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Music News

2014's Poppy appeal video glorifies WWI and should be edited

2014's Poppy appeal video glorifies WWI and should be edited

The Royal British Legion has released a version of Eric Bogle's classic anti-war song 'The Green Fields of France' for this year's poppy appeal which removes its anti-war message.

Jeff Beck and Joss Stone play on the piece, which has also been renamed 'No Man's Land'.
The following lyrics have been removed from the song:

Ah young Willie McBride, I can’t help wonder why,
Do those that lie here know why did they die?
And did they believe when they answered the cause,
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing and dying, were all done in vain.
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

What's left paints a picture far removed from the greatest tragedies of modern times, where 20 million died and even more were injured.

A petition has been launched objecting to the RBL version of Eric Bogle's song. As the originator of the petition, Bob Banks, says: "To see a great anti-war song sanitised like this, from a condemnation of the folly and obscenity of war, is an insult to the writer of the song, to the many singers who have sung it previously, and ultimately to the armed forces, who know better than anyone else the horrors of war."

The petition calls on RBL to apologise and to print the full words on its website. You can sign the petition here...:

In the same week that David Cameron declared the WWI Centenary a "celebration" like the Queen's Jubilee, the use of the poppy as a political tool needs to stop. It's sacrilege to those, along with three of my own family, who were slaughtered in the war.

And so the original song goes:


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