The 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 'neath the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done
I see by your gravestone you are only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen in nineteen-sixteen
I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
Or, young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene

Chorus Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife flowly
Did they sound the Death March as they lowered you down
Did the band play The Last Post in chorus
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest

Did you leave 'ere wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
Although you died back in nineteen-sixteen
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen
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 brown leather frame


The sun, now it shines on the green fields of France
There's a warm summer breeze that makes the red poppies dance
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no gun firing now
But here in this graveyard it'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 were butchered and damned


Ah, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why
Do those that lie here know why did they die
And did they believe when they answered the cause
Did they really believe that this war would end wars
Well, the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing and dying was all done in vain
For, young Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again and again and again and again!


© Larrikin Music. Performed by The Fureys and Davey Arthur. Written by Eric Bogle.