Saturday, November 12, 2005

If I'm Crying You're All Crying With Me

Der Tomissar yesterday titled a post with a song lyric from an Irish tune memorializing a young soldier who died in World War II. I know the song, since my dad is a big fan of Irish music, and I've been on the verge of tears ever since.
The song could not be more appropriate as a memorial on Veterans Day. I was out of town yesterday, so as my tribute I'm posting all the lyrics here.

THE GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE
by Eric Bogle

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

Refrain:
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 'ere a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And although you died back in 1916,
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed forever behind a glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn, and battered and stained,
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame?
Refrain:

Ah the sun now it shines on these green fields of France,
The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance,
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds;
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there're no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard is still No Man's Land,
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
To a whole generation that was butchered and damned.
Refrain:

Ah, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why,
Did all those who lay here really know why they died?
And did they believe when they answered the call,
Did they really believe that this war would end war?
For the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing and dying were all done in vain,
For, young Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again and again and again and again.
Refrain:

8 comments:

Steve said...

It's a bit newer than the song you have, but "love Vigilantes" by New order always makes me melancholy.

Love Vigilantes

Oh I've just come
From the land of the sun
From a war that must be won
In the name of truth
With our soldiers so brave
your freedom we will save
With our rifles and grenades
And some help from God

I want to see my family
My wife and child waiting for me
I've got to go home
I've been so alone, you see

You just can't believe
The joy I did recieve
When I finally got my leave
And I was going home
Oh I flew through the sky
my convictions could not lie
For my country I would die
And I will see it soon

I want to see my family
My wife and child waiting for me
I've got to go home
I've been so alone, you see

When I walked through the door
My wife she lay upon the floor
And with tears her eyes were sore
I did not know why
Then I looked into her hand
And I saw the telegram
That said that I was a brave, brave man
But that I was dead

I want to see my family
My wife and child waiting for me
I've got to go home
I've been so alone, you see

Barb, sfo said...

You're killing me here, Steve. I just got over "Willie MacBride."
Seriously, though, that is beautiful. SO tragic, but beautiful.

Steve said...

It's not a song about veterans, but have you ever heard "Somewhere nice forever" by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder? I cannot make my way thru that song once without breaking down and sobbing.The Short and bittersweet; it's about his Mom dying of Leukemia.It is the saddest song Ive ever heard.

Barb, sfo said...

Yes, country music is famous for the
saddest songs ever. I have a few that I can't bear to listen to. Don't think I have heard the one you mentioned as Ricky Scaggs is not often played on the "mainstream country" we get here in Philly. Maybe I'll have more luck listening for it on XM.

Steve said...

If you like Bluegrass at all (which Im going to assume you do, as you mentioned Allison Krauss) buy the album "Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky thunder Live in Charleston" an absolutely superb disc, well worth the effort to locate.

That's one of the definate perks to living in NC, loads of bluegrass to hear! Nothing quite like going to the Brushy Mountain apple festival in October and seeing a bunch of old guys in overalls playing breakneck speed bluegrass on a street corner.

Barb, sfo said...

No effort at all to locate. Amazon has it.
I'll put it on my Christmas List :)
Maybe I should spend a little more time listening to the XM bluegrass station!

Steve said...

I really like his song "Simple Life" alot too.
The chorus goes:

"My favorite book was wrote about a man that died to save my soul
And my favorite thing to hear is Daddy, I’m so glad you home
And my favorite woman is 5’3” with long black hair and green eyes
Still I live a simple life"

That song makes me smile every time I hear it!

Barb, sfo said...

All right, that's it. I'm addicted.
Just heard a bluegrass group called "Wildfire."
WOW