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Daily Lyric: THE END OF AN ERA

Three years of wearing green

Of toeing the line and discipline

So completely not my scene

What an experience

Hair clipped short and polished boots

Good old-fashioned target shoots

Standing at attention and throwing salutes

What an experience

Red alerts in the midnight hours

Sentry duty in tin-can towers

Squat outhouses and ice-cold showers

What an experience

Forced marches and two-mile runs

Morning inspections and cleaning guns

How much longer till this is done

What an experience

Howitzers and APCs

Charges, shells, and cannons, oh please

Enough is enough, no more of these

What an experience

Those hellholes that I got into

Like Noam where the hot wind blew

Or Bajuria and Shivta too

What an experience

Sergeants that would shice my head

Bouncing coins off my bed

Well, now let them all drop dead

What an experience

Commanders showing off their ranks

With egos the size of a squad of tanks

Sign another hitch? Hey NO THANKS!

What an experience

Where have I gone to, where have I been

How the hell did I get in

Three years wasted, it’s practically a sin

What an experience

Oh, I know how it’s so vital

We’re talking about our survival

Brothers in arms by the soldiers’ bible

What an experience

So let me get up now and shout it

I could’ve lived my life without it

Trying not to think about it

What an experience

It’s gone to my head now, so don’t mind me

The free world is where you’ll find me

As the gates of the Bakum recede behind me

What an experience

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Discharge papers, 5-3-88
Discharge papers, May 3, 1988. The photo was taken on my first day in the army three years earlier. My expression speaks for itself.

I was discharged from my service in the Israel Defense Forces on May 3, 1988, some three years less four days after I started. Once a soldier passes the midpoint of his service, he "flips the record over," to use an archaic term, and starts counting down to the discharge date (known affectionately as the manayak in IDF slang), which cannot come fast enough. It was during this "Side B" period that I wrote the song, envisioning that day when time and power of decision would ostensibly be my own. Whatever decisions I'd make after that, and their consequences, would become the subjects of many songs that came later; I wanted to capture the moment when the whole world lay spread out before me for the taking.

Musically, I thought of Lou Reed's song "The Blue Mask" (the title song of the album by that name) when envisioning the music for these lyrics. However, this song was never recorded or performed to date.

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