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Lay for the Day
31st January

1915: poisonous gas is used on the field of battle for the first time, by the German army on the Eastern Front. Freezing weather makes their chlorine shells largely ineffective, however, and the innovation goes unremarked by the Russian troops against whom it is launched.
Gas made a more telling appearance on 22nd April of the same year, when a five-mile-long cloud of chlorine was released from cylinders against French and Algerian troops on the Western Front. In the whole course of the war, though, it is the Russian army that suffers most from gas, which kills, in total, more than 50,000 of its men.
A song from The Children’s first CD, Play:

Next Millennium

An end to hunger, an end to greed,
An end to warfare, an end to need,
The full potential of every person freed,
But hell – oh well,
Maybe next millennium.

An end to terror, an end to waste,
An end to conflicts of creed and race,
Time for meditation and not a world of haste,
But hell – oh well,
Maybe next millennium.

Now I remember in a book I read
The poet Thomas Hardy said,
After two thousand years of mass
We’ve got as far as poison gas.

No more pollution and no hard sell,
No dying seas, no forests felled,
No cynical leaders with no more lies to tell,
But hell – oh well,
Maybe next millennium.
But hell – oh well,
How ’bout next millennium?
But hell – oh well,
Maybe next millennium.

Words and music by The Children

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar