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Spanish Train

Chris de Burgh
Journeys and Landscapes
Far Beyond These Castle Walls
Spanish Train
At The End Of A Perfect Day
Eastern Wind
The Getaway
Man On The Line
Into The Light
Flying Colours
High On Emotion: Live From Dublin!
Power of Ten
This Way Up
Beautiful Dreams
The Love Songs
Quiet Revolution
Notes From Planet Earth
Timing Is Everything
The Road To Freedom
The River Sessions
The Storyman
The Story Man Tour 2006
There's Room In This Heart Tonight
Live From Bangkok
The Man On The Line
The De Burgh Archives And Wine Cellar
Transmission Ends

First World War

"I died in hell - They called it Passchendaele''
- Siegfried Sassoon

Chris de Burgh

This Song For You

Hello darling, this is the army,
I've just got the time to write,
Today we attach, there's no turning back,
the boys they're all ready for the fight.

Yes, I'm well but this place is like hell,
they call it Passchendaele,
In nineteen seventeen the war must be ending,
the General said this attack will not fail;

So I'm writing down this little melody
When you play it my love, think of me...
We'll be together in this song for you,
And it goes Lalala...sing it darling...Lalala...

They got old Bill and the Sergeant is still out there
Wounded in some shellhole,
They say this war will end all wars,
Oh God I really hope it will,

Oh how's old England, are they still singing
those songs that we loved to sing,
When all this is over, we'll go sailing in Dover,
catching fish like we used to with a string,

Oh I miss you, I miss you, I miss you so,
If they get me my love you will know...
We'll always be together in this song for you...

And it goes Lalala...I have to go now...
take care of yourself my love.
Chris de Burgh 1975 

Spanish Train and Other Stories 1975
A&M 393 143-2 November 1975

Lonely Sky 3:52
Patricia The Stripper 3:30 
The Painter 4:20
The Old Friend 3:40
The Tower 5:22

Chris de Burgh and guitar

from three different perspectives.
an on-line exhibit from the
National Library of Scotland

1914 -1918
from The Learning Curve.
National Archives U.K.

Passchendaele....drowning in mud
Passchendaele July 31 - November 8, 1917

They Call It Passchendaele

Passchendaele (officially the third battle of Ypres) is outstanding among the battles of World War I not only for its cost, but also for the conditions in which those casualties were incurred. The British commander, Sir Douglas Haig, had decided to launch his forces from the Ypres salient -- the loop in the front line around the city which they had been holding since October 1914. Their aim was the German-occupied ports on the Belgian coast to the north-east.
The overture, on 7 June 1917 was the battle of Messines. It was a success, albeit at a cost of 24,000 casualties. The British exploded 19 huge underground mines, and then stormed the ridge overlooking Ypres from the south. But what followed was to be far more difficult. The main attack went in over low-lying land veined by water courses. Constant shelling had churned the clay soil and smashed the drainage systems. The heavy rains which coincided with the opening assault, on 31 July, produced thick, clinging mud, which caked uniforms and clogged rifles.
It eventually became so deep that, in many places, men, horses and pack mules drowned in it. The shell holes filled with water. With each new phase of the offensive, fresh rain fell to add to the misery.
The only solid objects in the desolation seemed to be the concrete German strong-points, built to give their occupants inter-locking fields of machine gun fire which scythed down many attackers. Despite this, the offensive continued, in fits and starts, throughout the summer and into autumn. It petered out in November, when the Canadians reached the site of the village which gave the battle its name. Hardly a trace of it remained. What was supposed to be a thrusting breakthrough became a battle of attrition. The British and Empire forces advanced just five miles, at a cost of at least a quarter of a million casualties. Their one consolation was that the Germans had also suffered grievously.
Perhaps the battle's enduring epitaph is the phrase from one of Siegfried Sassoon's poems:
''I died in hell - They called it Passchendaele''

July 31 - November 8, 1917

could be described as one
of the most controversial
battles of World War I.
this page from the
government of Canada

the symbol of the
stupidity of war
this page is part
of an overall
website entitled
Europe's 20th Century Journey.
from Liverpool Community College
in the UK.

an overview from the
Canadian point of view.
this is at the vast About

an audio eye-witness account
of the \Canadian involvement.
 this from the
CBC Canada Archives

another look at
the Canadia Corp's
involvement in this
futile and costly battle
this site has a photograph
of the Canadian Memorial
at Passchendaele


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