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The Green Fields Of France (No Man's Land)

Eric Bogle
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OriginalITALIANO / ITALIAN [2]
THE GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE (NO MAN'S LAND)

Well how do you do, Private William McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your grave side?
A rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone that you were only 19
when you joined the glorious fallen in 1916.
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, William McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum slowly?
did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart are you always 19.
Or are you just a stranger without even a name
Forever enclosed behind some glass-pane
In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Did they beat the drum slowly?
did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

Well the sun it shines down on these green fields of France,
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance.
The trenches are vanished now under the plough
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it is still No Man's Land
And 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 downed.

Did they beat the drum slowly?
did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

And I can't help but wonder now Willie 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 them that this war would end war?
But the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame -
The killing, the dying - it was all done in vain.
For Willie McBride, it's all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Did they beat the drum slowly?
did they sound the pipe lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?
WILLIE Mc BRIDE - I verdi Campi di Francia-

Ciao, come stai, soldato McBride?
Se sulla tua tomba ora siedo, capirai.
E’ solo un riposo nel caldo d'estate
Son stanco-morto, voi tutti scusate.
La lapide dice : diciannove son compiuti
e in quel giorno hai raggiunto gli altri caduti.
Beh, spero sia stata una morte veloce,
o invece, McBride, la tua fine fu atroce?

Rit.: Rullavan tamburi e le cornamuse
suonavano mentre ti calavano giù?
E ora dimmi suonava la Banda ed il Coro
intonava una antica nenia per te?

Hai lasciato una moglie, un amore che ti aspetta?
Sei nel cuore di qualcuno, custodito in cassetta?
Anche se la tua morte al ‘16 risale,
per loro i tuoi anni son sempre diciannove?
Oppure sei una foto in patria straniero
senza nome, dietro a un vetro, per sempre prigioniero.
Una foto ingiallita, sbiadita e strappata
in una cornice di pelle macchiata?... Rit.

Il sole ora splende sui campi di Francia,
dove il vento invita i papaveri alla danza.
Non ci son più trincee, ogni campo è arato,
non più gas, né fucili, nessun filo spinato.
Di tutti e nessuno, vedi i campi in distanza,
coperti di croci, muta testimonianza
di disinteresse per quel genere umano,
generazione nata e morta invano. .... Rit.

Solo una domanda, Mc Bride, voglio porti:
Quelli che or son qui san perché sono morti?
Han creduto davvero alla promessa giurata
che l’ultima guerra sarebbe poi stata?
Poi alla fine il dolore, la gloria - han capito -
uccider, morire: tutto inutile è stato.
Perché, Willie McBride, è successo ancora,
poi ancora e ancora , e succede tuttora. ... Rit.

Suonavan temburi e le cornamuse
piangevano mentre ti calavano giù?
E ora dimmi suonava la Banda ed il Coro
intonava una antica nenia per te?


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