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All The Fine Young Men

  • Eric Bogle / John Munro
  • They told all the fine young men of when this war is over
    There will be peace and the peace will last forever
    In Flanders Field, at Lone Pine and Bersheeba
    For king and country, for honour and duty
    The young men fought and cursed and wept and died

    They told all the fine young men of when this war is over
    In your country's grateful heart we will cherish you forever
    At Tobruk and Alamein, at Bhuna and Kokoda
    Like their fathers before, in a world mad with war
    The young men fought and cursed and wept and died

    For many of those fine young men all the wars are over
    They have found peace, it's the peace that lasts forever
    When the call comes again they will not answer
    They're just forgotten bones lying far from their homes
    As forgotten as the cause for which they died

    Ah young men, can you see now why they lied

(as sung by Dolores Keane)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • english  [1987:] Commissioned by ABC in Australia. It follows the tradition of The Band Played Waltzing Matilda and No Man's Land. Eric himself says it's the last anti-war song he intends to write. We think it says almost all there is to say against war. (Notes De Dannan, 'Ballroom')

  • english  [1989:] War is still the most futile pursuit humankind engages in and until they stop doing it I'll keep writing songs about it. Because if you stop bringing it to people's attention then you accept it; it becomes normal. I'm always like the ghost at the feast writing old-fashioned protest songs saying a state of war is not a normal condition. [...] those songs will last for years, not because they're intrinsically wonderful songs, it's because every so often the human race is going to start killing each other and those songs are going to become relevant again. [The First World War] was a definitive point in history; far more so than other wars, I think. So much ended with the First World War and so much began after it; there was nothing romantic about it, but it was the last of the idealistic wars. So many of the people who fought in it thought they were fighting to end it - to start a total new age of human beings. You read the histories, you read the letters from the soldiers - there was a genuine belief that once this war was finished they'd create paradise on earth. It didn't happen, and subsequent wars have just been ... nobody sang as they marched off to the Second World War, they just said "Well, we've got to stop this fascist bastard ..." And then you get racist wars like Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Falklands War - all that sort of stuff. (Eric Bogle, interview with Andy Shearer, Broadbeat, May)

  • english  [1992:] Written for an ABC TV play. I tried to illustrate in the song how each succeeding generation since the beginning of the century has been involved in all these different wars. Or perhaps it's just the same war repeating itself. (Notes 'The Eric Bogle Songbook 2')

  • english  [1998:] When the first day of the Battle of the Somme was over, it would be found that of the 100,000 men who had attacked, 20,000 lay dead between the lines. [...] It was 'the greatest loss of life in British military history'. Likewise, Passchendaele has honestly earned its reputation as the most ghastly of First World War land battles [...] After responsibly scrutinising both plans and results, Keegan concludes that 'the point of Passchendaele defies explanation', just as 'the Battle of Loos was pointless'. [...] Why did these soldiers persist in fighting for no admirable end? How did ordinary soldiers find the strength to keep it up and to believe that their agonies served some higher purpose? That the war constituted wicked folly is obvious now. (Paul Fussell, review of 'The First World War' by John Keegan, Observer, 4 Oct)

See also
Kokoda Trail

Quelle: Scotland / Australia - Take your pick!

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© Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (D-21435 Stelle)

28.10.1999, aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 07.03.2009