"The Life that I Have"

The legendary poem that has become synonymous with Violette Szabo G.C., was written by her S.O.E. instructor Leo Marks, some time before Violette made her final (and fatal) trip into France in June 1944. It was meant to be her "code" poem; lines of which were to be used in coded radio messages. When the B.B.C. transmitted cryptic messages into enemy occupied Europe, the lines of such poems would be broadcast, each line having a coded meaning for the agents. I have had many requests to include that famous and much loved poem here.

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

The tune L'Hymne à l'amour" was made famous by Edith Piaf and although the recording that you are listening to was made just after the war ended, the words of the song are equally true of Violette Szabo and so much more poignant in the original french. The lyrics to L'hymne à l'amour are below along with images of the depair and the joy that were France in the 1940s.

Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effondrer
Et la terre peut bien s'écrouler
Peut m'importe si tu m'aimes
Je me fous du monde entier

Tant que l'amour inondera mes matins
Tant que mon corps frémira sous tes mains
Peut m'importent les problèmes
Mon amour puisque tu m'aimes

J'irais jusqu'au bout du monde
Je me ferais teindre en blonde
Si tu me le demandais

J'irais décrocher la lune
J'irais voler la fortune
Si tu me le demandais

Je renierais ma patrie
Je renierais mes amis
Si tu me le demandais

On peut bien rire de moi
Moi je ferais n'importe quoi
Si tu me le demandais

Si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi
Si tu meures que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi

Et nous aurons pour nous l'éternité
Dans le bleu de toute l'immensité
Dans le ciel plus de problèmes
Mon amour crois-tu qu'on s'aime.
Paris is occupied May 1940
...and parisians weep.

Paris is liberated August 1944
...and DeGaulle restores French pride.

Other than the public footpaths, Tempsford Airfield is a private airfield and as such not open to the public. Where possible small groups of visitors may be allowed access but only by prior arrangement. Anyone wishing to visit the airfield buildings (INCLUDING the Gibraltar Farm Barn) must to get permission to do so beforehand.

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