Remembrance Day

The 2008 Poppy, as produced by the Royal British Legion

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the end of The Great War (supposedly the war to end all wars), and is a recognised day of remembrance in many countries – be it known as Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day or Poppy Day.

It doesn’t matter who, or what, the many million casualties of war were fighting for, or how we may personally feel about any – or all – military conflict today: we should remember them and what they gave.

So, as we’ve done before for other (lesser) occasions, I’d like to be reminded of the most poignant songs of war and peace, to honour all those who sacrificed so much so that we may enjoy a better life.

Two that spring to mind are ‘Berliners’, by Roy Harper (with the moving stanza from Laurence Binyon’s poem, ‘For The Fallen’), and, of course, Pink Floyd’s ‘When The Tigers Broke Free’, from ‘The Wall’ film.

Comments about David’s performance of ‘Albatross’ to be left here, not here, please.

Thank you.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

90 thoughts on “Remembrance Day”

  1. A song that never fails to affect me is “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. It’s about an Australian soldier who is shipped off to Gallipoli and returns from the battle a broken man.

    I particularly like the Joan Baez version.

  2. Thanks f.ed,

    Thinking today of 2 great uncles killed in WW1, one was 20 the other 19. 🙁

    If only it was the war that ended all wars…

    Also worth mentioning today:

    Harry Patch aged 110
    Herny Allingham aged 112
    Bill Stone aged 108
    Claude Choules aged 107

    The only veterans left from WW1.

    [The horrors they must have witnessed. – FEd]

  3. Pink Floyd – The Final Cut

    I think ‘The Gunner’s Dream’ could fit in. Especially for families of those who had fallen.

  4. We had a minute silence in the office at 11 o’clock this morning observed by everybody, our company is very much a league of nations & it was good that we all paid tribute to those fallen in wars.

    No song at the moment but I always remember a scene from a very old film, All Quiet On The Western Front, when a soldier in the trenches reaches out for a butterfly & is shot.

  5. The song that comes to mind immediately is from the Final Cut. The Gunner’s Dream. Poignant and moving, especially Waters’ vocals that just drip with aching sentiment.

    Darren

  6. ‘masters of war’ – bob dylan. this one sticks out for me.

    ‘adagio for strings’, of course this is a classic and put to good use in platoon.

    and also i think, ‘imagine’ – john lennon.

    “it’s easy if you try.”

    [“You fasten all the triggers for the others to fire, then you sit back and watch while the death count gets higher.” How sickeningly true. – FEd]

  7. From Pink Floyd of old, Pow R Toc H. I choose this because of the association of Toc H with an organisation to better communities.

    I would like to choose A Great Day For Freedom from The Division Bell because I believe Armistice Day was in the minds of the writers. AND Freedom is what it is all about.

    War is horrific and no one should ever forget that, and if someone is willing to lay down their life so we can be free, we should remember them with respect.

    Anyone catch a TV programme last night where two teenage lads were asked if they knew what Remembrance Day or the Poppy was about ? They didn’t know, their great grandmother was still alive, her husband died in the war, she and the programme makers helped these lads know.

    ash X

  8. Fed –

    Why did yesterday’s “Albatross” posts (number count) jump from 64 to 73 but no new ones were added?

    [They were added. Do you still not see them? – FEd]

  9. Hi, I think “The Final Cut” is one of the greatest anti-war albums ever written. “Your Possible Pasts” comes to mind:

    “in derelict sidings the poppies entwine
    with cattle trucks lying in wait for the next time”

    Regarding the 90th anniversary of the end of The Great War, it might also be a fitting tribute to play “The Ballad of Bill Hubbard” and “Amused to Death” with those extremely moving spoken word parts by an WWI veteran.

    Henning

  10. Fed ~

    I still do not see them and now the count is up to 81!

    This is the last one added (that I can see):

    [I would love David to record an album of the tracks that have inspired him, e.g. blues songs. – matty]

    [Click the ‘More Comments’ link beneath Matty’s comment. – FEd]

  11. Another more recent one:

    No Profit in Peace – Ocean Colour Scene (at least I think that is the title).

  12. “Back in the days of Mission Accomplished
    Our chief was landing on the deck
    The sun was setting on a golden photo opp.
    Back in the days of Mission Accomplished

    Thousands of bodies in the ground
    Brought home in boxes to a trumpet’s sound
    No one sees them coming home that way
    Thousands buried in the ground

    Thousands of children scarred for life
    Millions of tears for a soldier’s wife
    Both sides are losing now, heaven takes them in
    Thousands of children scarred for life.”

