I've written a number of songs over the years, some that I set to unique tunes I created, some set to old traditional folk songs. This is one that's all mine. I think it's the best thing I've ever done, but if you're not into story songs/ballads, you probably won't care about it. This describes a real event, the battle of Franklin, TN on November 30, 1864. My Great great Uncle John Anderson, sergeant, Co. K, 33rd Mississippi Infantry was killed there. This song implies that he knew his time was up. It's told from the point-of-view of his brother, my Great Grandfather Jeff Anderson.
A Cold Wind's A-Comin'
© 2003 Wayne B. Anderson
John stood patiently waiting, then I heard him say
A cold wind's a-coming, I think today's the day
A cold wind's a-coming to chill me to the bone
A cold wind's a-coming to carry me on home.
I replied the weather's cool and the wind might blow
We might get a cold rain or even snow
But that's no sign the end is near, that your time has come
'Til this war is over, there's no hope of going home.
But John saw what I could not in the breeze that freshened then
And the next words that were spoken gave the order "Forward, men."
So we stepped out on the two-mile plain that would soon be red with blood
And we'd "play Hell" in Tennessee to please our General Hood.
We were part of Loring's men on the battle line far right
Someone called, "If we double-quick, we might get there 'fore night.
With all the cannon soon to fire they'll light their lines like day
But an angry wind of shot and shell is what will come our way."
While too far out for musket fire, the cannon shells began to fall
Though no shell fell near, John to me he did call
"The wind just freshened and I felt its first stab of icy pain
I can't go on; come back for me when the battle wanes."
At the earth works no cold wind blew 'cross the ranks of grey
Hot and angry came shot and shell as night fell over day
I looked back to where John sat 'neath a small tree all alone
I saw the shell burst in the branches; I knew John was gone.
John sat patiently waiting, I could almost hear him say
A cold wind's a-coming, I know today's the day
A cold wind's a-coming, I'm chilled to the bone
A cold wind's a-coming, I'm finally going home.