And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (8:10)

Cover of Red Roses for Me (remastered)

From Red Roses for Me (remastered) and 1 other release

“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 during the Battle of Gallipoli during the First World War.

The Pogues cover is perhaps the best-known version; critic Robert Christgau wrote that vocalist Shane MacGowan “never lets go of it for a second: he tests the flavor of each word before spitting it out.”

The song incorporates the melody and a few lines of “Waltzing Matilda’s” lyrics at its conclusion. Many cover versions of the song have been performed and recorded.

The song is often praised for its haunting imagery of the devastation at Gallipoli. The protagonist, a rover before the war, in the story loses his legs in the battle, and later notes the passing of other veterans with time, as younger generations become apathetic to the veterans and their cause.

In May 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th Anniversary celebrations, named “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time


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  • houghster27

    "Never knew there were worse things than dying"

    23 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Kanixtant

    Remembering and honouring today.

    11 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Nochek


    24 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Djinnjaha

    It's Eric Bogle's song but don't The Pogues and Redgum grab it by it's short and curlies and make it as if their own? -awesome covers, both! A must play on ANZAC Day.

    18 Apr 2009 Reply
  • BostonIrish

    a very sad song. but a great one.

    1 Feb 2009 Reply

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