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    oh how do you do, young willy mcbride
    do you mind if i sit here down by your graveside
    and rest for a while in the warm summer sun
    i've been walking all day, and im nearly done
    and i see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
    when you joined the great fallen in 1916
    well i hope you died quick
    and i hope you died clean
    oh willy mcbride, was is it slow and obscene

    [Chorus]
    did they beat the drums slowly
    did the 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

    and did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
    in some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
    and though you died back in 1916
    to that loyal heart you're forever nineteen
    or are you a stranger without even a name
    forever enshrined behind some old glass pane
    in an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained
    and faded to yellow in a brown leather frame

    [Chorus]
    did they beat the drums slowly
    did the 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

    the sun shining down on these green fields of france
    the warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
    the trenches have vanished long under the plow
    no gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing down
    but here in this graveyard that's still no mans land
    the countless white crosses in mute witness stand
    till' man's blind indifference to his fellow man
    and a whole generation were butchered and damned

    [Chorus]
    did they beat the drums slowly
    did the 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

    and i can't help but wonder oh willy 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 that this war would end wars
    well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
    the killing and dying it was all done in vain
    oh willy mcbride it all happened again
    and again, and again, and again, and again

    [Chorus]
    did they beat the drums slowly
    did the 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

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