On the first day of Christmas a quiet patrol,
Streets almost deserted, we barely saw a soul.
On the second day of Christmas another easy day
Everybody it seemed keeping out of our way.
On the third day of Christmas suicide bombers struck
Killing those travelling in an old beat up truck
On the fourth day of Christmas a retaliatory attack
Relatives of yesterday's dead striking back.
On the fifth day of Christmas back to a relative calm
No evidence of anybody suffering any harm
On the Sixth day of Christmas we could all hear
The crack of sniper rifles seeming far too near.
On the seventh day of Christmas peace broke out
Again an eerie silence as our patrol moved about
On the eighth day of Christmas the Padre conducted prayers
And called for the understanding of all parties out there.
On the ninth day of Christmas the truce held still
As if being maintained by sheer force of will
On the tenth day of Christmas with tour's end in sight
Mortar bombs whined in breaking up the night
On the eleventh day of Christmas our tour came to an end
And we were replaced by more rested men
On the twelfth day of Christmas resting back at base
A forty eight hour break before return to that awful place