Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Green Fields of France


 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 19
When you joined the great fall-in in 1916
I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
Or young Willie Mcbride was it slow and obscene.

Did they beat the drum 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
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 19
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Enclosed then forever behind a glass frame
In an old photograph torn, battered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

Did they beat the drum 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
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

The sun now it shines on the green fields of France....

Here are the facts about the Irish soldiers of WWI. More than 35,000 of them perished. Of the thousands who survived and came home, they found a country in violent upheaval, fiercely fighting its own great battle between north and south.
Many of the soldiers were victimized either physically or economically. Between 1919 and 1922, at least 200 were murdered because they had joined the British army. Economically, the 1919 unemployment ratio of ex-servicemen was 46% in Ireland compared to just 10% in Britain.

 More on the Irish regiments, HERE and HERE.
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2 comments:

Julygirl said...

We have a lot of damaged kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. A gunshot wound is one thing, but having one's face and fingers burned off is another.

Emma said...

I love this song too! This is my favorite version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyiLfSHSqds