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Well. how'd, you do Private, William McBride Do?
you mind if I sit here down by your graveside I'll?
rest here awhile in the warm summer sun I've,
been walking all day Lord, and, I'm nearly done And.
I see by your gravestone 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,
Willie, McBride was, it slow and obscene Chorus?
they beat the drum slowly Did,
they sound the fife lowly Did,
the rifles fire o'er you as they lowered you down Did?
the bugles sing "The Last Post" in chorus Did?
the pipes play "The Flowers of the Forest "?2
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 a stranger without even a name Forever,
enshrined behind some glass pane In,
an old photograph torn, and tattered and stained And,
fading to yellow in a brown leather frame 3?
The. sun's shining down on these green fields of France The;
warm wind blows gently and, the red poppies dance The.
trenches have vanished long under the plow No;
gas and no barbed wire no, guns firing now But.
here in this graveyard it's still No Man's Land The
countless white crosses in mute witness stand To
man's blind indifference to his fellow man And.
a whole generation who were butchered and damned 4.
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 that this war would end wars Well?
the suffering the, sorrow the, glory the, shame The
killing the, dying it, was all done in vain For,
Willie McBride it, all happened again And,
again and, again and, again and, again

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  • U
    UnregisteredApr 29, 2012 at 7:51 am
    Originally an anti-war song, it was banned by the bbc for 10 years after it was written. Two other folk artists released it during the ban, but with different titles. Irish band 'the furies' covered it in 1980 on the album 'when you were sweet sixteen' as 'the green fields of france'. It was also released as 'the ballad of willie mcbride' but i can't recall the artist. Eric bogle wrote it after visiting the war graves in france. It's the first song i learned to fingerpick, and i sing it at the rsl every anzac day, along with eric's other war poem, 'the band played waltzing matilda'. For the musicians - verse: g em am d c d em g chorus: g em am c am d g. Beautiful song!
  • U
    UnregisteredJul 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm
    Although this is a 1st world war song, it reminds me of my mothers fiance who was 19 when he was blown up aboard HMS Laganin the Atlantic convoy in 1943. She assumes his body lies at the bottom of the north Atlantic as a Uboat blew a hole in its side. She has a photo of them together and plants a cross in a churchyard on Remembrance day.

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