Thursday, December 08, 2011

Songs of Peace: Eric Bogle

I fell in love with the songs of Eric Bogle many years ago after hearing The Green Fields of France. THe unique thing about his songs--especially his antiwar and peace songs--is that he takes the universal of war and makes it very, very personal. He sings of what warfare does to individual people.

The following videos are some of my favorite songs written (and her, sung) by Eric. Each is about a human being; each tells a story. I invite you--I urge you to watch, listen, think, and perhaps as I have done, shed a tear.

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

Well, how do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And 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 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, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

cho: Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

Complete lyrics: click HERE

The Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda'

And the band played Waltzing Matilda, as the ship pulled away from the quay
And amidst all the cheers, the flag-waving and tears, we sailed off for Gallipoli
And how well I remember that terrible day, how our blood stained the sand and the water
And of how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay, we were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk he was waiting, he'd primed himself well. He shower'd us with bullets,
And he rained us with shell. And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.

Complete lyrics: click HERE

Hallowed Ground (sequel to  No Man's Land/The Green Fields of France)

Complete lyrics: click HERE

There are many more songs written by Eric Bogle that have touched me, I shall share more of them soon; perhaps, if my voice improves a bit and my finger tips toughen after not playing my guitar for such a long time, I'll even play and sing you one.

In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed these songs and videos of Eric. I hope his music means as much to you and it has to me. I hope--I pray--that these stories encourage you to be a peacemaker, just as they have accompanied me on that path.

Shalom, my friends.

Sometimes Saintly Nick


  1. Thank you, SSN, I have tears in my eyes--tears fir those who have died. Thank you, Mr. Bogle, for these songs.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 5 post on Dec. 09, 2011. Thanks again.

  3. I like these songs, Pastor Nick. Thank you for posting them and introducing me to Eric Bogle.

  4. Thank you my dear SSN for these great tunes.

  5. I love these songs. Thank you, Sir, for sharing them

  6. I had never heard of Eric Bogle. Thanks for sharing these videos which allowed me to hear him. I love knowing that there are people singing about the truths of war.

  7. I really like these songs.

  8. Wonderful songs I had never heard before.