The Pegasus Awards

Serious Steel

Leslie Fish

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category
2000 Best End of the World Song
Leslie is one of the truly legendary figures of filk. Much of her recorded music has gone out of print; but there is still much available (including the songbook The Incomplete Leslie Fish) from Random Factors.

Serious Steel (Bringing the War Home)

Copyright ©1993 by Leslie Fish
Copyright assigned to Random Factors
Lyrics posted by permission

Oh, the bombs went up, and the crunch came down, in the middle of the Pennsic War.
It left us stranded in Cooper's field, ten thousand souls and more.
We had nothing with us but what we'd brought: our cars and our camping gear
And our arms and armor, tools and skills, that we'd worked on all that year.

So dress your ranks, lift your pikes,
Tight as the teeth of a comb.
Rattling, clanking, down the road,
The War is going home.

So a truce was called, and a council held, and we argued all that night.
Then we all set off in a caravan by the early morning light.
We had tipped our arrows and pikes with steel, and were armored, every one.
Our swords and bows hung ready to hand, for the time of rattan was done.

The very first town that we came to, we stopped for fuel and food.
The gas-man said he had none to sell. The cops were worse than rude.
They drew their guns. We drew our bows. They fired. We won the day-
For their back-up radios all were dead...and shortly, so were they.

The very next town that we came to, they had no fuel at all.
The mechanics said they could change our cars to run on alcohol.
But a thousand cars would take as long as to grow a crop of grain,
So we made a deal, and moved on out in a horse-drawn wagon-train.

The very third town that we came to, the rulers had gone mad.
The cops tried to enslave us all and steal what-all we had.
Our armor proved half bullet-proof: our weapons worked as well.
The townsfolk afterwards thanked us all for freeing them from hell.

So-town by town we worked our way, just to take our people home.
The legends that we left behind, it seems, would rival Rome;
For now the folk come seeking us to take their troubles on,
To be their teachers and champions in a world where law is gone.

How can we not take up the steel to serve our people's need?
How can we leave our land to fall to any bandit's greed?
We have the skill to save our folk from whatever evil thrives, ...and...
Admit the truth-this is the chance we've hoped for all our lives!

So dress your ranks, lift your pikes
Tight as the teeth of a comb.
Rattling, clanking, down the road
Dressed in leather and steel and woad,
All too aware of history's load
The War is going home!-
The War is coming home!


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