The subject matter of the song is aggressive retaliation in an arbitrary theater of war. Though that may sound stark, there are no comforting words to soften the savagery of total war. Now that the first world war is all but beyond living memory and the second world war will also become so in the next twenty years, it is difficult for generations that have enjoyed peacetime to fully understand the pulling-together of disperate tribes and nations in order to neatralise the common threat. The threat to an evolved way of life, to the land itself and of course to friends and family.
Total war conjures up unimaginable acts of fortitude. The resistence networks of the second world war were instrumental in the defeat of the common enemy. These days, the word "patriot" induces many people (especially politicians on the liberal-left) to start handwringing and snorting in a coordinated mêlée of torment. Though there may be more sinister reasons for this faux-outrage (empire for example), I often wonder if the lions of certain countries would pull together as they did in the last war, when today they are led by droves of gormless donkeys. However, at the songs heart is freedom; the freedoms that were won by the partisans (French, Polish, Soviet, Norwegian etc.) in the last war we are all able to enjoy today. It's worth remembering from time to time, that though the storm has long since passed, the shadow still lingers. A dose of reality can be a good thing in an age when many folk see more sand than sky.
The archived footage in this video is from World War II. The footage covers the Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur (FFI) and British folk going about their daily lives in the face of adversity. The photos (below) were taken at an old abandened world war two fortress at Marøy, Norway. There are many of these coastal fortresses in Norway - eerie reminders of speed and technology during a fleeting occupation.
The fiddle is played by Ben Gunnery.