Home > 1980s, All - Songs, Tracks & Music, Era, Folk, Genre > The Pogues – And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (1985)

The Pogues – And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (1985)

A remarkable song written by Scottish-born Australian singer-songwriter Eric Bogle in 1971 and though recorded by many people (from Joan Baez to The Skids …), the version by The Pogues is the definitive reading. In Robert Christgau’s words:

“And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” comes from Australian folkie Eric Bogle, one of the least commanding singers in any hemisphere you care to name, but its tale of Gallipoli is long as life and wicked as sin and Shane MacGowan never lets go of it for a second: he tests the flavor of each word before spitting it out”.

Wikipedia desribes the song as a vivid account of the memories of an old Australian man, who, as a youngster in 1915, had been recruited into the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and sent to the Battle of Gallipoli. For “ten weary weeks,” he kept himself alive as “around me the corpses piled higher”. He recalls “that terrible day” … “in the hell that they called Suvla Bay we were butchered like lambs at the slaughter” … “in that mad world of blood, death and fire”.

  1. January 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    A great song.


  2. April 25, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Reblogged this on bestmusicofalltime and commented:

    An appropriate record 100 years on ….


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