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The Soldier And The Oak
by Elliott Park



This is a story that began long, long ago
I was a young oak tree in dark Missouri soil
And like all other saplings I had dreams of growing
Strong and tall

But one day a rebel with a bullet in his chest
Hung his rifle on my limbs and laid to rest
And there beside me as the blood soaked to my roots
The soldier sang
A song of grace

The heavy rifle bowed me over to the ground
Two years I stayed this way until the rifle fell
And in this manner for a hundred years I grew
All my dreams
Not meant to be

And then one day two men came with a cross cut saw
They spoke of how my arch would hold a weight so strong
And I feared not the blade for such a worthy cause
And so I fell
I gladly fell

Three winter days aboard a northbound train
Three more beneath the hewer's careful blade
And while he worked he praised my rich red grain
Perhaps it was the soldier's blood that day

Now I'm the wooden arch that holds a mighty bell
Three stocks before me cracked but I shall never fail
Up in a tall cathedral high above my dreams
Of long ago

And on Sunday mornings when I hear that sweet refrain
I see the soldier's face like it was yesterday
Calling angels down from heaven with that hymn he softly sang
Of God's good grace
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Lyrics submitted by z f.