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The Decemberists Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then) Lyrics

Last updated: 07/11/2010 11:00:00 AM

Soldier: Heart carved tree trunk, Yankee bayonet
A sweetheart left behind

Girl: Far from the hills of the sea-swelled Carolinas
That's where my true love lies

Soldier: Look for me when the sun-bright swallow
Sings upon the birch bow high

Girl: But you are in the ground with the voles and the weevils
All a-chew on your bones so dry

But when the sun breaks to no more bullets in battlecreek
Then will you make a grave? For I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then

Girl: When I was a girl how the hills of Oconee
Made a seam to hem me in

Soldier: There at the fair when our eyes caught, careless,
Got my heart right pierced by a pin

Soldier: But O did you see all the dead of Manassas
All the bellies and the bones and the bile?

Girl: No, I lingered here with the blankets barren
And my own belly big with child

But when the sun breaks to no more bulletin Battle Cry
Then will you make a grave? For I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then

Soldier: And stems and bones and stone walls too
Could keep me from you
This skein of skin is all too few
To keep me from you

Solider and Girl: But O my love though our bodies may be parted
Though our skin may not touch skin
Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow
I will come on the breath of the wind

Thanks to sarah for submitting Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then) Lyrics.

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A Soldiers point of view | Reviewer: | 5/31/10

Some of the lyrics are a little off from what is in the cd booklet. As far as the reviewer who says that the band sings poorly, well I do not agree, they sound great and great live as well. It is a folksy song, it is supposed to sound that way. I recently retired from the Army and I earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge while I served, not bragging just saying who I am and I can tell you that it makes me think of some of my soldiers who were killed and their wives and children still living and it moves me to tears. It struck me the first time I heard it like no song i can remember and the lyrics are truly beautiful and hopeful despite the tremendous loss they convey. I had never even heard of the Decemberists until I just happened to see this on Austin City Limits. That one performance left me literally speechless and with tears. The song is great but the lyrics could stand as a literary work of rare significance on their own. I rate it 5 stars and it is certainly one of the most moving songs I have ever heard.

beautiful | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/23/10

I agree with the reviewer who said the song made him weep. It's not obvious, but sublime and gorgeous. What a love story - the dead soldier telling his wife of the dead swollen in the fields of Manassas, and she responds, her "own belly big with child." Hard truth, repeated again and again and again. And today.

amazing | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/26/09

the decemberists are one of the most inspiring and beatiful artistic groups ever! they tell a story through there music and help us see the beauty in pain. they are amazing and will always be a big part of my interpertation of the world

ARE YOU KIDDING?! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/13/09

I have a lot of mixed feelings twords the decemberists. Some of their songs are great, but Im afraid this is one that isnt so much. It sounds like hese singing through his nose to the point where you cant understand a word hese saying, (the first time i heard this, it sounded like hard card instead of heart carved ) so you can forget the beauty of the lyrics to make up for anything. This is an awful song.

misspelled? mistake? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/16/08

In the lyric: "But you are in the ground with the volves and the weevils
All a-chew on your bones so dry"

I don't know what "volves" are but I'm pretty positive the lyric is voles. It's a rodent, a field mouse to be exact, native to North America and Europe.

Discovery of Yankee Bayonet and The Decemberists | Reviewer: Lily | 10/17/07

I just really dig this song and can't get it out of my head. I was flipping through the channels Saturday night(my fifty-fifth birthday)and caught the Decemberists singing. This song stuck in my head and I didn't catch the name so I got online and began to research the group and finally found the title of the song.

It is so creative how very young people took an idea about the Civil War and wove it into a lyric that speaks to today and has a melody that won't leave your head.

I am not certain yet who actually wrote this but I think it was a young woman I saw singing with them on You Tube. The song and the interpretation are just beauty. Thank you

fantastic | Reviewer: will forstella | 10/13/07

the lyric rhythm is so conducive to a melancholy love song, very confident, like making a vow.
i hope we can pull a cover of this off. Laura Veirs' got some pipes. :}

Fantastic | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/18/07

Excellent song, probably my favorite by the Decemberists, and i particularly love the line

"Soldier: But O did you see all the dead of Manassas
All the bellies and the bones and the bile?

Girl: No, I lingered here with the blankets barren
And my own belly big with child"

I love it because it's got sort of a bragging tone to it, the soldier is talking about what horrors he witnessed and how terrible it was, and the girl responds with her own suffers, pointing out that it's not just about the sufferings of the soldiers, but equally important are the sufferings of those left behind, the family, friends, and lovers.

Voice of our past | Reviewer: Michael Straw | 8/12/07

A beautiful song and grim reminder that 630,000 Americans perished on the battlefields of the Civil War. This song makes me weep.

Amazing | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/28/07

I absolutely love this song...the Decemberists are my favorite band, and I love almost all of their songs, but this one definitely is among my top favorites. It's such a beautiful love song, it's so sweet, with perfect melodic and lyrical harmonies.