Sunday, November 11, 2018

Armistice Day/Remembrance Day-"Maginot Waltz"

November 11, 2018.  100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  The memorial ceremony was shown from London on the BBC today.  70 world leaders attended the memorial ceremony in Paris. Both were extremely emotional and moving.

Ralph McTell, the singer/songwriter I have mentioned to you before, has always had a fascination with World War I.  He wrote a song, "Maginot Waltz" which was from his album "Easy" from 1974. I have the song for you here along with the lyrics.  (By the way, a "charabanc" is a type of bus.) 

Ralph McTell was honored to speak recently at the evening memorial ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, France. (Traffic is closed every evening through this gate at 7:00 PM for this memorial.)  You may read about this just here. 

May we always remember those who gave their lives in the Great War,  "the war to end war."

All off to Brighton in a charabanc
Albert played his banjo and how we sang.
The beer was expensive but the laughter was free
Oh how we do love to all be beside the sea.
Albert had a cousin named Marjorie
And I had been noticing that she had noticed me.
I quickly decided if she didn't mind it
I would spend the day in her gay company.
We shared a plate of whelks strolling side by side.
I said she weren't too old to take a donkey ride
But I didn't mind when she laughed and said no
So we paused for a while and listened to the minstrel show.
There was a notice at the Palace Pier
It said there was to be a dance that night and it wasn't dear.
I explained of course that I could only waltz
And so we waltzed to every tune and air.
Nine o'clock come round we had to take the charabanc
And Albert was too drunk to play the banjo but still we sang
All except Marjorie, I could tell at a glance
Because me and Albert was leaving for France.
I said we'll both be home in a week or two
Me and Albert and Lord Kitchener will teach the Hun a thing or two.
I'm sure to return, after me do not yearn
And we will waltz together all our lives through.
Ralph McTell on his Facebook singing this song and also "The Unknown Soldier".  You MUST click on this link and listen, it is incredibly moving. You will thank me.  The link is here.    You're welcome.


  1. Hi Kay - thanks for the reminder of Eastbourne - it's always good to see the photos. I didn't know about Ralph McTell's link ... interesting. I'll be back to check in on and listen to the music. I heard quite a lot of the commemorative events - but not being home and being completely out of the time zone ... and not having a tv ... but thanks for updating us - we need peace and thoughtfulness ... Hilary

    1. Of course, you would recognize Eastbourne! I am sure that you know about Ralph McTell! Peace and thoughtfulness, in short supply these days. x

  2. Such sadness in that song.....It was a terrible war. But aren't they all. Today is my grandfather's birthday. He was always very proud that the armistice was signed on his birthday. He was 26 that year.

    1. It is a very sad song but it conveys the sorrow of the young men lost, doesn't it? Music can communicate anything.
      Nice that your grandfather liked that his birthday was associated with peace. Lovely thought. x

  3. It is a beautiful, hopeful, and sad song. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. My Grandfather served in WWI. Thank you for sharing this song.

  5. An emotional day. For me it is a highly revered day, as is our Anzac Day.

    It is also a day of mixed emotions for the 11th November is my birthday...and I was born in the 11th hour, around 11.05 am.

    Yesterday (Sunday 11th)...I watched the coverage of our respectful Aussie ceremonies.

    1. Mixed emotions, I can understand that for you.
      So, let me say a happy belated birthday to you, since today is Nov. 13th!

    2. Thank you, Kay....November 13th was my late Nana's birthday...Both of us Scorpios...and similar in many ways. :)

    3. Dear Lee, how lovely that I was able to wish you happy birthday on a day that was also special to you! After I typed the date, t thought, how silly, Kay, she knows the date! Glad I left it! Also, our son was born at end of Nov. And his Nana's birthday is one week later. We lost her this year. Christopher was her only grandchild. x

  6. Oh, how many of them didn't come back to do that waltz. Many did, but too many didn't, and i am very thankful for all of those who have served and are serving.

    1. Very thankful also for all those who have served.

  7. Kind of a sad song, isn't it? There was so much to that war that our generation will never understand--with the gassing and all. My father was a medic in WWI and he never, ever talked about the war. We have all the letters he wrote home (well over 100 of them) and they were always "light" so as to not worry his folks.

    I hope you have a wonderful week, Kay. xo Diana

    1. Yes, those from World War I and World War II really didn't want to speak too much about the war. Understandable, of course.
      Thanks, Diana, I hope you have a great week too. x

  8. Replies
    1. It must have been so hard to have had the second World War so close on the heals of the first World War.

  9. Sad that whet was a war to end all wars, was't to be the end. But I do pray every day for peace in our world and am thankful for those that try to keep the peace too.

    1. Pray every day for peace in our world. Yes, let it be so.

  10. It has been (and still is) a time of remembrance for those who can remember and a reminder for those who can't that they should never create such times so that they will never have to remember.