1. Tell me the names of the unsung heroes,
those who refused to kill.
Tell me the names of the sixteen thousand
whose courage inspires us still.
2. Tell me the stories of unsung heroes,
socialists, quakers and more,
tortured and frog marched and sent to hard labour
for refusing to kill in the war.
3. Sing me a song of the unsung heroes,
women who went to The Hague,
and laid out foundations for stopping the war
and an equal peace to be made.
4. Tell me the names of the unsung heroes,
those who refuse to kill,
in Turkey and Israel, South Korea and Cyprus,
their courage inspires us still.
Finish with a final round of the ‘Tell me the names’ chorus.
Read out names of local WW1 and other COs on top of the backing ‘Tell me the names’ before the first verse and after V1 and 2. After V3 read out names of local women who went to the Hague or who were involved and after V4 names of current COs from around the world.
- All parts:
- Upper backing:
This song was written for the International Contentious Objector’s Day vigil on the Mound in Edinburgh on May 15th 2014, the year of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The words refer to WW1 Conscientious Objectors and the 1,200 women who traveled to the hugely significant International Women’s Congress in The Hague in 1915 whilst war was raging, and laid out comprehensive plans for peace. This led to the formation of the Women’s International league for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). In the last verse we think of those who are punished still today for refusing to kill.