“Forward march, forward march!”, they said,
The ones in States and in Spain.
Hoping for a new crimson dawn,
On board were 82 men.
With bugle calls and martial laws,
Reigned terror in the land of sugarcane.
Thousands were broken and beaten,
Enraged, were the 82 men.
The wounds of Santiago and Mexico
Sang of crushed limbs in chain.
The island was yet to be freed, pledged the 82 men.
Orders gushed in to crush and grind,
Let them shower in bullet rain.
Broken arms and hunger pangs called upon,
The 82 men.
Then some rose in hundreds
To rebel against the terror reign
In a distant land with nothing to lose
It all started with 82 men.
Then there were those who failed and fled
Their giants in khakis went insane,
How did they have Santa Clara
With only 82 men?
The 82 rose hundreds from slumber,
Ending the supreme white bargain.
Battered souls groaned and sang once more
The tale of 82 men.
Illustration by Debapriya Chakraborty