Hey Jesse leave your ploughing. There's a man waiting at the door. He's got some government papers, For you to go to war. He says I should stop my crying. He'll make a hero out of you. But if the guns should claim you. I just don't know what I'll do.
Hey Jesse, where's my ploughboy? I've never seen you look so well. Your face amongst the thousands As the ship set sail. You'll plough no fields in Flanders. Nor reap no winter grain. And the home dust of Alberta Will wash away in distant rain
Heads down, heads down, brave Canada. Load up another round Heads down, heads down brave Canada. Hide your fear in foreign ground. There's Jack from Nova Scotia, And Jean-Paul from Montreal And Jesse from Alberta But the guns will take you all Yes the guns will take you all.
Set your sights for a hundred yards And remember how to pray And march towards the sound of guns To earn your soldier's pay. There's barbed wire on the skyline Where the Maxim guns are hid As you join the young Canadians On the muddy slopes of Vimy Ridge
A telegram came this morning. They said it was from the King. He spoke of your brave sacrifice, But Jess, it don't mean a thing. Your fields remain unbroken And your plough's rusting in a ditch And your body hangs of the wire On the bloody slopes of Vimy Ridge
“In those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a Nation.”
BRIGADIER-GENERAL A.E. ROSS
– by Martyn Day