Willie McBride

Recorded by Makem & Clancy on "Collection"
Words & Music by Erik Bogel
Suggested Key=G

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          Well how do you do young Willie McBride,

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          Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside,

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          And rest for a while neath the warm summer sun,

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          I've been working all day and I'm nearly done.

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          I see by your gravestone you were only 19,

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          When you joined the great fallen in 1916,

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          I hope you died well and I hope you died clean,

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          Or young Willie McBride was it slow and obscene?

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          Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly,
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          Did they sound the dead march, as they lowered you down,
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          Did the band play the last post and chorus,
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          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 nineteen sixteen

          In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen

          Or are you a stranger without even a name,

          Enclosed in forever behind a glass frame,

          In an old photograph all torn, tattered, and stained,

          And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

          The sun now it shines on the green fields of France,

          There's a warm summer breeze that makes the red poppies dance,

          And look how the sun shines from under the trees,

          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 a mute witness stand,

          To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,

          To a whole generation that were butchered and damned.

          Now young Willie McBride I can't help wonder why,

          Do all those who lie here know why did they die,

          And did they really believe when they answered the call,

          Did they really believe that this war would end wars.

          Well, the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,

          The killing and dieing were all done in vain,

          For young Willie McBride it all happened again,

          And again, and again, and again, and again.


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