memories, man, it’s time to come alive
Yeah, you can make it happen, it only takes adapting
To the motorcycle cowboy disguise
If you’re tired of your burden, drop it like a curtain
Show the world your silhouette then fly
O Johnny, you’re running with the wind
You never break, you bend between the wars

They can’t tame you, rambling man, but it’s true you have to pay the toll
They may fence ‘n farm the land, but that ol’ dust will always blow
Staring at the sun too long, drifting till you can’t hold on
Dodging every hurdle in your path
When you feel your thoughts start closing in, you simply shoot the gap
Smugglers roam the highways, plowmen trod the bi-ways
Through the ditches stray a dog ‘n a brown-eyed calf
While overhead the cocaine moon overhears your hard-luck tune
His face is too numb to weep or laugh
O Johnny, you’re blowing up against
That ol’ blizzard fence between the wars

Yeah Johnny, just cut the deck ‘n deal
They give you time to heal between the wars

Once your illusions die you’re running on willpower
And a unicorn won’t get you buy when confusion fills the hours
Neons flash ungodly verse as rays of meaning dim ‘n blur
Upon the retina of your bloodshot eye
Truth is just a baited hook that tears the mortal mind
The flesh hangs fat upon the bone, there’s little left to feed the soul
Upon a prison diet it must dine
If that spirit maiden who stands between appearance and the shape of things
Ever sheds her gown you’ll surely die
O Johnny, there’s nothing in the air
God ain’t even there between the wars

Yeah Johnny, for all you left behind
You search but never find between the find

Swear you’ve been gone so long you can’t remember why you left
And looking back it all dissolves like a vapor trail behind a jet
You can die laughing, and you can die crashing
In a flaming tailspin to earth
And you can live so long my friend that life becomes a curse
Along a desert highroad, beside a buzzard crossroad
The motorcycle cowboy missed the turn
Now his cry is silent as the boredom yields to violence
And the burden of his flesh is finally burned
O Johnny, the years begin to fly
And that’s the ways you die between the wars