Henrik Norbeck's Song Lyrics

Green Fields of France, The

Sheet Music (and more information about this song)

Well, how do you do, private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside,
And rest for a while in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.

I see by your gravestone your were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen back in nineteen sixteen
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or Willy McBride was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum slowly? Did they sound the fifes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er you 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 have a wife or a sweetheart, McBride?
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined,
And although you died back in nineteen sixteen,
In that loyal heart are you always nineteen?

Or are you just a stranger not even a name,
Forever to sit behind some glass frame,
In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame.


Now the sun it shines bright o'er the green fields of France,
And the a warm summer wind makes the red poppies dance,
The trenches have vanished long under the plough,
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,
And countless white crosses in mute witness stand,
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.


Well I can't help but wonder now, Willy McBride,
Do all those that lie here know why did they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?

But the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing, the dying was all done in vain,
For Willy McBride it's all happening again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.


Comp: Eric Bogle, Scotland/Australia

Discography: Stockton's Wing
The High Kings

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