    – Neil Young, Shock and Awe

  13. The ones that stick out in my mind are ‘Brothers in Arms’ by Dire Straits & ‘Where Have All The Flowers Gone’ which a few people have covered.

    [By Pete Seeger originally, I believe, but here’s another salute to Joan Baez for many beautiful renditions. – FEd]

  14. With God On Our Side, Bob Dylan:

    “Oh the Spanish-American
    War had its day
    And the Civil War too
    Was soon laid away
    And the names of the heroes
    I’s made to memorize
    With guns in their hands
    And God on their side.

    Oh the First World War, boys
    It closed out its fate
    The reason for fighting
    I never got straight
    But I learned to accept it
    Accept it with pride
    For you don’t count the dead
    When God’s on your side.

    When the Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now too
    Have God on their side.

    I’ve learned to hate Russians
    All through my whole life
    If another war starts
    It’s them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them
    To run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely
    With God on my side.

    But now we got weapons
    Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we’re forced to
    Then fire them we must
    One push of the button
    And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions
    When God’s on your side.

    In a many dark hour
    I’ve been thinkin’ about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can’t think for you
    You’ll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I’m leavin’
    I’m weary as Hell
    The confusion I’m feelin’
    Ain’t no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God’s on our side
    He’ll stop the next war.”

  15. [Click the ‘More Comments’ link beneath Matty’s comment. – FEd]

    I’ve never seen that offered before.

    Is that new or have I finally reached the elusive state of senile?

    [A bit of both? – FEd]

  16. “The death of one is a tragedy
    The death of one is a tragedy
    The death of one is a tragedy
    The death of millions is just a statistic”

    Joseph Stalin’s quote as used by Marilyn Manson for his “Fight Song”.

  17. “All we are saying is give peace a chance…”

    It’s so extremely simple, but in that way it epitomises how profound war is – making two groups of people try to kill each other because their leaders tell them to.

    I also like ‘Some Mother’s Son’ by the Kinks. Not a really slow song, but the lyrics are very evocative:

    “While all the mothers stand and wait
    Some mother’s son ain’t coming home today
    Some mother’s son ain’t got no grave.

    Two soldiers fighting in a trench
    One soldier glances up to see the sun
    And dreams of games he played when he was young.

    And then his friend calls out his name
    It stops his dream and as he turns his head
    A second later he is dead.

    Some mother’s son lies in a field
    Back home they put his picture in a frame
    But all dead soldiers look the same.”

  18. Roger’s ‘Ballad of Bill Hubbard’ is a lovely and moving song that speaks to the disconnect between those who have experienced and lived through war and who know of it’s dehumanizing horrors, and those of us who watch it on TV as entertainment.

    ‘Down by the Riverside’ is a grand old gospel song which probably dates back to America’s civil war. It is a simple, hopeful and uplifting call for peace.

    “Gonna lay down my sword and shield
    Down by the riverside…
    I ain’t gonna study war no more,
    I ain’t gonna study war no more, etc.”

  19. Hey Fed,

    Just got back from the Port Credit Cenotaph which is just down the road from where I live. I have been going there for Remembrance Day ceremonies for years and am always moved by the events there.

    For a long time I went with Liz one of my best friends from a local pub I frequent. A few years ago she died but before that when her Dad was still alive we would all go back to the pub in the afternoon and she would pull out a Vera Lynn CD for him to listen to in the pub.

    Therefore my song is White Cliffs of Dover, a classic wartime song and one which to this day reminds me of the sacrifices of our solders and of Liz my friend.

    Cheers, Howard

  20. Goodnight Saigon ~ Billy Joel

    “And we would all go down together
    We said we’d all go down together
    Yes, we would all go down together…”

  21. PENSO CHE TUTTE LE GUERRE SONO INGIUSTE E CHI CI RIMETTE SONO SEMPRE DONNE E SOPRATTUTTO BAMBINI…

    E’ GIUSTO RICODARE SEMPRE PER NON DIMENTICARE E TESTIMONIARE QUESTE ORRENDI CRIMINI AI NOSTRI FIGLI FAR SI CHE NON SI RIPETANO PIU’.

    GRAZIE CLAUDIO71, TURIN, ITALY.

