Eric Bogle‘s anti-war song has became Australia’s most famous song about Gallipoli and ANZAC Day.

Eric was born in Scotland in the forties and emigrated to Australia in 1969. He wrote And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda in 1971 as an anti-Vietnam War song  – “But I didn’t set it in Vietnam because even at the time, with Aussie boys dying there, most Australians couldn’t point to the f***ing place on a map“, he said in an interview last year. “They had no idea where it was. So I thought, I’ll set the song in Gallipoli, because it doesn’t matter what war you’re writing about – the end result is exactly the bloody same: lots of dead young blokes.”

Many people have recorded  And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, but this version, performed by Irish band The Pogues, is the best (even if Shane MacGowan doesn’t pronounce ‘quay’ properly). It originally appeared on their 1985 album,  Rum, sodomy & the lash.

The lyrics of the song have also been turned into a picture book, illustrated one of Australia’s most respected author/illustrators, Bruce Whatley.

And the band played waltzing matilda book cover

 Collection Links:
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (picture book) / Words by Eric Bogle, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Rum, sodomy & the lash / The Pogues 

100 Years of ANZAC – check out ANZAC related posts by other staff