And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
In honor of Anzac Day, marking the thousands of Australians and New Zealanders slaughtered at Gallipoli during World War One and in other possibly senseless conflicts, Eric Bogle's furious, powerful screed against war. Sung by The Dubliners.
So they gathered the wounded, the crippled, the maimed And they shipped us back home to Australia The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
Waltzing Matilda When I was a young man I carried me pack And I lived the free life of a rover From the Murray's green basin to the dusty Outback I waltzed my Matilda all over Then in 1915 me country said, "Son, It's time you stopped rambling, there's work to be done" So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun And they sent me away to the war And the band played Waltzing Matilda When the ship pulled away from the quay And amidst all the tears, flag waving and cheers We sailed off for Gallipoli And how well I remember that terrible day When our blood stained the sand and the water And how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter Johnny Turk he was ready, he'd primed himself well He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shells And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell Nearly blew us back home to Australia And the band played Waltzing Matilda When we stopped to bury our slain We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs Then we started all over again And those that were left, well, we tried to survive In that mad world of blood, death and fire And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive While around me the corpses piled higher Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head And when I awoke in me hospital bed And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead Never knew there was worse things than dying So no more I'll go Waltzing Matilda All around the green bush far and near To hump tent and pegs a man needs both legs No more waltzing Matilda for me So they gathered the wounded, the crippled, the maimed And they shipped us back home to Australia The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay I looked at the place where me legs used to be And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me To grieve, and to mourn, and to pity And the band played Waltzing Matilda When they carried us down the gangway But nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared Then they turned all their faces away So now every April I sit on my porch And I watch the parade pass before me I see my old comrades how proudly they march Renewing old dreams of past glory And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore They're tired old heroes from a forgotten war And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?" And I ask meself the same question And the band plays Waltzing Matilda, And the old men still answer the call But year after year the numbers get fewer Some day no one will march there at all. Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the Billabong Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me