Blood on the Risers

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"Blood Upon the Risers" is an American paratrooper song from World War II. It is associated with all airborne units, including the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division, and the 120th CTS (United States). This song has been featured on the television miniseries Band of Brothers and the video game Brothers in Arms, and also mentioned in Donald Burgett's book, Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy. Sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the song tells of the final fatal jump of a rookie paratrooper whose parachute fails to deploy. This results in him falling to his death.

Lyrics[edit]

J. H. Kight Copyright 1943

He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright,
He checked all his equipment and made sure his pack was tight;
He had to sit and listen to those awful engines roar,
"You ain't gonna jump no more!"
(CHORUS)
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
He ain't gonna jump no more!
"Is everybody happy?" cried the Sergeant looking up,
Our Hero feebly answered "Yes," and then they stood him up;
He jumped into the icy blast, his static line unhooked,
He ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
He counted long, he counted loud, he waited for the shock,
He felt the wind, he felt the cold, he felt the awful drop,
The silk from his reserves spilled out, and wrapped around his legs,
He ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
The risers swung around his neck, connectors cracked his dome,
Suspension lines were tied in knots around his skinny bones;
The canopy became his shroud; he hurtled to the ground.
He ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
The days he'd lived and loved and laughed kept running through his mind,
He thought about the girl back home, the one he'd left behind;
He thought about the medic corps, and wondered what they'd find,
He ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
The ambulance was on the spot, the jeeps were running wild,
The medics jumped and screamed with glee, they rolled their sleeves and smiled,
For it had been a week or more since last a 'Chute had failed,
He ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
He hit the ground, the sound was "SPLAT", his blood went spurting high;
His comrades, they were heard to say "A hell of a way to die!"
He lay there, rolling 'round in the welter of his gore,
He ain't gonna jump no more.
(CHORUS)
(slowly, solemnly; about half the speed of the other verses)
There was blood upon the risers, there were brains upon the chute,
Intestines were a-dangling from his paratroopers suit,
He was a mess, they picked him up, and poured him from his boots,
He ain't gonna jump no more.
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die,
He ain't gonna jump no more!

Chorus confusion[edit]

It is disputed[by whom?] as to whether the chorus says "Gory, Gory" or "Glory, Glory" like the original "Battle Hymn of the Republic".[citation needed] Since the song is often sung at a shout, it is hard to distinguish whether there is in fact an "L" sound when it is sung. The original published version, however, clearly shows "gory" to be the word.[1]

Some versions of the song substitute the second line of the chorus for "with a rifle on his back as he's falling through the sky".

References[edit]

External links[edit]