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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2018, 09:06 AM

44. I guy I knew wrote an iconic song about WWI. It's been recorded by a dozen others at least.

When back when, I used to play in folk festivals in Germany. One time, there were a lot of musicians from Scotland, and one was there who had since moved to Australia, but was back touring Europe at the time of the festival. Really nice guy. His name was Eric Bogle. His song was alternately called "The Green Fields of France" but is better known as "No Man's Land." Eric's lyrics were quite powerful as well:

Well how do you do, Private William McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your grave side?
A rest for awhile in the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done
And I see by your gravestone that you were only 19
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, William McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart are you always 19
Or are you just a stranger without even a name
Forever enclosed behind some glass-pane
In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

Well the sun it shines down on these green fields of France
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
The trenches are vanished now under the plough
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard it is still No Man's Land
And the countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation that was butchered and downed

Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

And I can't help but wonder now Willie McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe them that this war would end war?
But the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame -
The killing, the dying - it was all done in vain
For Willie McBride, it's all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again

Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they sound the pipe lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
elleng Nov 2018 OP
empedocles Nov 2018 #1
Stuart G Nov 2018 #2
brush Nov 2018 #3
MFM008 Nov 2018 #6
brush Nov 2018 #7
babylonsister Nov 2018 #4
handmade34 Nov 2018 #5
elleng Nov 2018 #10
handmade34 Nov 2018 #14
pazzyanne Nov 2018 #19
JI7 Nov 2018 #15
Ilsa Nov 2018 #16
handmade34 Nov 2018 #17
Raine Nov 2018 #42
LineReply .
dalton99a Nov 2018 #8
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 2018 #9
elleng Nov 2018 #11
MaryMagdaline Nov 2018 #13
GeoWilliam750 Nov 2018 #24
dchill Nov 2018 #41
Historic NY Nov 2018 #12
ornotna Nov 2018 #18
Hekate Nov 2018 #20
smirkymonkey Nov 2018 #48
crazytown Nov 2018 #21
PatrickforO Nov 2018 #23
crazytown Nov 2018 #28
GulfCoast66 Nov 2018 #33
crazytown Nov 2018 #36
GulfCoast66 Nov 2018 #37
crazytown Nov 2018 #38
GulfCoast66 Nov 2018 #39
crazytown Nov 2018 #40
dflprincess Nov 2018 #22
Hekate Nov 2018 #30
NastyRiffraff Nov 2018 #25
crazytown Nov 2018 #32
LudwigPastorius Nov 2018 #26
crazytown Nov 2018 #27
Hekate Nov 2018 #29
crazytown Nov 2018 #34
FailureToCommunicate Nov 2018 #31
Hekate Nov 2018 #35
Pacifist Patriot Nov 2018 #43
LineNew Reply I guy I knew wrote an iconic song about WWI. It's been recorded by a dozen others at least.
DFW Nov 2018 #44
Hekate Nov 2018 #45
DFW Nov 2018 #46
Hekate Nov 2018 #47
DFW Nov 2018 #49
Hekate Nov 2018 #50
DFW Nov 2018 #51
brooklynite Nov 2018 #52
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