If I’m Crying You’re All Crying With Me

Der Tomissar yesterday titled a post with a song lyric from an Irish tune memorializing a young soldier who died in World War II. I know the song, since my dad is a big fan of Irish music, and I’ve been on the verge of tears ever since.
The song could not be more appropriate as a memorial on Veterans Day. I was out of town yesterday, so as my tribute I’m posting all the lyrics here.

by Eric Bogle

Well how do you do Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside?
And rest for awhile beneath the warm summer sun,
I’ve been walking all day and now I’m nearly done
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916;
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean,
Or, young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum 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 ‘ere a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And although you died back in 1916,
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed forever behind a glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn, and battered and stained,
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Ah the sun now it shines on these green fields of France,
The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance,
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds;
There’s no gas, no barbed wire, there’re no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard is still No Man’s Land,
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man,
To a whole generation that was butchered and damned.

Ah, young Willie McBride, I can’t help wonder why,
Did all those who lay here really know why they died?
And did they believe when they answered the call,
Did they really believe that this war would end war?
For the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing and dying were all done in vain,
For, young Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again and again and again and again.

8 thoughts on “If I’m Crying You’re All Crying With Me

  1. It’s a bit newer than the song you have, but “love Vigilantes” by New order always makes me melancholy.Love Vigilantes Oh I’ve just comeFrom the land of the sunFrom a war that must be wonIn the name of truthWith our soldiers so braveyour freedom we will saveWith our rifles and grenadesAnd some help from GodI want to see my familyMy wife and child waiting for meI’ve got to go homeI’ve been so alone, you seeYou just can’t believeThe joy I did recieveWhen I finally got my leaveAnd I was going homeOh I flew through the skymy convictions could not lieFor my country I would dieAnd I will see it soonI want to see my familyMy wife and child waiting for meI’ve got to go homeI’ve been so alone, you seeWhen I walked through the doorMy wife she lay upon the floorAnd with tears her eyes were soreI did not know whyThen I looked into her handAnd I saw the telegramThat said that I was a brave, brave manBut that I was deadI want to see my familyMy wife and child waiting for meI’ve got to go homeI’ve been so alone, you see

  2. It’s not a song about veterans, but have you ever heard “Somewhere nice forever” by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder? I cannot make my way thru that song once without breaking down and sobbing.The Short and bittersweet; it’s about his Mom dying of Leukemia.It is the saddest song Ive ever heard.

  3. Yes, country music is famous for the saddest songs ever. I have a few that I can’t bear to listen to. Don’t think I have heard the one you mentioned as Ricky Scaggs is not often played on the “mainstream country” we get here in Philly. Maybe I’ll have more luck listening for it on XM.

  4. If you like Bluegrass at all (which Im going to assume you do, as you mentioned Allison Krauss) buy the album “Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky thunder Live in Charleston” an absolutely superb disc, well worth the effort to locate.That’s one of the definate perks to living in NC, loads of bluegrass to hear! Nothing quite like going to the Brushy Mountain apple festival in October and seeing a bunch of old guys in overalls playing breakneck speed bluegrass on a street corner.

  5. No effort at all to locate. Amazon has it.I’ll put it on my Christmas List :)Maybe I should spend a little more time listening to the XM bluegrass station!

  6. I really like his song “Simple Life” alot too.The chorus goes:”My favorite book was wrote about a man that died to save my soulAnd my favorite thing to hear is Daddy, I’m so glad you homeAnd my favorite woman is 5’3” with long black hair and green eyesStill I live a simple life”That song makes me smile every time I hear it!

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