Broken Horses

Deep in my cups and my whiskey
Sometimes the screaming will cease
Free-flowing tears fall unnoticed
Numbness my only release
Soldiers will tell you that warfare’s
Just one more title for Hell
I wonder if devils get nightmares
Of all of their victims as well

And broken horses, staring and still
Broken horses, like all those I killed
Broken horses, I can’t outrun
Those broken horses

“See, Ulysses the drunk was once Ulysses the soldier, and a high-ranking one too. And so it was they found themselves fighting in the brutal siege of Ilium some twenty years past. It was a slow, agonising war of attrition against one of the best defended districts in the city. A war that Ulysses the soldier was determined to end.”

After a decade of fighting
Still their defences stood firm
Heartless and cunning and scheming
Victory I would confirm
Offering peace and departing
We honoured our valiant foes
A statue that I had designed them
Sending a message of hope

And broken horses, all that I built
Broken horses, shattered by guilt
Broken horses, riding me down
Broken horses

“Ten years into the siege, Ulysses proposed a solution. Peace and independence for Ilium, free from the city’s clutches. It was agreed, and to commemorate the historic occasion, a vast statue was commissioned, honouring Ilium’s past as famed breeders of horses, back when such beasts still existed. The statue was scanned for explosives, it was scanned for bioweapons, it was scanned for hidden soldiers. There were none. It was accepted, and joy was unconfined.”

“Of course, they didn’t scan it for a soft, almost undetectable signal being broadcast. A signal of Ulysses’ design, aimed to gradually drive to madness those that heard it. After a week, all in Ilium was ripping and rending and tearing and blood. When they finally opened the gates of the district, there were none left alive. The war was over.”

Sometimes it’s hard to remember
The city was not always here
Animals long since extinguished
Roaming with nothing to fear
Once they were known as equestrians
Ilium honoured its past
Statues are all that remain now
Their riders have fallen at last

From broken horses, silent and stone
Broken horses, like cracked and fractured bone
Broken horses, all because of me
Broken horses
Broken horses
Broken horses