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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Green Fields of France (The Fureys)




An odd set of song lyrics to post but my mother used to sing this to me as a child and it will never leave me.

I think it is truly beautiful.

Well how do you do, young Willie McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside,
And rest for a while 'neath the warm summer sun?
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the great fall-in in Nineteen-Sixteen.
I hoped you died well, and I hoped you died clean,
Or young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drums slowly,
Did they play the fife lowly,
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?
Did the band play the last post and chorus,
And did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

Did you leave any wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart, is your memory enshrined?
Although you died back in Nineteen-Sixteen,
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed in forever behind the glass frame
In an old photograph torn, battered and bent,
And faded to yellow in a brown, leather frame

The sun now it shines on the green fields of France.
There's a warm, summer breeze that makes the red poppies dance.
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds:
There's no gas, no barbed wire; there's no guns firing down
But here in this graveyard, it's still no mans land,
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand,
To a man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
To a whole generation that were butchered and damned

Ah, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why,
To those that lie here, now why did they die?
And did they believe when they answered the call,
Did they really believe that this war would end war?
Well, the sorrows, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing and dying was all done in vain.
For young Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again and again and again and again!

Did they beat the drums slowly,
Did they play the fife lowly,
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?
Did the band play the last post and chorus,
And did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

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