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Recorded live at Sable's "Pyrates & Pagans" CD Release Party, Vernon, BC (March 20, 2013.) From Pyrates & Pagans, released 20 March 2013.

lyrics

Well, how do you do, young Willy McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here down beside 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 Willy McBride, was is it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drums 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?"

Did you leave a young wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
Alhough you died back in 1916
In some faithful heart, are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Enshrined now, forever behind a glass pane
In an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Did they beat the drums 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?"

Well, the sun, it shines down on the green fields of France
There's a warm summer's breeze and the red poppies dance
The trenches are gone, tilled under the plow
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
Where the countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation that was butchered and damned!

Did they beat the drums 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?"

I can't help but wonder now, Willy McBride
If all those who lie here know why they have died?
Did you really believe when you answered the call?
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
The sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain;
The killing, the dying; they were all done in vain;
For Willy McBride it all happened again!
And again, and again, and again, and again!

Did they beat the drums 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?"

credits

from Summerfest: Live Recordings from the 2013 Event Season, released October 3, 2013
Written & composed by Eric Bogle. Sound byte files: "The Last Post," "The Flowers of the Forest." Copyright (c) 2011.

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Sable Aradia Vernon, British Columbia

Independent singer-songwriter, author & composer of New Age, Pagan, filk, acoustic, meditation & goth music. Sable spans numerous musical genres, but her work is inspired by her Wiccan faith and her wild imagination. Her influences include Billie Holiday, Heather Alexander, Leslie Fish, Iron Maiden, Wendy Rule, and Inkubus Sukkubus. ... more

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