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

Eric Bogle
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OriginalGALLESE / WELSH
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'?
GWAED AR EU DWYLO

O Tomos John Williams, mi welaf dy fedd
Ar gaeau glas Ffrainc sydd heddiw mewn hedd
Rwyt heddiw mor unig, mor bell o Fron Goch
A'r pabi yn unig sy'n cofio gwaed coch.
Mi welaf nad oeddyt ddim ond deunaw oed
Wrth ddisgyn i'r Somme - dyna hanes erioed,
Wrth ymladd dros wledydd a thros eu rhyddhau
Mi gefaist yn ddeunaw i'r ddaear dy gau.

Ond ni che'st d'alw'n arwr, na dy gyfri'n wlatgarwr,
Ac ni chwifiwyd y faner ar hanner y mast,
Ac ni wnaed uwch dy waed unrhyw wylo
Gan y rhai oedd â gwaed ar eu dwylo.
A phwy oeddan nhw ddwedodd wrthyt ysgwn
Mai swanc oedd i lanc ysgwyddo y gwn?
A phwy oeddan nhw efo'u hiwnifform "swell"
A'th ddriliodd a'th fartsiodd, a'th fwrdrodd mewn sbel.

Ni welaist drwy hyn tan rhy hwyr yn y dydd
Ni che'st ti mo'r cyfle i dyfu'n ddyn rhydd
Ond drwy'r mwg a thrwy'r medals wrth ddisgyn i'r llawr
Mi welaist nad nhw fyddai'n wylo yn awr.

Roedd eraill mewn cell yn dy annwyl Fron Goch
Yn llwydaidd eu gwedd yn cael bwyd cibau'r moch
Ond fflam eu gwrthryfel a gadwant ynghyn
A Werddon a gododd drwy safiad di-gryn.
Mi gawsant gaethiwed am geisio rhyddhau
Eu gwlad hwy o'r dwylo a'th yrrodd i'th wae
A mam yn Fron Goch oedd a'i chalon yn drom
Wrth glywed fod llencyn yn llwch yn y Somme.

Mae'r dynion yn Llundain a'u seddau Whitehall
Yn gyrru i ryfel rhai byth na ddon `nôl;
O slymiau tre Glasgow neu Cymru cefngwlad
Mae hogiau dinewid yn cyrchu i'r gâd.
I farw neu ynteu i ladd eu cyd ddyn
Yn enw rhyw rhyddid nas gwyddo ei hun;
Rwyt ti, Tomos Williams, dros ddim yn y byd
Yn disgyn yn `sglyfaeth i'r fffosydd o hyd.

Ni welaist drwy hyn tan rhy hwyr yn y dydd
Ni che'st ti mo'r cyfle i dyfu'n ddyn rhydd
Ond drwy'r mwg a thrwy'r medals wrth ddisgyn i'r llawr
Mi welaist nad nhw fyddai'n wylo yn awr.


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