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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 Murray's green basin to the dusty outback, I waltzed my Matilda all over. But in nineteen-fifteen, my country said: "Son, It's time to stop rambling, there's work to be done." So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun, And they sent me away to the war. And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda' As the ship pulled away from the key. And amid all the tears, The flag-waving and cheers, We sailed off for Gallipoli. Well I remember that terrible day When our blood stained the sand and the water. And how in that hell that they called Suvla bay We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter. Johnny Turk he was ready, Oh, he primed himself well. He rained us with bullets, And he showered us with shell. And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell, Nearly blew us back home to Australia. And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda' When we stopped to bury our slain. We buried ours, And the Turks buried theirs, Then it started all over again. Those who were living just tried to survive, In that mad world of blood, death and fire. And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive, While the corpses piled higher around me. Then a big Turkish shell, Knocked me arse over head, And when I awoke In me hospital bed, And saw what it had done, Then I wished I were dead. Never knew, there were worse things than dyin'. And I used to go Waltzing Matilda All through the bush far and near, But to hunt, tent and pegs A man needs both legs, No more Waltzing Matilda for me. They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed, And they shipped us back home to Australia. The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane, And the Band Played 'Waltzin' Matilda' Page 2 Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla. When the ship pulled into the circular key, And I looked at the place where me legs use to be, And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me To grieve and to mourn and to pity And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda' When they carried us down the gangway. But nobody cheered, They just stood there and stared, And they turned all their faces away. So now every April I sit on my porch And watch the parade pass before me. I see my old comrades, how proudly they march Renewing their dreams of past glory. I see the old men, all tired, stiff and sore, The weary old heroes of a forgotten war, And the young people ask: "What are they marching for?" And I ask myself the same question. And the band plays 'Waltzing Matilda', And the old men still answer the call. But year after year, Their numbers grow fewer, 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 along the billabong: "Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?" NOTES: This is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest anti-war songs ever written. It's based on a failed invasion of Turkey in World War I, mostly by Australian and New Zealand troops. A miserable business, and it was enough to send Winston Churchill, whose idea it was, back into obscurity for

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