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In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

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Subtitle: Song with Piano Accompaniment

General Info

Year: 1918
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: US. Marine Band
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Canadian Army medical officer Colonel John McCrae penciled this poignant poem during the second battle of Ypres, and it became what is generally regarded as the greatest poem of World War I. Through a mutual friend, McCrae sent an autographed copy of the poem to Sousa with the request that he give it a musical setting. Sousa received it during the Sousa Band engagement in Montreal in July 1917. His immediate impression was that the poem was magnificent, and he promised to comply.

McCrae did not live to hear Sousa's music. In Sousa's own words: "I had just mailed the final proofs in my hotel and had picked up a paper from the bookstall when the first news I read was the death in battle of Col. McCrae.

- Program Note from John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works.

In Flanders Fields

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 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


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor; Sara Sheffield, mezzo-soprano) - 8 January 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bierley, P. (1973). John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works. University of Illinois Press; Urbana, pp. 91-92.
  • "In Flanders Fields." Flanders Fields Music. Accessed 2 January 2017
  • Sousa, J.; McCrae, J. (1918). In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow : Song with Piano Accompaniment [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.