And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda lyrics
On Behind The Lines (2008)
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle)
Now 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, my 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 marched me away to the war.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
as the ship pulled away from the quay
And amidst all the cheers, the 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 waiting, he'd primed himself well.
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell.
And in ten minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.
But the band played Waltzing Matilda,
When we stopped to bury our slain.
We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
And 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 arse over head,
And when I woke up in my hospital bed,
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead.
Never knew there was worse things than dyin'.
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.
And so now every April, I sit on my porch,
and I watch the parades pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams of past glories
And the old men march slowly, old 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 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.
Soon no one will march there at all.