The Fields

by John Parkes

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I wrote this song to mark the centenery of the outbreak of the First World War. Written from the perspective of a mother. One of the few story songs I've ever written, and for once not from my point of view.


The Fields

Three fine boys here, growing very well
Three of five born here, were stronger than the girls
Two girls I gave to God – and never will they run

Sometimes I fold three in my arms but soon they will be grown
Chasing girls at wishing wells, they thought I would not know
And I call across the fields – now sometimes they do not come

Then one day the army came, a table on the green
The country called for country boys to volunteer for war
And I called across the fields – three young men they did not hear

It’s no surprise young men are strong, and brave and foolish too
Tales of trains and ships and planes and glory, duty to do
Three marched back across the fields - to tell me what they had done

The day it came and they were gone, with band and train and song
Three times three letters here, sound so brave and strong
Then two telegrams – to tell that two were gone

Three times one letters here, tales of mud and fear
Then a silence, then a tale of explosions far too near
Then one coming home – and hope still will run

One fine boy here, the one that they could spare
Minus lips and lung and leg, he was gone within a year
And I call across the fields, no answer do I hear

Time will pass and then at last they said that war was won
Two fine boys here now listed on a stone
And still I cry for all, for never will they run

I still believe that country boys should serve their country well
With fields of green, with apple trees, with work and children
And corn across the fields, will feed the country well
And when God and country call – please never heed that call
Let God and country fall ‘fore they drown a Mother’s call
Let God and country fall if they drown a Mother’s call


released July 28, 2014
By John Parkes



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John Parkes Leeds, UK

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