Green Fields of France

Well, how do you do young Willie McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the hot 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 call-up in 1916.
And I hope you died quick, and I hope you died clean
Or young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

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

Did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
Although you died back in 1916.
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen.
Or are you a stranger without a name?
Enclosed and forever behind a glass frame in an old photograph
Battered and stained and faded to yellow, in a brown leather frame?

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

Well the sun, now it shines, on the green fields of France
and asthe warm summer breeze, that makes the red poppies dance and look
how the sun shines from under the clouds.
There’s no gas, no barbwire, there’s no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that’s still no-man’s land.
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand.
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man.
To a whole generation, that was butchered and damned.

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

Young Willie McBride, I can’t help wondering why?
Do those that lie here know why that they died?
And did they believe when they answered the call?
Did they really believe that this war would end war?

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