Guardian Of The Republic

3.    Guardian Of The Republic

Words & Music by Kristian Svensson

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Way back I fought in the Civil War 

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If it was justified, I'm not sure

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These days I'd say our leaders are way

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To good finding reasons for war

But there was this guy, Lyons Wakeman,

A soldier who fought by my side

And he never doubted or moaned or complained

Up to the moment he died

Before we got sent into battle

We were in D.C. to defend

Our nations capital and Lyons joy

Was not something he'd just pretend

No he spoke of "emancipation"

And it sounded so true to him

I have a memory of him that day

So clear while others gone dim

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A guardian of the republic

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That looked up at Capitol Hill


And saw the big statue on top of the dome

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And looked so happy, so thrilled

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The statue referred to as "Freedom":

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A woman with shield and a sword

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Standing so high above all men alive

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Beneath no male but our Lord

Standing so high above all men alive

Beneath no male but our Lord

Many years after the carnage

that killed him had come to an end

I got to read all the letters his folks

recieved back then from my old friend

And it turns out Lyons was a woman

Who walked around dressed as a man

And joined the 153rd

As Private Lyons Wakeman

And by then she had worked as a boatman

On the Shenango canal

Where she got freedom and cold cash that none

Would ever have given a gal

So when the war with The South came

She knew what her duty must be

Sure you might say that she lived a lie

But a lie that let her be free

And a guardian of the republic...

We dodged the bullets of Pleasant Hill

on the Red River Campaign

But she got poisoned from drinking the water

That women and men needs the same

Thank God her sex was kept secret

though the doctors in the end must have known

She got full honors and still it says

"Lyons Wakeman" on her tombstone

A guardian of the republic...

A person who lived life in freedom

And did so of her own accord

Now there she lie beneath all men alive

But judged by no male but our Lord

Now there she lie beneath all men alive

But judged by no male but our Lord