    CIAO DAVID.

  22. For me it has got to be ‘When the Tigers Broke Free’ and ‘The Gunners Dream’.

    Those two songs make me shiver and become covered in goosebumps and cry. Where David is the master of expressing deep emotion with his guitar work, Roger is the master of deep emotion with his vocals on these two songs.

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Armistice Day programme on the BBC today. Every year Armistice Day fills me with emotion. The Haig poppy has such deep meaning to me and as a matter of fact all my oil paintings have a picture of the Haig poppy in them somewhere.

    My great grandfather fought in the Great War and my grandfather fought in the Second World War (both were British). My father went to Vietnam although he never talks about it. So there is a long military history in my family.

  23. Brothers in Arms (about the Falklands War) by that other remarkable guitarist Mark Knopfler and:

    Goodbye Blue Sky from Pink Floyd

    “Did you, did you see the frightened ones?
    Did you, did you hear the falling bombs?
    Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter,
    When the promise of a brave new world,
    Unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?

    Did you, did you see the frightened ones?
    Did you, did you hear the falling bombs?
    The flames are all long gone,
    But the pain lingers on.
    Goodbye, blue sky.
    Goodbye, blue sky.
    Goodbye.
    Goodbye.”

  24. My father couldn’t bear to hear “Pomp and Circumstance”, it was just too painful for him, and it filled him with sadness and emotion. As a result, whenever I hear it, it fills me with emotion too.

    This kind and gentle man who died 30 years ago had spent 6 years in WW2, most of it in the front lines in North Africa. He sacrificed, as so many did all those years, and suffered greatly for the rest of his life as a result.

    I thank him and all the others who fought for freedom and died and suffered for it. I will never forget.

  25. 1st World War still move me to think of such a terrible waste of life and brilliant minds gone forever. Who knows what we would be achieving today had that war not been fought?

    I believe I lost a relative who was a pilot, he had only been flying for 3 hours and was shot down and killed.

    WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

    Damian

  26. Speaking of Bob Dylan, I’ve always loved the words to “John Brown”. An example of how war looks to those who are not fighting in it, compared to those who have the misfortune of witnessing it first hand.

    [“Don’t you remember, Ma, when I went off to war, you thought it was the best thing I could do? I was on the battleground, you were home, acting proud.” – FEd]

  27. I’d certainly go with The Gunner’s Dream, The Final Cut and The ballad of Bill Hubbard.

    Not in the same class but Hendrix’s Machine Gun also captures something …

    I also think that the Theme to Schindler’s list is an incredibly moving piece of music – a true modern classic.

    Anyone wanting to know more of the experience of trench warfare could do worse than read Lyn MacDonald’s work on the Somme, Passchendaele and, aptly named, the Death of Innocence.

    The novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” also.

  28. “Brothers In Arms” – Dire Straits
    “Unknown Soldier” – The Doors
    “The Hero’s Return” – Pink Floyd

    Regards.

  29. A song by Australian band Redgum called “He Was Only 19” is worthy of mention here. It goes right to the core.

    Wilko

    [That reminds me: the Paul Hardcastle track, ‘Nineteen’, about Vietnam. – FEd]

  30. Hi FEd,

    It seems nobody knows about the existence of Remembrance Day here in Italy. Our media didn’t spend a single word about it!

    When I think about war, the first song which comes in my mind is “Goodbye Blue Sky”, from The Wall. Sad as the war is.

    Ciao,
    Alessandra

  31. Metallica – ‘One’:

    “Hold my breath as I wish for death
    Oh please God, wake me

    Now the world is gone I’m just one
    Oh God, help me hold my breath as I wish for death
    Oh please God, help me

    Darkness imprisoning me
    All that I see
    Absolute horror
    I cannot live
    I cannot die
    Trapped in myself
    Body my holding cell

    Landmine has taken my sight
    Taken my speech
    Taken my hearing
    Taken my arms
    Taken my legs
    Taken my soul
    Left me with life in hell”

    * Not that I believe in God, though… Isn’t “God a mistake of man’s”?

    Michèle

    [I think so, but then… I could be mistaken. – FEd]

  32. Two that come to mind are “When The Tigers Broke Free”, of course, and “Give Peace A Chance” by John Lennon.

    “All we are saying is give peace a chance” – John Lennon

    Anthony

  33. At my local church in Burlington, Ontario, a WWII veteran was interviewed by the pastor during the service. It was very moving to hear him speak about some of his experiences. As my father died four years ago on the day before Remembrance Day, I always find this to be quite a difficult time of year.

    Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut I believe is the most appropriate of all albums relating to the sadness of war. IMHO, if you took about half of the Wall album and added almost all of The Final Cut, I think the result would be a masterpiece.

    Also, the spoken words of Alf Razzell on Roger Waters’ Amused to Death are mesmerising. I recently bought a live Waters DVD and was pleased to see some video footage of Alf Razzell superimposed on the screen during some of those spoken parts.

    [I couldn’t agree more about an amalgamation of parts of ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Final Cut’. – FEd]

  34. I have been a fan for quite a while, but recently I got the Live at The Royal Albert Hall DVD (why it took me so long, I’ll never know). I get mezmorized by that and watch it over and over. I think Mr. Gilmour is one of the best musicians I’ve heard.

    My younger friends say he looks old, I choose to think he’s seasoned and getting better.

    David, keep it up as long as you can!!!

    Amazing…

  35. Hi FEd,

    This is one of the songs I think of, amongst many. I grew up near Galveston.

    “Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin’
    I still see her dark eyes glowin’
    She was 21 when I left Galveston

    Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
    While I watch the cannons flashing
    I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

    I still see her standing by the water
    Standing there lookin’ out to sea
    And is she waiting there for me?
    On the beach where we used to run

    Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
    Before I dry the tears she’s crying
    Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
    At Galveston, at Galveston.”

    This is by Glenn Campbell (post Beach Boys).

    Penny

  36. ‘The Green Fields Of France’ by The Furies & Davey Authur is a wonderful song about this very subject. It’s so beautifully sung and performed.

  37. I would like to add to the list “I’ll Be Seeing You”. This very old songs words to me are very poignant thinking of people left behind remembering loved ones they have lost.

    I had an uncle who was a paratrooper who was captured, but lucky to escape. Another uncle was an airplane gunner. He bent over for some reason and when he sat up saw bullet holes where he head would have been seconds before.

    Jan

  38. [The horrors they must have witnessed. – FEd]

    With all of them being over 100, I guess it is possible that the horrors they witnessed may have helped them in appreciating other aspects of their lives. Kind of what you said before, appreciate what you have cause it could be taken away very quickly.

    On days like today, I always think of my dad and my brother who both were witness to some of the horrors, survived the horrors but are no longer with us. I can say that my brother lived with those horrors every day till he died and unfortunately the only comfort he had was the company of Johnny Walker.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  39. “War! (duh duh, duh duh), what is it good for? (uh, absolutely nothin’).”

    By “War”.

  40. Not Dark Yet – Bob Dylan

    “Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day
    It’s too hot to sleep time is running away
    Feel like my soul has turned into steel
    I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
    There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
    It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

    Well my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
    Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain
    She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
    She put down in writing what was in her mind
    I just don’t see why I should even care
    It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

    Well, I’ve been to London and I’ve been to gay Paris
    I’ve followed the river and I got to the sea
    I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies
    I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes
    Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
    It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there…

    I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
    I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
    Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
    I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
    Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
    It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.”

    This would be my first choice. I just really like it a lot.

  41. “Far between sundown’s finish and midnight’s broken toll
    We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
    As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
    Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
    Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
    Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
    And for each and every underdog soldier in the night
    And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

    In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
    With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
    As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
    Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
    Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
    Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned and forsaked
    Tolling for the outcast, burning constantly at stake
    And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.”

    ~ Bob Dylan

    Links to two very pertinent documentaries: http://www.noendinsightmovie.com and http://www.bodyofwar.com.

    Peace for all!
    Gabrielle

  42. Went to the cenotaph without my father in law this year. He’s in a retirement home now and is a British Vet. Then to our Legion afterwards. I never miss this event.

    The Doors- Unknown Soldier
    The Killers- I’ve Got Soul But I’m Not A Soldier…
    Sky Pilot- Eric Burden/The Animals

  43. Hi Ho All,

    You know the game, “If you had a dinner party and could invite 10 people, dead or alive, who would they be?”.

    My first two would be my great uncles Edgar (Father’s side) and James (Mother’s side), both of whom died at The Somme. Then there would be a few more ‘recent’ ones who were cleaned up in WWII or since. Then there would be my family of three (which would round out the ten).

    No one famous.

