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And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda  John Williamson

[A]Now when I was a[D] young man I [A]carried me pack
And I lived the free l[E]ife of the r[A]over.
[A]From the Murray's green [D]basin to the d[A]usty outback,
Well, I waltzed my [E]Matilda all ov[A]er.
Then in 1[B]915, my co[A]untry said, "Son,
It's t[B]ime you stop ramblin', there's [A]work to be done."
So they gave me a ti[D]n hat, and they g[A]ave me a gun,
And they marched me a[E]way to the [A]war.
And the band played "Wa[D]ltzing Ma[A]tilda,"
As the ship pulled a[D]way from the q[E]uay,
And a[D]midst all the cheers, the flag w[A]aving, and tears,
We sailed off for [E]Gallipol[A]i.
And how well I re[D]member that t[A]errible day,
How our blood stained the s[E]and and the w[A]ater;
And of how in that h[D]ell that they c[A]all Suvla Bay
We were butchered like l[E]ambs at the sl[A]aughter.
Johnny T[B]urk, he was waitin', he p[A]rimed himself well;
He sh[B]owered us with bullets, and he r[A]ained us with shell
And in five minutes f[D]lat, he'd bl[A]own us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right b[E]ack to Au[A]stralia.
But the band played "Wa[D]ltzing Mat[A]ilda,"
When we stopped to b[D]ury our s[E]lain,
Well, [D]we buried ours, and the T[A]urks buried theirs,
Then we started all o[E]ver ag[A]ain.
And those that were l[D]eft, well, we t[A]ried to survive
In that mad world of b[E]lood, death and fi[A]re.
And for ten wea[D]ry weeks I kept mysel[A]f alive
Though around me the co[E]rpses piled hig[A]her.
Then a[B] big Turkish shell knocked me a[A]rse over head,
And wh[B]en I woke up in me hos[A]pital bed
And saw w[D]hat it had done, well, I wi[A]shed I was dead
Never knew there was w[E]orse things than d[A]ying.
For I'll go no more "Wal[D]tzing Mat[A]ilda,"
All around the green b[D]ush far and f[E]ree
To hum[D]p tents and pegs, a m[A]an needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Mat[E]ilda" for [A]me.
So they gathered the cri[D]ppled, the wou[A]nded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back h[E]ome to Austra[A]lia.
The armless, the legl[D]ess, the b[A]lind, the insane,
Those proud wounded he[E]roes of Su[A]vla.
And as ou[B]r ship sailed into Circ[A]ular Quay,
I loo[B]ked at the place where me l[A]egs used to be,
And thanked Ch[D]rist there was nobody wa[A]iting for me,
To grieve, to m[E]ourn and to p[A]ity.
[A]But the band played "Wal[D]tzing Mati[A]lda,"
As they carried us d[D]own the gan[E]gway,
But[D] nobody cheered, they just st[A]ood and stared,
Then they turned all their f[E]aces a[A]way.
And so now every Ap[D]ril, I si[A]t on my porch
And I watch the pa[E]rade pass before[A] me.
And I see my old c[D]omrades, how pro[A]udly they march,
Reviving old dre[E]ams of past g[A]lory,
And the [B]old men march slowly, all b[A]ones stiff and sore,
They're ti[B]red old heroes from a for[A]gotten war
And the young people a[D]sk "What are th[A]ey marching for?"
And I ask me[E]self the same ques[A]tion.
But the band plays "Walt[D]zing Mat[A]ilda,"
And the old men still an[D]swer the c[E]all,
But as [D]year follows year, more old [A]men disappear
Someday, no one will [E]march there at[A] all.
[A]Waltzing Matilda, wa[D]ltzing Matilda.
[A]Who'll come a-[D]waltzing Ma[A]tilda with [E]me?
And their gh[A]osts may be h[E]eard as they m[A]arch by the bi[D]llabong,
[A]Who'll come a-W[D]altzing M[E]atilda with [A]me?

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chrissyg (report)

This song was NOT written by John Williamson but by Eric Bogle