Song for the Unsung

from by Sam Steffen

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This is the song for the unsung heroes
For the losers and zeroes no history records
For the plain and blameless quiet nameless
Many who never stray too far from the shore
Who work their hardest for no one’s notice
Who earn their money but have to steal their rest
Who lose their chances at the cheap salvation
As they fall far short of ever being second best
You daily grinders and watch-spring winders
Hopeless reminders of what all you might have been
I salute you in all your strivings
Remember there are more of you than them

This is the song for the ordinary sister
Of the beauty contest winner with the recessive traits
Whom no one stares at or asks to dinner
Or invites out dancing or wants to date
Who grows to old age and never marries
Who has no children to call her very own
But who gives her love out to all who’ll take it
And is, wherever she is, right at home

This is the song for the unknown soldier
Who grew no bolder the nearer war he got
Who aimed his rifle for his own survival
At his would-be enemy but never took the shot
Who died in battle, came home like chattel,
Was laid to rest in an unmarked pauper’s grave
Was unremembered save as young and foolish
And by a few who knew him as less than brave
You adventure seekers, timid time-keepers
Who watch the bleachers from the middle of the fray
As you go headlong into unknown country
May God bless and keep you safe upon your way

This is the song for the obscure explorer
Who winds up poorer than when he started out
Who never arrives at his destination
Whose explanation the world must do without
Who will lose his compass, his only atlas
Whose tears of madness will ingredient the sea
As the waves that pound him will lift and drown him
With his question sounding: will anyone remember me?


from Ain't It a Pity?, released July 31, 2016
Dave Fry, mandolin; Ian Gallagher, organ; Sam Steffen, guitar, vocals



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