A Deserter's Tale

by The Id

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World War 1 saw the execution of 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers. The executions, of mainly non-commissioned ranks for crimes such as desertion and cowardice, remained a source of controversy with some believing that many of those executed should be pardoned as they were suffering from what is now known to be shell shock and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A Deserter's Tale pays tribute to the 306...


released April 30, 2016



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The Id England, UK

The Id are a band who have never met.

We collaborate online as band members live in Canada, Norway, Japan and the U.K.

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Track Name: Village Life
Looking back 
All those memories
We made our way 
To the stream that day

Fun and dreams
Blindly stumbling
Lost for words 
As my eyes gazed upon her face
For the very first time

Looking back 
On yesterday
We thought we'd be together
Till we're old and grey

But soon the fates tore us apart
Whatever happens you're still in my heart
Little did we know how things would change

Clouds were gathering
Clouds were gathering

Blissful unawareness
Immune to the world's unfairness
Back then we couldn't care less
If only we knew of the horrors to come

I couldn't see what lay ahead of me

I can't see what's ahead of me
My destiny's unknown (Until fade)
Track Name: Battle Cry
They say it will last
It'll last 'til Christmas 
So if I go
Then I'll be back soon
When I'm not here
May your thoughts be with me
Although you hate this
I can't change my tune

They say it will last
It'll last 'til Christmas 
I feel that I need
To do my best
To take up the fight 
For King and Country
And with good fortune
I hope I'll be blessed

I know I have to go away
But keep my love within your heart
So I hold my head with dignity and hope
In the days that we're apart

And when the battle's been and gone
When we've fought to right the wrong
I'll look forward to you're open arms again
To bring me back where I belong

They say it will last
It'll last 'til Christmas 
A few meagre months 
Will see this done
I hope that my God
Will venture with me
And remains there
'Til the war is won

And soon I march away
To help to heal humanity
To put an end to this insanity
And bring a light to all this grey 

And as I march away
Forever and a day
My love for you grows much more stronger than you know
It's too deep for me to say
They say it will last
It'll last 'til Christmas 
I hope that my heart
Will stand the test
To lay down my life
For King and Country
For all my misgivings 
I hope I'll do my best 

They say it will last
It'll last 'til Christmas 
All that I know is
What will be will be
I'm taking the fight 
For King and Country
Over the ocean
And beyond the sea
Track Name: A Call to Arms
Left right Left right...
Keep your shoulders back boy!

Come on lads
It's time to go
Sign the form and
Join the show

Time to give
The Hun what-for
Come on boys 
Let's go to war!

Say hello to
We've got a fight
To go and win

Come along
Don't muck about
Let's wave the flag
And shout the shout

With a call to arms 
We'll fight the fight 
We'll show the Hun who's 
Wrong and right

A bloody nose
Will teach him well
We'll deal it out
With bomb and shell

Left right left right...

Claim your rations
Be well-fed
With bully beef
And jam and bread

Tommies know
How to survive
So join up now
And feel alive!

Come and face
A few whizz-bangs
Your hunger pangs

For fisticuffs
With n'er do wells
Let's go and send
The Hun to hell

With a call to arms 
We'll put things right
We'll fly the flag
And fight the fight 

A bloody nose
Will teach him good
Will be understood

Deserter's thoughts….
Am I right or am I wrong
Will joining up 
Mean that I belong?
With my best friend here 
Nothing can go wrong?

Come on lads 
Let's do what's right
An end to this
Is now in sight

A chance for us to 
Set things true 
A peaceful end
For me and you 

So get yer rifle
And tin hat
Come along 
Let's chew the fat

All as one 
Up to the front
To deal a blow
Both sharp and blunt

But with a call to arms 
We'll bash the Bosche 
We'll put an end
To all this tosh

A bloody nose
Will teach them right they'll 
Learn the hell that
Comes from Blighty

Left right left right
Chests out
You're in the army boys
Come on...
Shoulder arms!
Track Name: Kitchener's Lies
It really comes as no surprise 
As I look straight into his eyes
Pointing finger beckons me
"With your help we'll all be free"
Soon I'd hear the battle cries 
Fooled by Kitchener's haunting lies!
Track Name: Outward Bound
Track Name: Behind the Lines
As I sit with thoughts of what might lay ahead
I hold the memories of things we did and said
And though my future may be cold and grey
My thoughts wander back to yesterday

Here behind the lines
Behind the lines
Here behind the lines
Behind the lines
Track Name: The Front
My future beckons me
And I feel quite alone
A coldness enters me
My heart feels like a stone
The icy consequence
Chills me to the bone

If there's a God above me
Please give your strength
To me now

Please give your comfort to me
Now in my hour of need

And Grace,
I long to hold you in my arms again
Your love
Is always with me

And Mum and Dad
Please remember me

Did I turn out right?
Just how you hoped I'd be?