    I would just want them to see that it had been worthwhile and that we, 90 years later, remember them and what they did so we could have dinner like this every night.

    As for song? How about a poem …

    Siegfried Sassoon “Does It Matter?” or Wilfred Owen’s “Dolce Et Decorum Est”.

    Christopher

    [Great post, Christopher. Thank you. – FEd]

  44. Dear Fed,

    sorry for writing here, but I don’t know how to contact you another way.

    I bought the 5 disc (CD + DVD) of Live in Gdansk, but on the DVD with the concert, the link for special online contents isn’t working at all, and when I try it my computer crashes.

    Who should I write to in order to solve the problem?

    Thank you very very much, have a good day.

    Iacopo

    [I am sorry to hear about this. Please click your name above and then click FAQ & Support at the bottom of the page to open a new window. There is space to explain your problem there. Please let me know if the Support Team have been able to help you. – FEd]

  45. G’day FEd,

    Yes Becky “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is a great song, my favourite versions is by the “Bush Wackers” on the album “Beneath the Southern Cross”. I play it every Anzac Day at about 5am.

    Red Gums “A Walk in the Light Green” also known as “I Was Only 19” is another good one.

    “War” & “Two Tribes” by Frankie. “Kan Sah” & “When the War is Over” by Cold Chisel, “Armistice Day”, “When the Generals Talk” & “Hercules” by Midnight Oil.

    I do remember, I’ll never forget.

    Those guys gave their lives so that we have the right to vote. Freedom & democracy is a great thing but unfortunately it doesn’t come cheap.

    Cheers and thanks
    snow

    [And so many people don’t bother to vote when they have the opportunity to do so. Their right, also won by valiant generations past, I suppose. – FEd]

  46. The Green Fields Of France.

    I can’t remember who sings it or who wrote it. But it’s a very poignant war song about a lad called Willy McBride. Look up the words, it’s quite a sad song.

    You know who it’s by FEd?

    [Eric Bogle wrote it, according to Google. Very sad. Here’s a snippet: “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.” – FEd]

  47. Re: The Green Fields Of France

    The best version, IMHO, is by Davy Arthur and The Fureys, hairs on the back of your neck etc.

  48. “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”
    “Down By the Riverside”
    “If I Had a Hammer”

    And, of course, from Floyd… “Us and Them”

  49. [Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut I believe is the most appropriate of all albums relating to the sadness of war. IMHO, if you took about half of the Wall album and added almost all of The Final Cut, I think the result would be a masterpiece. – IMcK]

    The irony here is that apparently some of The Final Cut were outtakes from The Wall sessions.

    Also, to me the movie that captures war and all its horrors is Apocalypse Now.

    As for music, I have to agree with Michele, One by Metallica.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  50. In Argentina, we don’t have a long war history…being the Falklands War (or Malvinas, how we call the islands here) the only one.

    We have a day to remember the soldiers too, not only to reflect on what war means, but also to condemn the worst period of Argentinian History…when a military dictatorship sent young, unprepared, poorly-equipped soldiers to fight an unnecessary war. Many of the soldiers who came back, ended up crazy or, at least, very disturbed, and found it difficult to re-establish their social life.

    My point here is that this day is important for us to REMEMBER what happened, in order NOT TO LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN…because a lot of people in Argentina agreed with the military government – actually, they would kill you otherwise (luckily I wasn’t born yet) – but, for sure, it won’t happen again.

    As for the songs, ‘Brothers In Arms’, obviously, and ‘Good Bye Blue Sky’ are my choices – “…the flames are all lost gone, but the pain lingers on.”

    Cheers,
    Agustín.

  51. Pieces of Lead, a song that my best friend Johnny Vee and I wrote many years ago…

    “Too tired, having trouble lifting up your head
    Is it time you put your mind to rest
    I was always taught to live instead
    Too tired, are you?

    Bye now, you’ll be taken care of very soon
    Why they can even put men on the moon
    All things come to pass, end much too soon
    So tired, are you?

