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The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Artist:June Tabor  Album:Always 

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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. And those that were left, well, we tried to survive In that mad world of blood, death and fire. And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive Though around me the corpses piled higher. Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head, And when I woke up in me hospital bed And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead -- Never knew there was worse things than dying. For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda," All around the green bush far and free --


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