The song describes the destruction of the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia by the German occupying forces on 10th June, 1942. The village was razed to the ground and all its inhabitants killed or sent to concentration camps in revenge for the killing of a Nazi official. John Jordan notes that the music starts low and quietly in B Aeolian. The music is profoundly sad, but without a trace of sentimentality or self pity. It ends with a beautiful, original cadence, the final chord being in B major. In 1947, Alan Bush conducted the WMA Singers in a performance of the work on the site of Lidice. The text is by Nancy Bush.