    Out in the woods, out picking weeds
    A boy of impeccable taste and incredible sleaze
    Leave if you can you’re a boy not a leader of men in a war
    Used as a whore

    Hang up the pieces of lead
    Hang up the pieces of lead
    Pieces of Lead…

    Formal delay, stops the parade
    Quick turn around you there’s someone behind you
    One foot in the grave
    Calling collect seems a shame but you have nothing
    Left but your name…holding your breath

    Hang up the pieces of lead
    Hang up the pieces of lead
    Pieces of Lead…

    Over and out, life’s on the slide
    Making an effort is strained by the fact
    That you’re hurting your pride
    Breathe if you can boy the writings are only a novel away
    Chapters away

    Hang up the pieces of lead
    Hang up the pieces of lead
    Pieces of Lead…

    Lead weights, straps around my ankles and my feet
    Cover up you’re not supposed to bleed
    You can call out if you have the need
    So tired, are you?
    So tired, are you?”

  52. As it’s playing now: ‘The Partisan’ by Leonard Cohen.

    This line says it simply:

    “There were three of us this morning, I’m the only one this evening…”

  53. I’ve just bought my 5-disc set! At last! It’s really great!

    [I’m happy for you, Michal. Enjoy it. – FEd]

  54. Fed ~

    Did you ever watch the “Band of Brothers” series?

    Just brilliantly done.

    It was very stark, surreal, sad and inspirational all at the same time…

    [I didn’t. I have a problem with Steven Spielberg trying to teach us about history. – FEd]

  55. Well, I am French, I just wanted to thank all the people of all nations (and their families, grandfathers, fathers, brothers, etc…) who one day helped those green fields of France to remain green free fields of France.

    I love you all.

    Michèle

  56. [Speaking of Bob Dylan, I’ve always loved the words to “John Brown”. An example of how war looks to those who are not fighting in it, compared to those who have the misfortune of witnessing it first hand. – Matt]

    [“Don’t you remember, Ma, when I went off to war, you thought it was the best thing I could do? I was on the battleground, you were home, acting proud.” – FEd]

    Exactly!

    Another great Bob war song is one about the civil war called “‘Cross the Green Mountain” off of his new bootleg series disc.

    It hadn’t occurred to me how many war songs he has until this thread started.

  57. Sweet lord that was a magical version of Albatross, pure emotion bottled, fantastic.

    Rgds Geoff Duffy ( Dublin )

  58. [I didn’t. I have a problem with Steven Spielberg trying to teach us about history. – FEd]

    Could you elaborate Fed?

    It’s not like it’s Oliver Stone, what’s wrong with Spielberg?

    Were there documented inaccuracies with the series?

    [There’s too much re-writing of history going on in Hollywood, and revisionists are dangerous people when you consider that more people are likely to watch a blockbuster movie than read a history book (and, whether they know it or not, will be influenced by it). I just feel that he has a political agenda and his films reflect that, although, as a director, he’s obviously free to express himself however he wishes. – FEd]

  59. I’m rather late to this post, but I think it is incredibly important that everyone should wear their poppy with pride. We must never forget them!

    Roger Waters has always been able to articulate in music the stupidity and long term loss, pain and suffering that war brings.

    I agree with the choice of Two Little Boys; it brought a lump to my throat when I first heard it as an eight year old and it still does. And isn’t Rolf an International treasure?

    [As it’s playing now: ‘The Partisan’ by Leonard Cohen.
    This line says it simply: “There were three of us this morning, I’m the only one this evening…” – FEd]

    Unbelievably (perhaps not), I saw the brilliant Leonard Cohen last night in Bournemouth and that song remains my favourite of his. But live, well, I have rarely been so moved by a performance. He is The Man, and if anyone is considering going to see him, but has yet to buy tickets and can get them; just do it, you will not be disappointed. Expensive, but worth every penny.

    [He played it in Cardiff on Sunday, too. I second everything you said about him and his live performances: it was an absolute pleasure to watch him sing. – FEd]

  60. [I have a problem with Steven Spielberg trying to teach us about history. – FEd]

    That’s an interesting comment, F’ed. It seems to me that in the above-mentioned “Band of Brothers”, the related “Saving Private Ryan” and most notably “Schindler’s List”, Spielberg sets out to (and largely succeeds) tell the story of war in a vivid but also personal way. He seems to have taken great lengths to ensure authenticity and, whilst facts are always open to dispute, I believe the basic “truth” of what is conveyed, that war is full of atrocity but also acts of redeeming humanity, is there for all to see.

    I will grant you that “Raiders of the Lost Ark” takes a few liberties though ….

