...and the band... and the band played waltzing matilda...
Waltzing Matilda is een liedje dat niet over walsen of dansen gaat, en ook niet over een meisje. Het gaat over een AustraliŽr die in de bush altijd zijn plunjezak meesleept, die liefkozend Matilda wordt genoemd. Het nummer is min of meer het officieuze volkslied van AustraliŽ geworden, en het is aan die status te danken dat Eric Bogle, een import-AustraliŽr (hij komt uit Schotland) er een bloedstollend anti-oorlogslied op baseerde.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda werd bekend in de indrukwekkende acapella uitvoering van June Tabor. De naam van Eric Bogle als liedjesmaker was in ťťn klap gevestigd.

Als je het nummer niet kent kun je het beste eerst op zoek gaan naar de versie van June Tabor - zij krijgt iedereen stil met haar kale versie van het lied.
Hier nog een paar uitvoeringen, die ook de moeite waard zijn:

  • June Tabor
  • The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
  • The Pogues
  • Three Irish Tenors
  • Midnight Oil

Het nummer Waltzing Matilda inspireerde overigens ook Tom Waits, die het nummer zowat integraal overnam in zijn Tom Trauberts Blues.


Meer kippevelliedjes:

 

And the band played Waltzing Matilda - Eric Bogle

Now when I was a young man I carried my pack
And lived the free life of the rover
From the Murray's Green Basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in 1915 my country said "Son,
It's time you stopped rambling, 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, 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 called Souvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
'Johnny Turk' he was ready, he'd primed himself well
He rained us with bullets and he showered us with shell
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
While we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then it started all over again

And those that were left, well we tried to survive
In that mad world of death, blood 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 awoke in my 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
For to hump tent and pegs a man needs both legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So, they collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And shipped us back home to Australia
The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane
The proud, wounded heroes of Souvla
And when our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
Then they turned all their faces away

So now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams and past glories
And the old men march slowly, old bones stiff and sore
They're tired old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question

But the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll go a'waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by that billabong
Who'll come a'waltzing Matilda with me?
 

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