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Life Experience

Willie McBride – a popular folk song relating to the First World War

I don’t know how widely known it is that some very popular and excellent folk songs were written about The First World War long after the event – poetry often overlooked.
One of the most popular is the lament for the death of Willie McBride, but its meaning is wider that just that.
I have heard it sung with great feeling many many times at folk clubs. There are several versions on YouTube but I think some of these make the song too sentimental.
Here’s one version
 
 

Eric Bogle

The picture above the video is of Eric Bogle who wrote the song in 1975 and returned to the grave of Willie McBride in 2018.
More on my war poetry website at   https://www.warpoetry.uk/willie-mcbride-folk-song
 
I’d be interested to hear of other folk songs about the First World War that you might recommend.

 

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David Roberts

Writer, publisher, music promoter

Born in 1942, I now have time to enjoy life more widely and reflect on my experience, interests, and contemporary events.

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