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October 2018
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The Green Fields of France

words and music: Eric Bogle

 

There's a warm summer breeze
makes the red poppies dance
As the sun always shines
on the green fields of France


Well, how do you do young Willy McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here
down by your graveside?
And rest for awhile neath the warm summer sun
I've been working all day, and I'm nearly done


I see by your gravestone, you're only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen in nineteen sixteen
I hope you died well, and I hope you died clean
Or young Willy McBride, was it slow and obscene


Chorus:
Did they beat the drums slowly?
Did they sound the fife lowly?
Did they sound the dead march
as they lowered you down?
And did the band play 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers Of The Forest'?


And did you leave there a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
Although you died back in nineteen-sixteen
In some faithful heart are you forever nineteen


Or are you a stranger without even a name?
Enclosed in forever behind a glass frame
In an old photograph, torn and battered, and stained.
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.


Chorus


Now young Willy McBride I can't help wonder why
Do all those who lie here know why did they die?
And did they believe when they answered the call
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?


Well the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing, the dying was all done in vain
For young Willy McBride it's all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again...


Chorus