Sunday, 26 April 2009

And the band played Waltzing Matilda ...


Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, "Son,
It's time you stop ramblin', there's work to be done."
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.

And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was waitin', he primed himself well;
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell --
And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
When we stopped to bury our slain,
Well, we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.
Music & lyrics by Eric Bogle

18 comments:

Lois said...

What a lovely post! I love his yellow hat!

Tash said...

the 1st photo brought tears to my eyes. poignant post.

Sakiwi said...

I love your focus on hands. Very touching photos.

Jacob said...

Fantastic post...so very poignant! Heavily emotional!

cara said...

Great minds definitely think alike!

Love those hands.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Excellent documentation of the day Julie -- the top shot in particular.

cara said...

It's all I was thinking about yesterday, the whole fine line thing. .. And the contrast of images... the pomp and ceremony of the parade with the terror of war.

Sally said...

Great tribute. admire your energy getting up and amongst it all! Did you take any pics at the Redfern march?
Thanks for the birthday greetings - very much appreciated!

Sarah Lulu said...

Those two photos are fantastic.

Thanks!

PJ said...

Gallipoli is one of my favorite movies. Very well done, Miss Julie. Love the series on the tramways.

Hilary said...

Very moving Julie. I love your site!

Jilly said...

What a terrible time that was. I love that first photograph just showing the hand. beautiful and moving.

JM said...

Love the 1st shot! You've framed it perfectly! Just wonderful, Julie!

altadenahiker said...

I find that second photo just incredibly touching.

Owen said...

Julie, I absolutely love that song, which you posted part of here, but it goes on and on... beautiful photos and perfect accompanying words. Are there still any WWI veterans alive in Australia ? I think the last one died in France not too long ago. The whole story of Gallipoli was a sad one from start to finish. Thanks for this lovely post...

Julie said...

Thank you, friends. It was not an easy post to compile. As Cara mentioned, there is a fine line to walk on a day like this. How to commemorate the contribution without glorifying war? I found wandering through the people an incredibly moving experience.

Sally: the photos from the Redfern march on today's post. I have a few others to follow that as well.

Paula: I have not watched Gallipoli for a long time. I must find me a copy. Shame about what MG is doing to himself at the moment.

Owen: William Allan, our last WW1 veteran, died in 2005 aged 106. Alec Campbell, our last ANZAC, died in 2002 agec 103. I did not want to quote the entire lyrics because of that "fine line" struggle that I had. The most moving rendition of that song was one I experienced at a small hall in Kangaroo Valley in 2007 when Clive from The Song Company sung it unaccompanied.

Ann said...

Well chosen shots.

The interesting thing about wandering around on Saturday was that I didn't feel that it was glorifying war at all, which I usually do if I watch it on TV. Although I still don't think those who didn't experience it should march, especially kids. Getting out there and talking to people you realise how happy everyone was, how much they were enjoying themselves and how much it was a day of remembrance and celebration of ..... mateship is such an overused word..... I'll say community and friendship.

Julie said...

I think that descendants should march. This was what the sacrifice was for: for those who came after. However, I think they should either wear the medals or they should carry a photograph. I also think they should wear school uniform.

I agree that it was a day of remembrance and was steeped in the celebration of community.