Willie McBride Satire

Author unknown
Based on the song No Man's Land, written by Eric Bogle


This example of "Willie McBride Satire" is performed by Donal Hegarty, traditional singer from Co. Cork.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Apologies for all the background noise on this recording. It was made at an informal workshop that Donal was teaching in St. Louis in April 2001. We were outdoors, and the birds just wouldn't be quiet! In spite of the noise, it's well worth a listen.

Well you go to the bar of a Saturday night
For a pint and a song, everything seems all right
Til some drunken punter flops down by your side
And asks you to sing about Willie McBride
Well you say you don't know it, but this will not do
For now he's determined to sing it to you.
Arm round your shoulder, for now he's your friend
And he's going to sing the damn thing til the end

Well you go to the gents for a quarter of an hour
And you watch TV in the old public bar
And when you return, thinking that he has tired
Christ he's still going on about gas and barbed wire
And ten minutes later your still in a trance
For he's up to his ochsters in the Green Fields of France
And searching around now you won't hear a peep
For the punters by now, Christ, they've all gone to sleep.

Oh Willie McBride, why the hell did you die?
The trouble you'da saved if you'd come back to life
If you'd got a good job or joined the dole queue
We'd not have to listen to songs about you
But, och, I don't know now, I'm glad that you're dead
With the Green Fields of France plied up over your head
For the trouble that you caused since the day that you died
Shootin's too good for you, Willie McBride

And tell me McBride, what the hell was your game
With a photograph stuck in a mouldy old frame
You can buy them at Smithfield's for ten p a throw
So what's all the fuss about, I'd like to know
And what's all this talk about barbed wire and smoke
You shouldn't have joined if you can't take a joke
Sure we don't care where the red poppies dance
Oh Willie McBride, will you give us a chance

Do they drink the pints slowly or do they lower them down
Do the barmen join in with the punters
Sayin' we're glad that's all over?