Friday, November 11, 2016

Armistice Day




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, no barbed wire, no guns firing now
But still in this graveyard that'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 were butchered and damned

Did they beat the drums 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"?

And I can't help but wonder now, Willy 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 this war would end war? 
Well, the sufferin', the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killin', the dyin', it was all done in vain --
Oh, Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.






2 comments:

  1. If Eric Bogle is not known for anything else, this effort would make him immortal...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed...I stumbled upon the original poem in a magazine years ago and it instantly carved itself into my brain. I've seen one song written as response to it, interestingly..

    Its lyrics:
    http://www.folkarchive.de/wilreply.html

    "Ask the people of Belgium or Alsace-Lorraine,
    If my life was wasted, if I died in vain.
    I think they will tell you when all's said and done,
    They welcomed this boy with his tin hat and gun.

    And call it ironic that I was cut down,
    While in Dublin my kinfolk were fighting the Crown.
    But in Dublin or Flanders the cause was the same:
    To resist the oppressor, whatever his name."

    ReplyDelete