Fighters of the Fire

     I believe that most of the firemen and women who rushed into the twin towers knew that it was only a matter of time before it collapsed. They get trained about structures. They knew full well it was coming down. And yet they just kept going back inside. That sort of heroism is beyond my understanding, but not, I hope, beyond my appreciation.

      This song was difficult to write.  I wished to avoid a political posture, but at the same time recognize the self-sacrifice. Ordinary folks on an ordinary day doing extraordinary things…

 

Fighters of the Fire      160        ©2004 Dave Hadfield

 

Em                     D                   C                         Em

New York City Central on a perfect autumn day.

Em              D          C                      Bm

Eddy at his locker, putting things away.

A                  Em               A                         Bm

Eddy was a fireman, his shift was nearly through,

When the morning peace was shattered by a missile from the blue.

 

It only took a minute for the siren’s angry cry.

But no alarm was needed – every finger pointed high.

Near the end of Church St., the smoke was rising higher,

And every voice was calling for the fighters of the fire.

 

[Chorus:]

Em                    D     C                     Bm

Fighters of the fire, fighters of the fire,   [end of previous verse:]

[up]

“Every voice was calling for the fighters of the fire.”

 

Eddy had a partner: Thomas was his name.

For 7 years the 2 of them had entered smoke and flame.

Now they rode the pumper, but nothing seen before,

Was like that giant building on the 92th floor.

 

When they reached the firesite, the bullhorn made them run.

“There’re 15,000 people still inside – still to come,

“Start up on the 8th floor, work your way up higher.

“Now’s the time you need to shine, fighters of the fire.”                             

                                 

        [chorus]

 

Nothing they had trained for prepared them for this day,

Hurt and frightened people getting in each other’s way.

Eddy stuck with Thomas, the way they’d always done.

And they brought a dozen people at a time into the sun.

 

Time and time again – they might’ve won with any luck.

They pushed and pulled and carried, ‘til the 2nd missile struck

All bets were off at that point – the situation dire

The glass was running empty for the fighters of the fire.

 

[bridge]          

They did not turn from the call

When all the world saw it fall…   [slow]

 

New York City central on a perfect autumn day.

I’m standing here on Church St., where Tom and Eddy stay.

There’re people on the sidewalk, taxis on the street

Not a thing unusual except the hole here at my feet.

 

How shall we remember those who didn’t count the cost?

How shall we remind ourselves of people we have lost?

More that just a tower, more than just a pyre,

No one is more worthy than a fighter of the fire. [chorus and end]

 

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