I’d written “better to die on your feet than live on your knees” on it.
That was eighteen years ago.
This is closer to where I am now:
Now some may want to die young, man
Young and gloriously
Get it straight now mister
Hey buddy that ain’t me
‘Cause I got something on my mind
That sets me straight and walkin’ proud
And I want all the time
All that heaven will allow.
Bruce Springsteen, 1988. Like the lyrics more than the recording.
Here’s another version, this time with Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie talking to a man with a gun:
“You know,” he said conversationally — they might have been two blokes in the pub — “when I was in the army there were some guys who said they’d rather die in combat — go down fighting — than live out their four score and ten. Trudge through it, ” he added with a little laugh. “And I never understood how they could think like that.”
“And now you do?”
“Yeah, I bet that’s how you think, too.”
“No,” Jackson said. “Once upon a time, maybe, but not now. Personally, I’m happy to trudge to the end . I’d like to meet my grandchildren. Put the gun down, Vince.”