‘One summer evening drunk to hell I stood there nearly lfeless’ The song seems to be about lost love and its relatively light burden compared with the heavy memories of the wounds of the ‘fallen’, which haunt a war veteran. I have always been drawn to the lines: ‘While Ray and Philomena sang of my elusive dreams.’ I will comment here only on the choice of the woman’s name. Philomena means ‘beloved’ and so seems appropriate to the theme of the song, but the martyrdom of Saint Philomena is still more relevant: ‘According to Sister Maria Luisa di Gesù, Saint Philomena told her she was the daughter of a king in Greece who, with his wife, had converted to Christianity. At the age of about 13 she took a vow of consecrated virginity. When the Emperor Diocletian threatened to make war on her father, he went with his family to Rome to ask for peace. The Emperor fell in love with the young Philomena and, when she refused to be his wife, he subjected her to a series of torments: scourging, from whose effects two angels cured her; drowning with an anchor attached to her, but two angels cut the rope and raised her to the river bank; being shot with arrows, but on the first occasion her wounds were healed, on the second the arrows turned aside, and on the third, they returned and killed six of the archers, and several of the others became Christians. Finally the Emperor had her decapitated, which occurred on a Friday at three in the afternoon, as with the death of Jesus. The two anchors, three arrows, the palm and the ivy leaf on the tiles found in the tomb were interpreted as symbols of her martyrdom’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philomena As to Philomena’s singing, Philomel is one of the names given to the nightingale, which is also why it is the name of a steel-stringed fiddle. It’s a shame about Ray?