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In Flanders Fields (Charlie Brown)

Charlie Brown gives us a brief history lesson on the World War II and recites the immortal poem "In Flanders Fields", commemorating all the people who died in World War II, so people won't forget what they died for.

To hear the poem recited and read explanations about its language and its meaning, go to In Flanders Fields.

- Ready, contact!
- Stop turning, Chuck, and get in.
- I think we're going the wrong way again. Stop the car, Snoopy. Somebody ask that kid where we are.
- [speaks French]
- That was good, sir, you just asked him for two tickets for the Folies Bergere. [est-ce le route?]
- This is the road to Ypres.
- Ypres?
- That's where they fought in World War I.
- World War I? You just got down talking about World War II, and now it's World War I?
- Stop. Stop here, Snoopy! We have to see this. Look. See these flowers? These are poppies. There's a legend that says where battles were fought, these white flowers all turned red, and in the centre of each flower there was a cross.
  Here, look here. Remember what I said about poppies? This is the actual British field dressing station. There, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the famous poem "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.

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.


- What have we learned, Charlie Brown?

- And that's when Linus asked me, 'what have we learned, Charlie Brown?'
- Hope you don't mind my saying this, big brother, but you're pasting your pictures in upside-down.

CHUCK= A familiar name for "Charlie"

GET IN= Get in the car (go inside the car).
With public transport (planes, ships/boats, buses/coaches) we use ON (i.e. I'm on the plane, I saw him on the bus) and to go inside/outside them we say: get on/get off (i.e. I got off the bus because that was my stop)
With private transport (cars, taxis, bikes, skateboards) we use IN (i.e. I was driving in my car when I saw it) and to go inside/outside we say: get in/out of (i.e. Get in the car, we're leaving / He got out of the car in a hurry).

SOMEBODY ASK= This is an imperative (that's why there is no –S for the verb). Imperative forms have no subject, but they can use YOU for emphasis (i.e. You, shut up!) and they can take the subject "somebody/anybody/nobody":
- help me (= you help me)
- somebody help me (=anybody listening, please, help me)

FOLIES BERGERE= A famous music hall in France (for adults)

FOUGHT= Fight-fought-fought.

WORLD WAR I= Notice the spelling and the pronunciation: World War the First (also: World War II, the Second).

SEE THESE FLOWERS?= Do you see these flowers: it is common in colloquial speech to drop the [auxiliary verb + subject pronoun] group at the beginning of questions.

POPPIES= See picture.

TURNED= Became, changed into.

ACTUAL= Real, authentic, precise.

FIELD DRESSING STATION= A kind of emergency hospital set up near a battle field to assist the injured ("to dress a wound" means to put clean a wound and put some bandages covering it so it won't get infected).

FLANDERS= /flɑ:ndəz/ The northern part of Belgium.

THE CROSSES= The graves, the tombstones (in the shape of crosses)

FIELDS= The countryside, especially if it is cultivated. Every piece of land own by a person and cultivated, is called "a field", that's why we say "the fields" to refer to the landscape in general.

ROW= /rəʊ/ A series of things placed on a line (see picture of rows of crosses). ROW ON ROW means "row after row", one row, and then another row, and another row... and many more. He's talking about rows of tombs marked with crosses.

THAT MARK OUR PLACE= Which mark our tomb.

LARKS= A species of birds (see pictures).

SCARCE= Almost not.

AMID= (old fashioned or literary) Among.

THE DEAD= All the people who are dead, who have died.

SHORT DAYS AGO= Only a few days ago.

DAWN= Sunrise, the time when the day begins and the sun rises up.

SUNSET= The time when the sun sets and the day finishes.

GLOW= Shine.

HOPE YOU DON'T MIND MY SAYING THIS= This is a common polite expression that you can say before saying something wrong about the other person (or before contradicting the other person's ideas) so that they won't be offended by your comment.
The verb MIND is followed by –ing or by [possessive/object pronoun]+ing:
- Do you mind opening the window a little, please?
- I don't mind his singing all day, but please, tell him to sing 500 miles away"
- I don't mind him singing all day...

(I don't mind = I think that is ok, it's not a problem for me)

UPSIDE-DOWN= When something is placed in an inverted position: the top is now at the bottom and the bottom part is now the top.

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