The Green Fields Of France (Willie McBride)

I heard this song performed in a pub the other night. Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but I’d never heard it before.  I am not ashamed to say it made me cry. The song was written by Scottish songwriter Eric Bogle after he sat beside the graveside of Private William McBride of the Iniskilling Fusilliers (Ireland). On the day that the real Willie McBride died –April 22, 1916 at The Battle Of the Somme– the fighting was particularly fierce. The men were waist deep in water in the trenches as the German bombardment rained down on them. The green fields of France ran red with blood that day. I’ve included a video version of the song by The Furies, the Irish group who made the song famous. 

Well how do you do young Willie McBride?
do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside
and rest for a while ‘neath the warm summer sun
I’ve been walkin’ all day and I’m nearly done
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
when you joined the great fallen of 1916
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Willie McBride was it slow and obscene


Did they beat the drum 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 the beautiful wife or the sweetheart for life
in some faithful heart are you forever enshrined
and although you died back in 1916
in that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
or are you a stranger without even a name
enshrined forever behind a glass pane
in an ould photograph torn tattered and stained,
fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?


Now the sun shines down on the green fields of France
a warm summer wind makes the red poppys dance
The trenches have vanished under the plows,
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
for man’s blind indifference to his fellow man,
to a whole generation that was butchered and damned


Now Willie McBride I can’t help wonder why
Do those who lie here do they know why they died
Did they really beleive when they answered the call
did they really believe that this war would end wars
Forever this song of suffereing and shame
the killing the dying was all done in vain
for young Willie McBride it’s all happened again,
and again, and again, and again and again

Desert Playlist

As per my Wordless Wednesday photo today, Daisy suggested that this road trip needed some music for the ride. And now that she mentions it… When you’re on a lonely desert highway for 11+ hours straight, you’d better have an epic playlist. Or satellite radio, because there is no radio reception or cell service sometimes for miles. Here’s my desert playlist:

  1. Horse With No Name – America
  2. Hotel California – The Eagles
  3. Cities In Dust – Siouxie and the Banshees
  4. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin 
  5. Roam – B-52’s
  6. Come Away With Me- Norah Jones
  7. Truckin’ – The Grateful Dead
  8. Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz 
  9. Mexico – James Taylor
  10. American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  11. Passenger – Iggy Pop
  12. The Distance – Cake

What are some of your favorite drive time songs?

Flying Solo #twentyonepilots

“My name’s Blurry Face and I care what you think…”

If you know me, you know I love music. All kinds of music, not just one genre. Last night I saw Twenty-one Pilots with some young friends. When my peeps invited me to go months ago, I hesitated. Could I hang with the kids? Would I feel like a weirdo tagging along with three twenty-somethings? (Not that I’m not a weirdo under normal circumstances.)  Well, she who hesitates is almost lost. When I finally decided to go, there were only single tickets left. Yep, I sat by myself for the whole concert!

Fortunately, that kind of thing doesn’t bother me. Especially at a concert when you can’t really talk to anyone you’re with anyway. Two of my young friends were down on the floor, the fourth of our group was also in a single seat, just not with me. The show was totally worth it. They were amazing. Such great energy and showmanship. They don’t readily fit into one category of music. Their lyrics are meaningful, their performance is theatrical. They are a feast for the eyes, ears and mind!  If you don’t know Twenty-one Pilots, check them out. Here are some shots:

Photos thanks to Laci and Aubrey. Video is my own.