  61. thank you for remembering this day.

    there were 6 childhood buddies that all went to viet nam,
    we lost matthew and richard over there and after the other 4 came back, duane blew his brains out after his wife left him, ricky was killed in a drug deal in houston, and pinky has spent most of his life in prison or mental institutions…so i guess i’m the lucky one? sometimes i wonder.

    also my dad was on a ship in tokyo bay guarding general mcarthur as he accepted the japanese surrender in WW II. i was at my dad’s funeral the day richard wright passed away so the flag that flew out in our front yard today had special meaning to me…..

    so to everyone out there that has worn a uniform in battle or has been affected by those that have, you have my condolences and always remember the ones we have lost because our memories are all that is left of them…..

    take care
    fats

  62. whoops…i forgot to mention a song, for me it’s

    all along the watchtower – hendrix

    this was the first song i remember hearing when i woke up in a field mash unit awaiting the next chopper out of “the garden of agony” in viet nam. i’ll always remember that one as for me it was a reassurance that i might in fact make it out of that hell hole which i finally did.

    fats

  63. Hello Fed,

    when I think about war the first songs that come to my mind are “Empty Spaces”, “Goodbye Blue Sky” and “Goodbye Cruel World” from “The Wall” and “Five Years” by David Bowie.

    It seems to me as though the past wars haven’t taught something to those people that keep living in “a calderon of hate”, as David would say. War creates death and so many tragedies.

    The songs that remind me of peace and hope are “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine” by John Lennon, but most of all “High Hopes” and David’s solo in “When You’re In” from “Obscured by Clouds” seem to be stronger than war.

    Thank you.

  64. Odium parit mortem, vitam progignit amor
    L’odio produce morte, l’amore genera vita

    “The hate produces death, the love gives birth to life.”

    This is the sentence written on the national Ara Pacis Mundi monument for World Peace, situated on top of the Medea hills, near Gorizia, at the further east Italian border, which contains a large urn holding lumps of earth of all war cemeteries of the world, as well as drops of water of all oceans having been show place during the last world war.

    Collecting idealism calls the fallen of all the wars, of all the nations, the Ara wishes to express the highest ideals of civil world, those of brotherhood and humanitarian solidarity above any hatred and any contrast between the states.

    I have liked to share it with you about this topic (click my name).

    bye/ciao Elisabetta

  65. Every song against war is a meaningful song.

    I want to suggest to everybody to see “Redacted” by Brian the Palma. Watch it till the very last scene because the images at the end (real images) after the movie get a special meaning. WAR is that thing shown at the end of the movie. I never understood why anybody with a heart connected to a brain could embrace the logic of war.

    Off topic, Mitch Mitchell has gone. Another man who was giving real emotion when playing. Hats off.

  66. [I didn’t. I have a problem with Steven Spielberg trying to teach us about history. – FEd]

    I like cinema and I would like to spend my two cents on Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List”.

    Well, Spielberg doesn’t need any help from me but I would like Fed to see these movies from another perspective.

    These movies can be good or bad in many sides but they both have qualities. The first 25 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan” are the best war movie ever. Why? Because war is shown in its essence: a carnage. Only a carnage. The soldiers are all very young, 18 or so. They think of mum before fighting and when dying they call her, they are just boys. They do not fall elegantly and heroically. They just die in the worst way possible.

    In this film, for the first time at that time, an American movie showed an American soldier killing an unarmed German soldier: an unuseful killing as to tell that evil is everywhere.

    And “Schindler’s List” has the famous red coat scene…

  67. …The innocent baby girl appears two times: alive and dead on a horrible truck carrying dead babies body. They are the victims of every war, they remind us of our inhumanity.

    The other scene is the final one when Schindler is gifted by the Jews he saved with a gold ring. He cries, desperate and mad, like a baby and says “How many more would I have saved with this? One, maybe two”…. He gets the real value of everything finally. Of human life. And understands that HE could make a little difference. Like everyone of us.

    SO, at the end…. These movies maybe don’t tell anything really new, but they use the power of images to recreate in front of our eyes the experience of war as it is. A carnage, an inhuman, barbaric thing. A downgrading of human beings.

