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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 the rover. From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback Well I waltzed my Matilda all over. Then in nineteen fifteen my country said "son", It's time you stop rambeling' there's work to be done! So they gave me a tin hat, and gave they me a gun And they marched me away to the war. Chorus: 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 was waiting, he'd primed himself well He showered us with bullets, and rained us with shell, And in five 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, Then we started all over again And those that where left, well we tried to survive In that mad world of blood death and fire And for ten weary weeks I kept my self alive Though around me the corpses piled higher Then a big turky shell, knocked me arse over head And when I awoke up in me hospital bed And saw what it had done, well I wished I where dead Never knew there was worst thing 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 the maimed And they shipped us back home to Australia The legless the armless, the blind the insane, Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla And as our ship pulled in to Circular Quay, I looked at the place where me legs used to be, And thanked 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 - And they turned all their faces away. And 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 of past glories, And the old men march slowly old bones stiff and sore, Their tired old heros from a forgotten old war, And the young people ask what are they marching for, And I ask meself the same question. But the band played 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.

    


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