This song is much more complex the way Bob plays it, but this is an easy way to play it and it definitely gives you an idea. Am When John Brown went off to war to fight on a foreign shore. G D Am His mother sure was proud of him! Am As he stood straight and tall in his uniform and all. G D Am His mother's face broke out all to a grin. "Oh son, you look so fine, I'm glad you're a son of mine, You make me proud to know you hold a gun. Do what the captain says, lots of medals you will get, And we'll put them on the wall when you come home." When that old train pulled out, John's ma began to shout, Tellin' ev'rybody in the whole neighborhood: "That's my son that's about to go, he's a soldier now, you know." She made well sure her neighbors understood. C G Am Oh! Lord! Understood! She got a letter once in a while and her face broke into a smile As she showed them to the people from next door. And she bragged about her son with his uniform and gun, And these things you called a good old-fashioned war. Then the letters ceased to come, for a long time they'd never come. They ceased to come for about nine months or more. Then a letter finally came saying, "Go down and meet the train. Your son's a-coming home from the war." Oh! Lord! From the war. She smiled and went right down, she looked up and all around But she did not see her soldier son in sight. But as all the people passed, she saw her son at last, When she did she could hardly believe her eyes. His face was all shot up and his hands were both blown off And he wore a metal brace around his waist. He whispered kind of slow, in a voice she did not know, While she couldn't even recognize his face! "Oh my darling son, tell me what to you they done. How is it that you come to be this way?" His mouth could hardly move as he tried his best to talk And she did not even recognize his voice. "Don't you remember, Ma, when I went off to war You thought it was the best thing I could do? I was on the battleground, you were home, feeling proud. Thank God you wasn't standing in my shoes." "Oh, I thought when I was there, God, what am I doing here? I'm a-tryin' to kill my enemy or die tryin'. But as the enemy came close, the thing that hurt me most As I saw that his face looked just like mine." Oh! Lord! Just like mine! "And I couldn't help but think, through the thunder sound and stink, That I was just a puppet in a play. And through the roar and smoke, this string is finally broke, And a cannon ball blew my eyes away." As he turned away to walk, his Ma was still in shock At seein' the metal brace that helped him stand. But as he turned to go, he called his mother close And he dropped his medals down into her hand. Oh! Lord! To her hand!