In the time we had
I'm sure you will agree

That all the love we shared
Will stay with you and me

Now I'm faced with fear
The future's clear

Faith, love and hope
Please don't abandon me
Please don't go
Not now
Now that I'm here
Track Name: Grace
Oh, As I look upon your face
You fill me with such grace
All my nightmares crumble
Under me

Our love is growing stronger
I can't wait any longer
I look to a lifetime
Of being with you

I long to be beside you
Ask you to be my bride too
No need to hide, my feelings
Come into view

Your face
Makes it easy to erase
All the darker days
As your beauty washes over me

A rose
Now the summer has closed
And an autumn wind blows
Your petals falling over me

Now I am so far from you
My half is not whole without you
My heart explodes with tender
Feelings for you

Hope I'm not wrong to ask you
Hope that you feel the same way too
I want to hear you say those words
"I do"

It's plain
What your photo retains
Takes me back to that day
Oh the first time i set eyes on you

The stream
Oh such a wonderful dream
Cause these nightmarish scenes
To slowly drift away from me


I pray
That the time I am away
Is as short as they say
I long to be back with you

I pray
that my future is safe
How I long for that day
When I can be at home with you

When I can be alone with you
When I can be at home with you

Track Name: The Wait
Here I stand
Rifle in hand
Fearing what waits
In no-man's land
Track Name: Over the Top
Come on now lads, there'll be no time for fear
And you have to do your best

My heart beats faster as his words ring in my ears
A rolling volley in my chest

My trigger finger now is numb with cold
But not as numb
As my soul

All around me is the acrid scent of death
I can smell it in the air

Do I really have to take my final breath
Or will my life be spared

My trigger finger now is numb with cold
But not as numb
As my soul

Help me please
I'm on my knees

My body caked with mud, and tears stream down my face
Dear God, please, don't want to die

I never wanted to be in this awful place
I still don't know the reason why

Lord Kitchener, he said he wanted me
But I just want
To be free

Can't bear the thought of staying in this awful trench
Thick with vermin, lice and mud

But though I long to get away from this foul stench
Don't make me pay with my own blood

Lord Kitchener, he said he wanted me
But I just want
To be free

I'm on my knees
Help me please
I'm on my knees
Help me please

I recall those words

I can see what's ahead of me
My destiny's now known

I can see what's ahead of me
My destiny's now known

I can see what's ahead of me
My destiny's now known

I can see what's ahead of me
My destiny's now known

It was never part of my life's plan
To take the life of any man
And all I really want to be
Is with my loving family
No, it was never part of my life's plan
To take the life of any man
Please God, I beg you hear my plea
I just want to be free

Please find my loved ones
And say I love them
They're where I want to be

And my darling Grace
I long to see her face
And hold her close to me

Oh for one embrace
In this wretched place cos
I don't know what will be but

Tell my Mum and Dad
It is here
That I'll find my destiny
Track Name: A Deserter's Tale
As I watch over them
The paper in her hand
I know my name lives on
And hasn't turned to sand

Place it so gently now
There for all to see
No more than broken trees
The pardon they gave me

Never too late
No it's Never too late
Too late to tell the truth

And as they walk away
Tears are in their eyes
One last glance for me
In the broken war-torn skies

I’m so afraid
My best friend’s body
Lying next to me
Can’t take the pain
That’s in my head
Stay here and I’ll end up dead
Help me
Please help me
I have to run
It’s my only chance
No place for me in this madman’s dance
Must get home
Where I’ll be free
See my loved ones who care for me

Gazing down to
Where the poppies grow
Like drops of blood
Amongst the winter’s snow

A hero’s send off
For the fallen ones
While three hundred die
With bullets fired from ‘friendly’ guns

War is not a game

I’ve got to get home

The mud
The mire
The flames the fire
Please help me

I hear them
Their footsteps closing in on me
These angry faces will be the last I’ll ever see
And now the blindfold that is meant for me

The air is thick with blood that’s laced with fear
God help me!
Please help me get away from here
To you it’s just a game
War is just a game

The thoughts of home flood in
To save me from the truth
A thousand memories
The bleeding bloom of youth

And there before me
My Mother beckons me
To give me comfort for
The day I will not see

War is not a game
War is not a game
War is not a game
Track Name: Far and Away
I am...here


No one


I remember all

Yet nothing

The light
So bright


Yes I am believing


I am...home
Track Name: Lest We Forget
Lest we forget
All the pain and regret
They did not grow old
Like those that were left
At the setting of sun
And the breaking of dawn
Let our minds wander back
To those times so forlorn

Lest we forget
All the pain and regret
A clashing of sides
A losing of lives
Let us hope from now on
No more nations collide
It's important no more
Come along for the ride