AND THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA
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.
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.