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And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Eric Bogle's 'And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' has been covered by many artists.

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Vocal and Instrumental Versions

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - Eric Bogle
C                                      F                    C              Am
Now when I was a young man I carried me pack 
          C                        G                  C      F   C
And I lived the free life of the rover.
C                                               F                      C           Am
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback,
                   C                   G             C      F    C
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
                G                F                          C  
Then in 1915, my country said, "Son,
        G                                                      F                     C
It's time you stop ramblin', there's work to be done."
                 C                 F                              C               Am
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
                    C                        G                   C  F   C
And they marched me away to the war.
                    C                     F                    C
And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
                                       F                        G
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
            F                                                        C                Am
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
        C                      G         C  F  C
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

                   C               F                     C          Am
And how well I remember that terrible day,
                   C                              G                         C    
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
              C                      F                             C       Am
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
                  C                           G                       C              
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
                 G                                            F                           C
Johnny Turk, he was waitin',  he primed himself well;
         G                                                           F                          C
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shells–
                                       F                           C            Am
And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell,
               C                         G                 C   F    C
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.
               C                            F                 C     
But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
                                           F              G
When we stopped to bury our slain,
      F                                                   C                     Am
We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
                     C              G            C   F  C
Then we started all over again.

           C                            F                       C              Am
And those that were left, we tried to survive
              C                        G                             C  F   C
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
                C                     F                    C            Am
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
                   C                         G                        C   F    C
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
              G                                                       F                 C
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
          G                                       F               C
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
                                           F                       C                   Am
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead –
               C                             G                                C  F  C
Never knew there was worse things than dying.
             C                           F                C  F  C
For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
       C                                F                       G
All around the green bush far and free –
      F                                            C                            F
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
                      C                   G               C   F   C
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.
                  C                      F                          C                   Am
So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
                     C                              G                   C   
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
           C                     F                     C              Am
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
             C                             G                 C   
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
         G                                        F                 C
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
    G                                                     F                      C
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
                           C                             F               C             Am
And thanked Christ there was nobody waitin' for me,
         C                  G                   C   
To grieve, to mourn or to pity.
C                                           F                 C   
But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
                C                    F                        G
As they carried us down the gangway,
           F                                       C                        F
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
                     C                           G           C  
Then they turned all their faces away.
                C                  F         C                Am
And so now every April, I sit on me porch
             C                       G                   C              
And I watch the parade pass before me.
                                  F                             C                    Am
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
       C                        G                    C
Reviving old dreams of past glories,
                 G                            F                  C                        Am
And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore,
           C              G                      C                 Am
The tired old heroes from a forgotten war
                   C                      F                           C                      Am
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
           C             G                          C
And I ask meself the same question.
                C                     F                    C
But the band plays "Waltzing Matilda,"
                C                        F                  G
And the old men still answer the call,
                F                                                 C              Am
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
                    C                    G                         C
Someday, no one will march there at all.
C                                  F
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda.
C                          Am                  F               G
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
                      C                         G                         C                     F    
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong,
C                                                 G                   C
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?