View Full Version : "And the band played Waltzing Matilda"

16th Apr 2004, 04:17
As ANZAC day isn't that far away, I was having an intersting discussion with a guy at work today. He was almost adament the song "And the band played Waltzing Matilda" was actually an Irish song. Now I know The Pogues have it on one of their albums, so if somebidy could enlighten me, I would appreciate it!

16th Apr 2004, 04:40
The song is by Eric Bogle, who was actually born in Scotland but emigrated to Australia when he was about 25 - so it does have some Celtic roots I guess....

16th Apr 2004, 04:40
Not sure but I thought it was Eric Bogle who first put it to air - is'nt he a Scot! :cool:

SawThe Light
16th Apr 2004, 04:43
Try this link



16th Apr 2004, 04:52
Thanks for the link STL.

As I'm sure Binos will attest to, a song that can bring a tear to one's eye.

16th Apr 2004, 05:13
Eric Bogle has sung it, as have The Pogues, as has Joan Baez, as have.....

16th Apr 2004, 06:03
Certainly my pick for the finest song ever written about war. I first heard it performed by an unknown folkie in a seedy club in Sydney in what would have been 1977, perhaps early 78 and I was stunned by it.

Because I only picked up on its theme half way through I asked the singer to play it again before he finished his set, which he kindly did, announcing my request and mentioning the writer. The club was silent while he sang it, apart from the odd snuffle, and gave him a subdued standing ovation, if there is such a thing, when he finished. It blew me away then, and it still does. Spine-chilling stuff.

Irish me foot!

16th Apr 2004, 07:12
Got it in my Midnight Oil collection as well...

16th Apr 2004, 07:57
Eric Bogle also wrote "Green Fields of France (No Man's Land" about WWI; a similarly poignant song and also incorrectly identified by many as Irish.

Well, how do you do, young Willie McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here dawn by your graveside,
And rest for a while 'neath the warm summer sun,
I've been working all day and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen,
When you joined the great fallen in nineteen sixteen,
I hope you died well and I hope you died clean,
Or young Willie McBride was it slow and obscene.

Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the life lowly.
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down,
And did the band play the Last Post and chorus,
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest.

2. And did you leave awife or a sweetheart behind,
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined.
Although you died back in nineteen sixteen,
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen.
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed and forever behind the glass frame,
Of an old photograph, torn and battered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.


3. The sun now it shines on the green fields of France
There's a warm summer breeze, it makes the red poppies dance.
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it's still no-man's-land.
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand,
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
A whole generation that were butchered and damned.


4. Now young Willie McBride I can't help but wonder why
Do all those who lie here know why they died.
And did they believe when they answered the cause
Did they really believe that this war would end wars.
Well the sorrows, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing and dying was all done in vain.
For young Willie McBride it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.


He is a fine songwriter who writes either very sad or very funny songs such as Little Gomez about a chihuahua who had an amorous liaison with a St Bernard.



What Red Line?
16th Apr 2004, 11:56
Enough already!

We've just finished the second bottle and it seems that the internal fluid level is such that it's beginning to overflow from around the eyes.

Sad stuff but inspiring.

Where's the cork-screw? Perhaps we can find something a bit more cheerful.

16th Apr 2004, 12:06
Where's the corkscrew? Sometimes I ask myself the same question...

16th Apr 2004, 12:37
Midnight Oil version you say?

I'll have to ask a friend who subscribes to that nasty file downloading stiff to try and find it for me.

I'm still a little curious as to this (well, these if you take Whirly's as well) as to where the Irish bit of it comes into it.

16th Apr 2004, 12:43
Eric Bogle's music was very popular in the 70s on Irish radio.

The Furys and Davy Arthur did a version of "No Man's Land" that they released as "The Green Fields of France" with the name of the character changes from Private William McBride to "Young Willy McBride" and if you ignore the mention of France then the date 1916 becomes strangely relevant to Ireland.

16th Apr 2004, 15:08
Jerricho, the only known Irish connection is that the Pogues sang it. Can't say I thought much of their version either, but the irony of an Irish band singing a song with that title can speak for itself.

16th Apr 2004, 15:20
I think that the reason that these songs have become popular as Irish songs is that, in Ireland, they still have a big tradition of singing in pubs and these are very easy to perform (they must be 'cos I do them!). Eric Bogle still tours the UK and Ireland folk clubs and so the songs can spread via the oral tradition.



16th Apr 2004, 16:52
Liam Clancy did a great version. not a dry eye in the house, although my father was shocked by the word "@rse" in a song.

Not too ironic, given that Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Muster Fusiliers suffered appalling casualties at Gallipoli. And all of them volunteers.

16th Apr 2004, 18:10
Joan Baez did a great version of it too.

16th Apr 2004, 19:11
And June Tabor.

16th Apr 2004, 19:35
Ever hear Tom Waits' song of the same name?



16th Apr 2004, 19:50
Yeah Eric Bogle,

A Scot now living in Oz penned both songs but will be the first to tell you that the fury's version of "No Man's Land" and the Dubliners version of "And the band played Waltzing Matilda" are the versions that he wants the song to be remembered by.

There were massive Irish casualties in WW1 which was then still a part of Great Britain, The Royal Ulster Fuseliers were among the first over the top in the "The battle of the Somme" but then got cut to pieces, and a lot of paddy's got Slaughtered serving in ANZAC in Gallipoli as Cannon fodder.
It was the final straw that led to the uprising in 1916, and they will sing about anything!

Fletchers Left Boot
16th Apr 2004, 20:28
isnt it about time Kevin Bloody Wilson did a version?

16th Apr 2004, 22:11
I'll back Whirlybird, listen to the June Tabor version. It's the most poignant tune I've ever heard. :(

16th Apr 2004, 22:54
FLB, I'm going to sound really sad, but that ain't funny.

17th Apr 2004, 06:10
Heard last night that Eric Bogle's doing a concert in Darwin on 29 May.

Tickets already booked :ok:

17th Apr 2004, 12:21
Darwin? Darwin? That's the place where you wipe your feet when leaving the town

(credits to Kevin bloody Wilson)

17th Apr 2004, 17:50
See, now that's funny! :ok:

17th Apr 2004, 20:55
I've got the Liam Clancy version. I heard Bogle sing it in a club in Calgary once, a long time ago. Not a dry eye in the house.
The Corries version of "No Man's Land" is about the best I've heard.

18th Apr 2004, 04:15
How does the Corries version compare to the Fureys?

I've only ever heard the latter.

Canuck 76
Can't speak for Wilson (other than to observe that he keeps coming back here to this town of 90,000 people thats 4000 km from anywhere to do shows :rolleyes: )

Do know there's a lot of us that came for 2weeks to 3 months and are still here 25 years later :E

Would love to see Canada one day. I've heard a lot about things like snow drifts and blizzards and freezing to death but there's not a lot of that here....where the temperature rarely gets below +18C :ok:

eastern wiseguy
18th Apr 2004, 04:37
eric bogles' site (http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/matilda.html)

try this link for a bit more info on Eric Bogle...saw him in the room above ....damn this short term memory....a pub in Ayr ..near the railway....great night out..