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Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) was found guilty of heresy and burned at the stake at Rouen in 1431. Her story needs no retelling.
The first two verses of the song are from the standpoint of her executioner, Geoffrey Thérage, who was haunted by his part in her death - according to Pernoud, Thérage stated that he "greatly feared to be damned” for his part in the affair.
The third verse places this moral crisis in a more modern context.
Rachel Aliene Corrie (Rachel Cory) died in Rafah, Palestine in 2003 while taking part “in efforts to prevent the Israeli army's demolition of Palestinian houses” (quote from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Corrie , 06 Feb 2017).
take this image from my eyes this blazing angel offends my sight
her light shines through my disguise of a man who knows wrong from right
though she is consumed by flame she does not hold the fire to blame
and though I’m moved to call her mad she symbolizes all I’ve never had
Joan of Arc made no outcry when her belief condemned her to the stake
by that final sacrifice she showed a faith no mortal man could break
though she is consumed by fire it only lifts her spirit higher
and though I think her quite insane, it seems her love was greater than her pain
Rachel Corrie, where was her mind, she had a motive I don’t understand
I’ve searched her short life trying to find a reason why I should not change my stand
now she lies there in the dust I wonder just who failed her trust
and though it’s true I knew her not, I’m wounded by a deep and feral thought
for all my claims to a higher road I do not have that which she holds