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We Are The Dead

We Are The Deadという英語表現を見て、
語法が好きな人だと、the 形容詞で名詞になるから、ここでは「死者」という意味になるよと説明するでしょうか。
文化背景知識が好きな人だと、この言葉はカナダ人のジョン・マクレーの書いたIn Flanders fieldsという詩の一節。この詩はポピーの花と共に第一次世界大戦の追悼記念日で欠かせないものとなっているみたいと説明するのでしょうか。


カナダや英国の人だと、We are the deadという表現を目にすれば、In Flanders fieldsという詩や第一次世界大戦を連想するのではないでしょうか。。

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.


Flanders Fields
In a few short lines of poetry, Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae captured the futility of the Great War. We asked prominent Canadians to recite the poem as an act of remembrance. We encourage you to record your own version and share it using the hashtag #inflandersfields.

このカナダのサイトも100周年ということで、大変充実したものでした。 当時の有名な曲を聞けるコーナーVirtual Gramophoneがとっつきやすかったです。100年前はラジオはまだ家庭に普及してなくて、レコードプレーヤーだけだったんですね。

Virtual Gramophone
by Dean Tweed,
Originally published: May 30, 2014

Radio was in its infancy during the First World War. It was crucial to battlefield communications and maritime navigation but it would be the 1920s before radio sets in the home and public broadcasting revolutionized popular culture in Europe and North America.
That doesn’t mean there wasn’t popular music. There were musical halls. There was sheet music. There were after-dinner sing-alongs. In the wealthiest households there were hand-cranked phonographs playing the latest hits on celluloid cylinders or, the height of fashion, gramophones spinning tunes on flat, grooved disks. Manufacturers had even begun producing portable players for the men in the trenches.
Music hall performers such as Marie Lloyd and George Formby set the tone of the times with upbeat, comic and risque numbers. Recruitment songs were everywhere in 1914 but, as the war dragged on and the death toll mounted, they were pushed aside by nostalgic laments for home and comicly bitter takes on the futility of war and the ineptitude of officers.
Have a listen to our selection of First World War songs from 1914.

We are the deadに戻りますが、オーウェルの1984でも使われている表現のようで、David Bowieの歌はオーウェルの影響の方が大きいかもしれません。