    [Granted, they’re both fine pieces of cinema and, as you say, they’re incredibly powerful, horrific and upsetting. On reflection, I found ‘Saving Private Ryan’ typically (for Hollywood) schmaltzy at times. It was clear who was ‘good’ and who was ‘bad’, there were too many crude stereotypes, and some scenes, frankly, were an insult to German soldiers who gave their lives not necessarily in support of Hitler’s ideology. Plus, I know someone who was involved in the Normandy landings and he found the portrayal rather insulting: I value an eyewitness account far more than a dramatic reconstruction by a director who is, ultimately, trying to entertain and impress a paying audience. It just seems to me that this movie was almost designed to whip up American patriotism (again) as much as it was a depiction of the futility of war. In that sense, can it truly be described as an anti-war film? I’m sure it would have been equally, if not more, powerful, horrific and upsetting without Spielberg’s patronising – and, for me, now tedious – personal agenda. – FEd]

  68. Such a simple little song but Rolf Harris’ Two Little Boys…..’Did you think I would leave you dying when there’s room on my horse for two?’ together with The Final Cut, especially Southampton Dock, which I find quite poignant – especially with Roger’s heart rendering vocals.

  69. [Such a simple little song but Rolf Harris’ Two Little Boys…..’Did you think I would leave you dying when there’s room on my horse for two?’ – Heather]

    I agree, did you see him on TV a couple of nights ago talking about what his father and uncle did in WW1?

    Rolf seems such a sensitive soul and a very likeable chap, bless his heart.

  70. [In that sense, can it truly be described as an anti-war film? I’m sure it would have been equally, if not more, powerful, horrific and upsetting without Spielberg’s patronising – and, for me, now tedious – personal agenda. – FEd]

    You misspelled “Amy Irving’s settlement”…

  71. [In that sense, can it truly be described as an anti-war film? – FEd]

    I honestly say it is a difficult question. Not only for this movie. For example “A Clockwork Orange” ends right a chapter before the novel. While the novel show Alex raped again by the system and clearly states that violence, any kind, is wrong..well, the movie shows us Alex in hospital with his eyes “evil” again. And you are happy because the natural Alex is back again… Is it an anti-violence movie? Or pro-violence?

    I think that it is a movie where the director wants your involvement. It has always considered a dangerous movie for this reason: you are violent, you read a message pro-violence. You are anti-violence, you read the anti-violence message. The “curse” of the movie is all here to me.

    [Good point. – FEd]

  72. THIS:

    “The flames are all long gone,
    But the pain lingers on”

    The war is over, but the pain of families of soldiers continues.

    Goodbye Blue Sky – thanks Gilmour/Waters for this fantastic track.

  73. [And you are happy because the natural Alex is back again… Is it an anti-violence movie? Or pro-violence? – Piergiorgio]

    I understand you and agree. I remember reading the book, ‘Hannibal’, and feeling like I wanted Dr Lecter to prevail. If you are not familiar with Dr. Lecter, he was a murdering, cannibalistic, psychopathic psychiatrist.

    I often worry about why that I felt that way. I try not to kill insects, even.

  74. [In that sense, can it truly be described as an anti-war film? – FEd]

    I’m not sure I read “Saving Private Ryan” as an anti-war film. It surely describes the sacrifices that were made by individuals in pursuit of a greater cause.

    The Normandy landings are about as good an example of a “necessary action” as we can probably find in the history of warfare.

    The Second World War is itself an episode that challenges many of our preconceptions of war. It is difficult to see how the World would have been a better place if Fascism had been left unchallenged and I don’t believe many veterans of that war felt with hindsight that it was an undeserving cause. In that sense it may be the exception that proves the rule.

  75. [In that sense it may be the exception that proves the rule. – Tim C]

    Well written post. I do also think an army should be like a sort of insurance: you make it, hoping to never use it.

    The Italian constitution, written after WWII, states that Italy refuses war as a mean to solve international problems. The Italian army is only for self defence.

    Iraq proves that the Italian Government stepped over that principle.

    To be in topic the most famous anti-war song in Italy is “C’era un ragazzo che come me amava i Beatles e i Rolling Stones” (“There was a guy that, like me, used to love The Beatles and The Rolling Stones”). It is a song written during Vietnam war by Gianni Morandi and was also sung several times by Joan Baez.

    The text is about a boy with long hair, a pacifist, a rocker, a guitar player who is called to fight in Vietnam. And he plays an instrument which makes only one note…Rat-tat-tat-tat-ta.

  76. [The Normandy landings are about as good an example of a “necessary action” as we can probably find in the history of warfare. – Tim C]

    But if FEd says he knows a veteran from that offensive who was insulted by the movie, what does it matter if it was a “necessary action” or not? It’s about the movie, not the event.

    I think you missed the point.

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