#00159
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle) videos
See also: The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (#2)
#838: YouTube video by drivermciver
©2008 ~ Used with permission ~

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Now when I was a young man I carried me pack,
And I lived the free life of the rover;
From the Murry's green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915 my country said, "Son,
It's time you stop rambling, there's work to be done."
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As the ship pulled away from the quay;
And midst all the cheers, flag-waving and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay,
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well.
He showered us with bullets and he rained us with shells;
And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us back home to Australia.
But the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As we stopped to bury our slain;
We buried ours, 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,
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me ass 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 were worse things than dying.
For I'll go no more waltzing Matilda,
All around the green bush far and free;
To hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more waltzing Matilda for me.

So they gathered the crippled, the wounded and maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia;
The legless, the armless, the blind and insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And when our ship pulled into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be;
And I thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.
But the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As they carried us down the gangway;
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.

So now every April I sit on me porch,
And I watch the parade pass before me;
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams and past glory;
And the old men march slowly, all bone 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 myself the same question.
But the band plays Waltzing Matilda,
And the old men still answer the call;
But as year follows year, more old men disappear,
Someday, 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?

####.... Eric Bogle, 1972 ....####
Copyright Notice: Both Eric and his publisher would like you to have access to the lyrics of his songs for your own enjoyment but, should you wish to reproduce copies for any purpose, you should first seek permission from the Publisher at the following address: - Larrikin Music Pty Limited - 4/30-32 Carrington Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2000.

See more songs by Eric Bogle.

The video above features an excellent performance of a variant by Sean Kenny of Port au Port East, NL.

See more songs by Sean Kenny.

From Wikipedia: The eight-month Gallipoli Campaign took place during the First World War at Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916. A joint British Empire and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides.

In the United Kingdom it is called the Dardanelles Campaign or Gallipoli. In France it is called Les Dardanelles. In Australia, New Zealand, and Newfoundland it is known as the Gallipoli Campaign or simply as Gallipoli. It is also known as the Battle of Gallipoli.

The video below features an excellent cover performance by Raymond Crooke of Melbourne, Australia.


#410: YouTube video by raymondcrooke
©2007 ~ Used with permission ~

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Notes On Tabs:
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All tabs have been contributed by visitors to this site and represent their interpretation of the tune. We are unable to verify their accuracy.

[G] Now when I was a [C] young man I [G] carried me [EM] pack,
And I [G] lived the free [D] life of the [G] rover;
[G] From the Murray's green [C] basin to the [G] dusty out- [EM] back,
Well, I [G] waltzed my [D] Matilda all [G] over.
Then in [D] 1915 my [C] country said, [G] Son,
It's [D] time to stop rambling, there's [C] work to be [G] done.
So they gave me a [C] tin hat and they [G] gave me a [EM] gun,
And they [G] marched me [D] away to the [G] war.
And the [G] band played [C] Waltzing [G] Matilda,
As the ship [G] pulled [C] away from the [D] quay;
And [C] midst all the cheers, flag [G] waving and [EM] tears,
We [G] sailed [D] off for Galli- [G] poli.

[G]And how well I [C] remember that [G] terrible [EM] day,
How our [G] blood stained the [D] sand and the [G] water;
[G] And of how in that [C] hell that they [G] called Suvla [EM] Bay,
We were [G] butchered like [D] lambs at the [G] slaughter.
Johnny [D] Turk he was ready, he [C] primed himself [G] well,
He [D] showered us with bullets and he [C] rained us with [G] shells;
And in five minutes [C] flat, he'd [G] blown us all to [EM] hell,
Nearly [G] blew us back [D] home to Austral- [G] ia.
But the [G] band played [C] Waltzing [G] Matilda,
As we [G] stopped to [C] bury our [D] slain;
We [C] buried ours, the [G] Turks buried [EM] theirs,
Then [G] we started all [D] over [G] again.

[G] And those that were [C] left, well we [G] tried to [EM] survive,
In that [G] mad world of [D] blood, death and [G] fire;
And for [G] ten weary [C] weeks I [G] kept myself [EM] alive,
Though [G] around me the [D] corpses piled [G] higher.
Then a [D] big Turkish shell knocked me [C] ass over [G] head,
And [D] when I awoke in me [C] hospital [G] bed,
And saw what it had [C] done, Well I [G] wished I was [EM] dead,
Never [G] knew there were [D] worse things than [G] dying.
For I'll [G] go no more [C] waltzing [G] Matilda,
All [G] around the green [C] bush far and [D] free;
To [C] hump tent and pegs, a [G] man needs both [EM] legs,
No [G] more waltzing [D] Matilda for [G] me.

So they [G] gathered the [C] crippled, the [G] wounded and [EM] maimed,
And they [G] shipped us back [D] home to Austral- [G] ia; The [G] legless, the [C] armless, the [G] blind and in-[EM] sane,
Those [G] proud wounded [D] heroes of [G] Suvla.
And when [D] our ship pulled into [C] Circular [G] Quay,
I [D] looked at the place where me [C] legs used to [G] be;
And I thank [G] Christ there was [C] nobody [G] waiting for [EM] me,
To [G] grieve, to [D] mourn and to [G] pity.
But the [G] band played [C] Waltzing [G] Matilda,
As they [G] carried us [C] down the gang- [D] way;
But [C] nobody cheered, they just [G] stood and [EM] stared,
Then they [G] turned all their [D] faces [G] away.

So [G] now every [C] April I [G] sit on me [EM] porch,
And I [G] watch the [D] parade pass before [G] me;
And I [G] see my old [C] comrades, how [G] proudly they [EM] march,
[G] Reliving old [D] dreams and past [G] glory.
And the [D] old men march slowly, all [C] bone stiff and [G] sore,
They're tired [D] old heroes from a for- [C] gotten [G] war;
And the [G] young people [C] ask, "What [G] are they marching [EM] for?"
And I [G] ask my- [D] self the same [G] question.
But the [G] band plays [C] Waltzing [G] Matilda,
And the [G] old men [C] still answer the [D] call;
But as year [C] follows year, more [G] old men dis- [EM] appear,
Some- [G] day, no one [D] will march there at [G] all.

~ Chords contributed by Bernard Doyle ~


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