Listen to the song here:
tune and original words: “The Green Fields of France” by Eric Bogle
new words by Paul Spencer, 2006
D G Em
1. Well who do you think these small wildflowers hide,
A G A
As you sit here and rest by this quiet graveside?
D G Em
For the grave has no name, nor a cross nor a stone,
A G D
Just enough earth to cover the dead flesh and bone.
Do you think it’s a soldier who was killed in the war,
A G D A
Coz there’s more graves like this one and they weren’t here before?
D Bm Em
Do you think it’s a young man who was sent here to fight?
A G D
Do you think if it was that would make it alright?
A G D
Do they mention the raping, the torture, the break-ins,
A G Bm
And the weapons they’re making that poison the land?
Do you think of disease and starvation,
D G A D
When they talk of a new operation?
2. For it could be the body of a sister or wife,
An old man or woman, or a small child’s life,
But the name won’t be listed when the fallen are read,
Nor engraved on a statue to the glorious dead.
It mght have been schrapnel or a house crashing down,
A landmine or typhoid as it swept through the town,
For the sick and the old and the ones who can’t run,
Are more often killed than the man with the gun.
3. It’s almost like peace in this plain English town,
People go shopping and the sun’s shining down,
It’s two generations since the bombs fell on us,
No napalm, no landmines, no poisonous dust.
But millions of people still feel that dread,
And hide inside crying from the planes overhead,
Are we blindly indifferent to the terror of war,
Or can’t we remember the pain anymore?
4. And I can’t help but wonder with the blood that’s been spilled,
Do all those who lie here know who they killed?
Do they think they were soldiers signed up to the cause?
Do they think the deaths finished at the end of the war?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the terror, the pain,
They don’t look so real, looking down from a plane,
And the pilot might play the whole war like a game,
But the people below feel the blast just the same.