Willie Mcbride

Eric Bogle

Well how do you do young Willie McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside,
And rest for a while neat the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day, but I'm nearly done
I can see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen of nineteen sixteen
And 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 and play the fife lowly?
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?
And did the band play the last post and chorus?
 And did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

Did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
Although you died back in 1916, in that faithful heart are you forever 19
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Enclosed and forever behind a glass pane
In an old photograph torn and battered and stained
And fading to yellow in a dark leather frame


The sun now it shines on the green Fields of France
There's a 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, no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard it's still no man's land
And the countless white crosses lie mute in the sand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation that were butchered and damned


Now young Willie McBride can't help but wonder how
Do those who lie here do they know why they died
Did they believe when they entered the cause
Did they really believe that this war would end wars
For the heartache and the suffering and the dieing and the pain
Young Willie McBride it was all done in vain
'For young Willie McBride it all happened again, and again, and again, and again and again.


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