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A Folded Flag And Wooden Box
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 Posted: Wed Sep 15th, 2021 10:05 pm
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cmaja
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I watched the History channel special, Desert One, about the failed rescue attempt of 52 hostages from the US embassy in Iran on 4/24-25/80. Major Harold Lewis was one of the pilots killed in that disaster. I flew with him for two years when we were together in Okinawa, Japan. I was thinking about how his wife may have taken this tragedy and it reminded me of another death I experienced in Vietnam of Ssgt. Earlie James Butler.

Ssgt. Butler died, along with two others, on 3/14/66 when his squad got hit by a claymore mine. He was married with kids. I thought about what his wife would have to go through when I saw him and the others being removed, each in a sagging poncho.

I wrote this lyric in honor of their deaths and the suffering of their wives and all widows and widowers of veterans.

A Folded Flag And Wooden Box

Verse 1:
I stared at you in your greens
Those stripes, that face, those eyes
So sharp, so strong, so clean
Your smile made my heart rise

Our marriage made our life true
Our love, our kids, our home
Then war, so swift, took you
And left me all alone

Pre-chorus:
Just a year and you’d return
No need to be concerned

Chorus:
But promises still fill my heart
Everyday since we’ve been apart
Letters of how you’re doing well
Now I’m dying in a living hell
When suddenly my world just stopped
With a folded flag and wooden box

Verse 2:
So how am I gonna live
My God, my Lord, I’ve died
So quick, can I forgive
No one’s left by my side

And my days have turned to nights
No love, no life, no hope
And my heart feels like ice
How can I ever cope

Pre-chorus:
Years pass by, what have I learned
I should be more concerned

Chorus:
But promises still haunt my heart
Everyday it just breaks apart
Letters that linger in the drawer
Remind me of the hell of war
When suddenly my world just stopped
With a folded flag and wooden box

Bridge:
Did you think of me as you slipped away
Did you call my name out loud
Did you hear God’s voice and obey
Remembering your promises and vows

Chorus:
Those promises that haunt my heart
Everyday it just breaks apart
Letters that I don’t read no more
Try to forget the hell of war
That fateful day my world just stopped
With a folded flag and wooden box

© 2021 Charles M Anderson

Last edited on Sun Oct 3rd, 2021 07:50 am by cmaja



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 Posted: Wed Sep 15th, 2021 11:21 pm
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RainyDayMan
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That's very moving Charles, the passion and pain shine through.
Everyone suffers in wars and wives get their share and widows more.
Strong write.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 16th, 2021 07:17 pm
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JAPOV
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This is a very strong write! A worthy write!



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 Posted: Sat Sep 18th, 2021 08:25 pm
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cmaja
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RainyDayMan wrote:
That's very moving Charles, the passion and pain shine through.
Everyone suffers in wars and wives get their share and widows more.
Strong write.


Thank you, Owen. I lost a lot of friends in the Army and Air Force and, although I never had the opportunity to attend any of the many funerals —due to distance and/or operational commitments, I sympathized with the despair of their loved ones.

Charles



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 Posted: Wed Sep 29th, 2021 04:41 pm
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cmaja
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JAPOV wrote:
This is a very strong write! A worthy write!

Thanks, always appreciate your feedback.

Charles



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 Posted: Thu Sep 30th, 2021 03:10 pm
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BRD
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I have to say, the bridge is pretty powerful. The first line in the bridge is a heart-stopper.

I also really liked the second line in each verse- the three sets of adjective-nouns. I can envision a lot of ways that the music and rhythm could make it even more impactful.

As far as things I would offer as potential changes- the last line in the first verse, "I could feel my heart rise." I would suggest something more abstract and metaphorical like "You gave me butterflies" referring to that feeling in our stomach when we're around someone we're passionately in love with or referencing his appearance to how the singer feels watching a "sunrise" or something like that.

In the second pre-chorus, I would suggest saying, "I should have been concerned" referencing that he/she was not facing the reality of the very real danger that the spouse may not return from duty. Sort of like, you talk yourself into thinking everything will definitely be fine, and you haven't prepared yourself for the possibility of tragedy.

That said, I think you absolutely did what the song was intended to do. Really strong top to bottom!

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 Posted: Sat Oct 2nd, 2021 05:21 pm
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cmaja
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BRD wrote:
I have to say, the bridge is pretty powerful. The first line in the bridge is a heart-stopper.

I also really liked the second line in each verse- the three sets of adjective-nouns. I can envision a lot of ways that the music and rhythm could make it even more impactful.

As far as things I would offer as potential changes- the last line in the first verse, "I could feel my heart rise." I would suggest something more abstract and metaphorical like "You gave me butterflies" referring to that feeling in our stomach when we're around someone we're passionately in love with or referencing his appearance to how the singer feels watching a "sunrise" or something like that.

In the second pre-chorus, I would suggest saying, "I should have been concerned" referencing that he/she was not facing the reality of the very real danger that the spouse may not return from duty. Sort of like, you talk yourself into thinking everything will definitely be fine, and you haven't prepared yourself for the possibility of tragedy.

That said, I think you absolutely did what the song was intended to do. Really strong top to bottom!


Thank you, BRD, for your excellent feedback and suggestions. I took your suggestions to heart and changed those lines you referred to. Check it out. I think it’s improved.

Charles



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 Posted: Sun Oct 3rd, 2021 12:55 am
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Andrea
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Losing people in war is a tragedy. Losing a loved one is beyond heartbreaking. This captures the emotions well. Nice write.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 3rd, 2021 05:48 am
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Marilyn Oakley
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I've been away awhile, but when an email came in with this one, I wanted to respond.

This is a very moving and heartfelt lyric, Charles. Well done. Thank you for sharing.

Hopefully I can get back here a bit sooner and from time to time. I can get rather extremely busy, as I do animated videos too, and do a weekly series, as well as song/lyric writing.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 5th, 2021 02:54 am
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cmaja
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Marilyn Oakley wrote:
I've been away awhile, but when an email came in with this one, I wanted to respond.

This is a very moving and heartfelt lyric, Charles. Well done. Thank you for sharing.

Hopefully I can get back here a bit sooner and from time to time. I can get rather extremely busy, as I do animated videos too, and do a weekly series, as well as song/lyric writing.


Hi Marilyn,
Glad you’re back! Thanks so much for your positive feedback. So many of these young spouses put their trust, their heart and soul, into supporting their military loved ones, thinking, hoping, things will okay and ending up crushed. My grandson was a Ranger —he’s now with Delta— and he when to numerous funerals after eight deployments in Afghanistan and two in Iraq. It just tears him apart to experience the suffering of their wives and families. God bless our Gold Star families.

Keep the musical creative process going!

Charles

Last edited on Tue Oct 5th, 2021 07:35 am by cmaja



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 Posted: Sat Oct 9th, 2021 04:59 am
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cmaja
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Andrea wrote:
Losing people in war is a tragedy. Losing a loved one is beyond heartbreaking. This captures the emotions well. Nice write.

Hi Andrea,
Thank you for your review and appropriate comment. There is very little to gain through war.

Always appreciate your input.

Charles



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 Posted: Sat Oct 9th, 2021 11:01 am
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Richard Cliff
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Heartfelt Charles, well thought through.
Regards
Richard

Last edited on Sat Oct 9th, 2021 11:02 am by Richard Cliff

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 Posted: Mon Oct 11th, 2021 06:51 pm
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cmaja
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Richard Cliff wrote:
Heartfelt Charles, well thought through.
Regards
Richard


I appreciate your positive feedback, Richard. Sometimes war brings out the best in us.

Charles



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