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What Lewis Did Last

This song is by Elvis Costello and appears on the vinyl release of Secret, Profane And Sugarcane (2009).

The smoke from the battlefield drifted away
As Corporal J. Lewis deserted the fray
He ran from the bullets, evaded arrest
He told his companions I must get my rest

He told his companions I dream every night
The faces of men I've dispatched in the fight
Their shades will approach me as I lie so still
They offer their hand but they wish me no ill
They're shaking their heads now at something they know
For there is another who still haunts me so

Her name was Naomi, her life it was brief
She was plain, she was homely and destined for grief
She coveted riches, believed in my prize
She fell to her end, in the water she lies

There were no farewell kisses, no tender embrace
She was guilty of something beyond avarice
She entered the waters and down she did flow
But they gathered her up and it troubles me

It's not the account of her pitiful death
It's not her last pleading for her final breath
But when I consider how she once beseeched me
Her face has no features, her tongue has no speech

So I'm here to tell you what Lewis did last
Ahead of the firing squad and trumpet blast
He broke through the glass for a lock of her hair
He dug up her grave but the coffin was bare

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