The Green Fields Of France Lyrics - Dropkick Murphys

Review The Song (60)

[Originally by Eric Bogle]

Oh 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
And I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen in 1916
Well I hope you died quick
And I hope you died clean
Oh 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 in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart you're forever nineteen
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Forever enshrined behind some old 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 in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

The sun shining down on these green fields of France
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
The trenches have vanished long under the plow
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard that's still no man's land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation were 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 in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And I can't help but wonder oh Willy McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing and dying it was all done in vain
Oh 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 in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

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Charleston version | Reviewer: Eric Schoellkopf | 12/27/13

I always request this song from Steven Carroll at Tommy Condon's Irish pub in downtown Charleston. He does an excellent version and hearing it live is incredible. It is a unique song.

PEACE NOT WAR. | Reviewer: Anna Livia. | 11/3/13

The best version of the song, the Green Field's Of France is
The Furey Brother's and Davey Arthur from Ireland. It's performed by Finbarr Furey. Magnificent. Best ANTI-WAR song along with Barry McGuire's The Eve Of Destruction.

A comment to Anonymous's topic: deadly! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/14/12

I totally agree that history has always been dictated by the victor .. For the pragmatic truth is that we "mortal people" let others act, all the while we just sit back here as in this media and complain about it, and how terrible it was and still is. The truth is that we in this very moment, year 2012, throughout the world allows that the mass media and marketing-companies can determine the progress of the earth.

Question | Reviewer: Losang | 12/23/10

Do any of your reviewers member a version of this from the early Eighties? I think it was better than this one. It was an Indie band, contemporaries of the Pogues and the Smiths, and they did a beautiful version as an album track. I used to own it, and I can't remember the name of the band! If anyone can, I'd appreciate it.
Thank you.

Dropkicks green feilds of france | Reviewer: Mark O'Neill | 4/12/10

briliant version of this song, just the right tone of anger in the voice when they sing about the futility and the sacrifice, of the great war. Theres only one version ive heard that better, by local pub entertainers called celtic Freedom in liverpool. Really enjoy both these versions.

Clear thought. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/18/10

All the "war" stuff behind and the origin if the people and names and mentioned in the song. It's a great song and the message applies to anyone that has died or lived thru any war ever fought. It just happens to be an Irish song. I am a firefighter and have not fought in a war but I see it fitting for anybody that has died in vain trying to help in a time of struggle good or bad.

The Green Fields Of Earth | Reviewer: Changbai Li | 3/1/10

Beautiful song, somber story.
what war cause is ONLY loss. Whatever u are defending ur country or dominating other countries, or fighting for ur right, it'll only make u pay for it. In WW2, Nanjing Massacre killed 300000 citizens and China and Japan is still arguing on that 'cause Japan denied that. it made most chinese hate japanese and it's already 70 YEARS PASSED. In French revolution, parties keep fighting each other with the name of "people", and there is NO GOOD after it. Don't we have a better way of solving these problems? I really don't know. It seems only fighting can be casted on warlike people, but it'll be much better if we can deal with them without wars----though it seems impossible.
Sorry for the poor grammar. I'm a Chinese with only 6 months experiences living in America.

Beautiful | Reviewer: Hanna | 11/20/09

I love this song, its the best thats ever been.
And about Willie McBride, I'm not going to swear that this is true but I'm pretty sure that they've looked it up and there was no William McBride who was born that year and died in that battle. There were some William McBride's in that battle but no one the age that they sing of.

Touching | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/1/09

Is one of my favorite songs. Dot care what the meaning it has it will always have a meaning to me that i will never forget. I have had it played at two funerals for fallen comrades and close friends. Rest in peace my friends and watch over the rest that you have left behind we will meet again on the other side. You are in are hearts and minds and never forgotten. From your comrades Friends and loved ones.

Sgt. LoneWolf

The Green Fields Of France | Reviewer: dazza | 8/14/09

top song. beats all the other versions with the drum beat. the song was written by a bloke who was born in scotland but moved to australia when he was 25. another well known song is "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", another song that deals with war and its effect, from an anzac solider.

Beautiful | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/6/09

This is a beautiful song! Touching and sad, but beautiful! Dropkick Murphys does a wonderful version of it!

I really don't see the point about arguing about war on here... but just to get my two cents in and hopefully end some arguments...

(and this is totally just my opinion!!!!)
The way I see it is that yes, war is terrible, so many people die and we should find another way to solve disputes besides killing people over something we're just going to have to compromise over anyway... however... There are some circumstances caused by people that are not negotiable and sometimes not "sane". They will not simply talk and resolve a problem, they want to stir up other people and cause fights; and untill we can ALL find a way to calmly sort things out, war will continue. Unfortunatley there isn't a way to convince everyone that it would be better to negotiate instead of fight...

love this song ♥ | Reviewer: Emilie | 4/25/09

just to answer a few of the questions here on the first page of reviews, yes, the original song was Scottish (titled No Man's Land, by Eric Bogle). Although the song is Scottish, Willie McBride was a private in an Irish regiment, possibly buried in Authuille British Cemetary?. There were a lot of Willie McBride's who died, though, so I'm not completely sure which one the song is about.

Deadly! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/23/09

This is such a beautiful song...I don't think I've really heard a bad version of it atall!

And...Yes almost all of the DKM's bloodline's trace to Ireland.

The writer was Scottish but the subjects name is Irish!

It's about both sides though.... same as every war.... the powers that the young and naive into doing their dirty work. Promise them the world...and build them up into machines...till the reach the battle field...and there's no turning back!

War is not pointless of course... it's just the way they are run that isn't pretty...but...we'd not have any bit of relative "freedom" here in Ireland today if we'd not fought...same as North America same as quite alot of nations!

History is of course dictated by the victor... but... right now!..that doesn't even matter... (almost)The entire media is owned by a small elite...and thus..makes it (almost)impossible to know anything about what's going on in reality in wars across the world!!

Are these "terrorists" living in caves and out smarting everyone?!?!

Is Bin Laden a cia/fbi agent?!?!

What actually happened in 9/11?!?!

And yea... . . the media!!... . . .history will dictated by the "victor" ( greatest liar!)

Great song | Reviewer: Brian | 1/19/09

This song is beautiful, touching, and obviously sad. I will have to listen to the original as well. I know the original is Scottish but was Willie McBride an Irishman? Been trying to look it up...I couldn't piece it together from the reviews here.

great song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/17/09

i know that this song was written by someone else, but the Murphys did an excellent job. it doesnt even matter where the song came from, because it is such a beautiful song. this song brings a tear to my eye every time i hear it.

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