Sgt MacKenzie

The song is featured in the movie “We Were Soldiers.”


Here’s part of what the composer had to say about the story behind it:

On the steps of the hospital, the last picture of him was taken in his uniform. This picture hung in his home above the fireplace….. On his return to battle, he and his men were engaged in fixed bayonet combat. To the best of my knowledge, and taken from reports of the returning soldiers—one of his close friends fell, badly wounded. Charles stood his ground and fought until he was overcome and died from bayonet wounds….. On that day, my Great Grandmother and my Grandmother where sitting at the fire when the picture fell from the wall. My Great Grandmother looked, and said to my Grandmother “oh, my bonnie Charlie’s dead.” Sure enough a few days passed, then the local policeman brought the news—that Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie had been killed in action… This same picture now hangs above my fireplace. A few years back my wife Christine died of cancer, and in my grief I looked at his picture to ask what gave him the strength to go on. It was then, in my mind, that I saw him lying on the field and wondered what his final thoughts were. The words and music just appeared into my head.
~Joe Kilna MacKenzie

Here’s the words in English:

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone

When they come I will stand my ground
Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid

Thoughts of home take away my fear
Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears

Once a year say a prayer for me
Close your eyes and remember me

Never more shall I see the sun
For I fell to a German’s gun

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Where before many more have gone

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