The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (6:22)

Cover of Anthology

From Anthology and 3 other releases

“And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is a song, written by Scottish-born singer-songwriter Eric Bogle in 1971. The song describes the futility, gruesome reality and the destruction of war, while criticising those who seek to glorify it. This is exemplified in the song by the account of a young Australian soldier on his maiming at the Battle of Gallipoli in the First World War.

In 1915, Australian and New Zealander soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, according to a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied casualties included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, an estimated 10,000 from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand and 1,358 from British India.

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  • headey13

    ~53,000 dead from 170,000 UK Australia NZ India Newfoundland France ----------------- ~56,000 dead from 150,000 Turks ------------------------------- wiki : On the morning of 25 April 1915, out of ammunition and left with nothing but bayonets to meet the attackers on the slopes leading up from the beach to the heights of Chunuk Bair, the commander of the 19th Division, Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal, issued his most famous order to the 57th Infantry Regiment: ~~~ "I do not order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time which passes until we die, other troops and commanders can come forward and take our places." ~~~ Every man of the Ottoman 57th Infantry Regiment was either killed in action or wounded and, as a sign of respect, there is no 57th Regiment in the modern Turkish army.

    20 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Drazba

    great synopsis--also a good movie"gallipoli" with mel gibson on the same subject.

    8 Mar 2013 Reply
  • smee85

    In 1915, Australian and New Zealander soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, according to a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea. The objective was to capture Constantinople which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied casualties included 8,709 from Australia and 2,721 from New Zealand. The Battle of Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

    10 Apr 2012 Reply
  • starboard138

    Never heard it before, made me cry. What a sad beautiful song.

    6 Apr 2012 Reply
  • jsutts

    great song good version but eric bogle does it best.......very moving

    24 Mar 2012 Reply
  • tonytherapy1

    never fails to make you sit still and listen...and many weep.

    19 Dec 2011 Reply
  • rrockettman

    So haunting. What a brilliant version.

    15 Sep 2011 Reply
  • breitheamhnaig

    still the best version

    8 Jul 2011 Reply
  • BonnyBead

    I agree. I think this version is too "pretty". It doesn't seem right...

    15 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Drazba

    gallipoli

    10 Feb 2011 Reply
  • headey

    Don't forget to catch this one too http://www.last.fm/music/June+Tabor/_/Standing+In+Line

    13 Jan 2011 Reply
  • QuarkZangsun

    ... and the war drags on

    26 Oct 2010 Reply
  • chailey

    sends a shiver down the spine...........

    15 Sep 2010 Reply
  • chailey

    first hearing....very moving

    18 Aug 2010 Reply
  • Madthom8

    Still remember the first time I heard this song. Parting Glass Pub, Hyannis, Massachusetts, about 1976. My friend Andy and I were sitting at a table in front of this Irish band who would later be doing Finnegan's Wake and the Unicorn and Charlie on the MTA and the rest. This was their first song. It was about 8pm but still light as it was summer. When they finished I looked at Andy and he looked at me. I said something like, "That was wicked sad." He agreed.

    10 Jun 2010 Reply
  • blank_reg

    This is the best rendition of the greatest anti-war song ever written.

    16 May 2010 Reply
  • lostrider535

    Still prefer Eric Bogle singing it but the Pogues come a close second.

    1 May 2010 Reply
  • Pepecambil

    Maravillosa voz.

    27 Apr 2010 Reply
  • Kathrynfortynin

    I always loved Fairport Convention and I'm over the moon Last f.m. has put me onto Sandy Denny Radio What a beautiful Voice Can't get enough!!

    13 Mar 2010 Reply
  • frankcjackson

    This is pretty limp to be honest. The Pogues do a far better version. Shane McGowean brings out the anger in the lyrics much more effectively than this

    5 Feb 2010 Reply
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