The watchers on the hillside stand in silence as the dawn appears
Then they gather to their horses in an instant as a sunshaft sears
Through the morning mist which hangs low in the valleys like a serpent's tail
Both poisonous to enemies and heroes in the soldiers' tale.
A lonely tower stands empty as a refuge by the sullen lake
As the straggle of survivors in their weakness make a grave mistake
For the crossroad sign which points towards the coast is yet another nail
In the cross of the Pretender and his comrades in the soldiers' tale.
The dream we once knew is now over
The battle is lost, the retreat has begun
Let us make our escape in the dead of the night
While the lone widows wail in the soldiers' tale.
The French boat at the ready stands at anchor on the swollen tide
His loyal followers raise a faint cheer as he draws aside
The Pretender's 'cause is lost, a sad farewell as the boat sets sail
And the rain hurls down on the challenge of the gauntlet in the soldiers' tale.
The soldiers' song is never sung, the soldiers' battle never won
The soldiers' lives are bought and sold, the soldiers' bayonets are cold
The soldiers' guns are never fired, the soldiers' eyes are never tired
The soldiers' hearts are filled with hate, a soldier's 'cause must ever wait.