Waiting To Hear            ©Brian Hooper, mid 1990s
They came and took the men this morning;
The children stopped their noisy play.
It seemed to happen without warning,
Husbands and fathers marched away.
And now the silence hangs like rainclouds,
Waiting to burst upon the land;
We sit and wait for news about them,
And which side has the upper hand.
Waiting, waiting to hear,
Holding, hold back a tear,
Fighting, fighting the fear,
As our men are fighting someone's war.
The TV news tells us so little,
We might as well not have it on;
It's all about the ones they're fighting,
We want to hear about our own.
But when the priest walks by the window
The shiver runs down to your shoes;
You long to hear his words of comfort,
But you pray he isn't bringing news.
Waiting, waiting to hear …….
It's bedtime stories for the children,
Sleeping tablets for their Mum;
Prayers and brandy for the parents,
But even then the sleep won't come
Until we know that it's all over,
And our men are coming home,
Fearful memories locked inside them,
To fight more battles on their own.
Waiting, waiting to hear …….
It took me about five years to write this song.  It sprang from a conversation with a friend whose then husband had served in the Falklands conflict, but then it lay somewhat dormant until I was inspired to get on with it by a songwriting workshop with two of the greats - Leon Rosselson and Si Kahn - organised by the Fo’c’sle, or more accurately by Debra Chesman, who was running the club at the time.  I like the tension in the song, which derives largely from the chords I use on the guitar.  It’s on “Hooperman In The Can”.