Geo’s Media Blog (In Flanders Fields – Bruce Walker) 11/11/19

poppies

As the Great War raged on in Europe, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea, (pictured above) a Canadian Physician from Guelph Ontario, visited the gravesite of his good friend Alex Hemer to pay his last respects. As he looked around, he noticed that the only thing growing amongst all the crosses, were poppies. As he sadly gazed at the final resting place of the fallen soldiers he was inspired to write his immortal poem, “In Flanders Fields.”

After enduring the butchering of Mr. McCrea’s poem at a Remembrance day service a few years ago, my old bandmate, from The Jury, Bruce Walker, (shown below) disgustingly headed home, plugged in his guitar, turned on the tape recorder and give the famous poem a melody.

Bruce’s version of “In Flanders Fields” which he dedicates to all the fallen soldiers, is now in the Lt. Col. John McCrae museum in Guelph and is being played at more and more legions each year during their Remembrance Day services.

It’s beautiful and very haunting, Bruce, and know this, we “The Jury” were with you in spirit as you recorded it.

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt the dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 
Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs, or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.
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4 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog (In Flanders Fields – Bruce Walker) 11/11/19

  1. So, George, I meant to ask you at the reunion if (since you have shown interest in Flanders Field and the poppies there)…IF you are aware of the late Jacque Brel’s song, MARIEKE. He is my favorite composer, who is Flemish…and, thus, well aware of Flanders. The song was part of the Broadway musical about his works. I am putting the link to Elly Stone’s singing of that song. She was in the musical with it. Enjoy (turn up sound / it’s quite low): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_wHuw9ze4Q

    • Thank you, Jack. My main interest in Bruce’s tune was two-fold, Bruce was our singer in my band, the Jury and the poem was written by a Canadian. I’m always a sucker for anything Canadian.

  2. Thanks George. The song is not only in the Lt. Col. John McCrae museum in Guelph Ontario for visitors to hear, but is being played at more and more Legions during their Remembrance Day Services. My son Curtis provided the technical elements of the recording and added in some harmonies. I’m glad it is being noticed.
    Take care, I would be happy to email a copy of it to all who read your blog if they prefer.
    Bruce

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