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The Band Played Waltzing Matilda Songtext
von Eric Bogle

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda Songtext

Now, when I was a young, man, I carried my 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 1915, my country said, "Son
It's time you stop ramblin′, 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 call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter


Johnny Turk, he was waitin', he primed himself well
He showered us with bullets, and he 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 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 my arse over my head
And when I woke up in my 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 tents 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 when our ship sailed into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my 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
Then they turned all their faces away

And so now, every April, I sit on my 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 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
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 that billabong
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

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