Los verdes campos de Francia

amapolaHemos querido inaugurar nuestra serie Gran Guerra-100 años, un proyecto que aúna recuperación literaria y memoria histórica, con El tribunal, un relato breve a medio camino entre la ficción y la crónica periodística de la poeta y sufragista irlandesa Eva Gore-Booth. Puede que sea la primera obra que se vierte de ella al castellano.

La autora, de profundas convicciones pacifistas, participó activamente en el movimiento internacional de oposición a la guerra a través del Comité Internacional de Mujeres para la Paz Permanente (hoy, Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad), así como a través de los círculos en los que se organizaron los objetores de conciencia británicos.

La publicación de este cuento coincide además con el Día Internacional de los Objetores de Conciencia, que desde 1982 se celebra el 15 de mayo promovido por Internacional de Resistentes a la Guerra (IRG). La IRG es un red de organizaciones que promueven acciones contra la guerra. Se fundó en la ciudad neerlandesa de Bilthoven en 1921 con el nombre de PACO (léase patso), «paz» en esperanto. Actualmente su sede está en Londres.

En homenaje al día de hoy y como celebración por el inicio de nuestra serie, ofrecemos un enlace a la canción The Green Fields of France, compuesta en 1976 por Eric Bogle con el nombre de No Man’s Land. La versión es de The Men They Couldn’t Hang y fue grabada durante una actuación del grupo en el Camden Town & Country Club de Londres, el 8 de febrero de 1991. La banda la toca en directo con la soi-disant participación del público.

 

 

Añadimos la letra de la canción, por si algún lector se anima a traducirla y enviárnosla.

Well, how do you do, young Willie McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside,
And rest for a while ‘neath the warm summer sun,
I’ve been walking all day and I’m nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen,
When you joined the great fallen in nineteen sixteen,
I hope you died well and I hope you died clean,
Or young Willie McBride was it slow and obscene.

Did they beat the drum slowly, and did they play the fife lowly.
Did they sound the dead march as they lowered you down,
Did the band play the “Last Post” and chorus,
And did the pipes play the “Flowers of the Forest.”

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind,
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined.
Although you died back in nineteen sixteen,
In that faithful heart you are forever nineteen.
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed and forever behind the glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and battered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

Did they beat the drum slowly, and did they play the fife lowly.
Did they sound the dead march as they lowered you down,
Did the band play the “Last Post” and chorus,
And did the pipes play the “Flowers of the Forest.”

The sun now it shines on the green fields of France
There’s a warm summer breeze, it makes the red poppies dance.
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
There’s no gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it’s still no-man’s-land.
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand,
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man,
To a whole generation that were butchered and damned.
Did they beat the drum slowly, and did they play the fife lowly.
Did they sound the dead march as they lowered you down,
Did the band play the “Last Post” and chorus,
And did the pipes play the “Flowers of the Forest.”

Now young Willie McBride I can’t help but wonder why
Do all those who lie here know why they died.
And did they believe when they answered the cause
Did they really believe that this war would end wars.
Well the sorrows, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing and dying was all done in vain.
For young Willie McBride it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
Did they beat the drum slowly, and did they play the fife lowly.
Did they sound the dead march as they lowered you down,
Did the band play the “Last Post” and chorus,
And did the pipes play the “Flowers of the Forest.”

 

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