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No Man's Land (The Green Fields of France)

Words and music: Eric Bogle
Copyright: Larrikin Music, Sydney, Australia.
Reproduced here by kind permission of the author.
MIDI

 
    Well 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 nineteen
    When you joined the great fallen 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 Dead March as they lowered you down ?
         And did the the band play The Last Post and chorus ?
         Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest ?

    And did you leave a wife or 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 even a name,
    Enclosed and forever behind the glass frame
    In an old photograph, torn and battered and stained,
    And faded to yellow in an old leather frame ?
         Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly ?
         Did they sound the Dead March as they lowered you down ?
         And did the 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,
    There's a warm summer breeze, it makes the red poppies dance.
    And look now the sun shines from under the clouds,
    There's no gas, no barbed-wire, there's no guns 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.
         Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly ?
         Did they sound the Dead March as they lowered you down ?
         And did the the band play The Last Post and chorus ?
         Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest ?

    Now young Willie McBride, I can't help but wonder why.
    Do all those who lie here, know why they died ?
    And did they believe when they answered the cause,
    Did they really believe that this war would end wars ?
    Well the sorrows, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
    The killing and dying, was all done in vain.
    For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
    And again, and again, and again, and again.
         Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly ?
         Did they sound the Dead March as they lowered you down ?
         And did the the band play The Last Post and chorus ?
         Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest ?