The band played ‘Waltzing Matilda’    (midi)


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1. Oh, when I was a young man I carried my pack,

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    and I lived the free life of a rover.

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    From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback,

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    well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.


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    Then in nineteen fifteen my country said, 'Son,

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    it's time to stop rambling, there's work to be done.'

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    So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun,

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    and they marched me away to the war.


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And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda',

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as the ship pulled away from the quay.

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And amidst all the tears, the flag waving and cheers,

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we sailed off for Galipoli.








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2. And how well I remember that terrible day,

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    how our blood stained the sand and the water.

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    And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay

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     we were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.


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    Johnny Turk, he was waiting, he’d primed himself well,

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    he showered us with bullets and he rained us with shell.

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    And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell,

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    nearly blew us right back to Australia.


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But the band played Waltzing Matilda,

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when we stopped to bury our slain.

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We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs,

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then we started all over again.


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3. And those that were alive, why, we tried to survive,

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    in that mad world of blood, death and fire.

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    And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive,

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    though around me the corpses piled higher.


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    Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,












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    and when I woke up in me hospital bed,

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    and saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead,

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    never knew there was worse things than dying.


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For I'll go no more 'Waltzing Matilda',

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all around the green bush, far and free.

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to hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,

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no more 'Waltzing Matilda' for me.


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4. So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,

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    and they shipped us back home to Australia.

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    The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane,

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    those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.


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    And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay,

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    I looked at the place where me legs used to be.









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    And thanked Christ, there was nobody waiting for me,

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    to grieve, to mourn, and to pity.


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But the band played 'Waltzing Matilda',

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as they carried us down the gangway.

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But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,

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then they turned all their faces away.


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5. And so now every April I sit on me porch,

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    and I watch the parade pass before me.

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    And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,

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    reviving old dreams of past glory.













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    And the old men march slowly, old bones stiff and sore,

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    the tired old heroes from a forgotten war.

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    And the young people ask 'What are they marching for?'

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    And I ask meself the same question.


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But the band plays 'Waltzing Matilda',

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and the old men still answer the call.

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But as year follows year, more old men disappear,

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some day no one will march there at all.


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    Waltzing matilda', waltzing matilda,

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    who'll come a-waltzing matilda with me ?

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    And their ghosts may be heard as they march by that Billabong,

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    who'll come a-waltzing matilda with me?   


    (Midi = capo 2nd) (Eric Bogle)