Lyrics: The Pogues - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

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When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be
done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the
cheers
We sailed off to GallipoliHow well I remember that terrible day
When the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He showered us with bullets, he rained us with
shells
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
As we stopped to bury our slain
And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then started all over again

Now those who were living did their best to survive
In that mad world of death, blood and fire
And for 7 long weeks I kept myself alive
While the corpses around me piled higher

Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I awoke in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, Christ I wished I was
dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
And no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
To the the green bushes so far and near
For to hung tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded
and maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The legless the armless the blind and insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
And they turned their faces away

And 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
They're reliving dreams of past glory

Those silly old men all twisted and torn
The forgotten heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask me "What are they
marching for?";
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll go a-waltzing Matilda with me?


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