I was introduced to this song this summer driving around the endless logging roads of Northern B.C. hunting for clearcuts.
And The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda – The Pogues
When I was a young man, I carried my pack, and I lived the free live of the rover.
From the muddy green basin to the dusty old flats, I waltzed my Mathilda all over.
Then in nineteen-fifteen, me country said :”Son,
It’s time to stop ramblin’ 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 Mathilda, as our ship pulled away from the quay
And amid all the tears, back-waving and cheers, we sailed off for Gallipoli.
Oh, it’s well I remember that terrible day, when our blood stained the sand and the water
And how, in that hell, they called Suvla-bay, we were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk he was ready, he trained himself well
He rained us with bullets and showered us with shells
And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell, yeah they blew us back home to Australia.
And the band played Waltzing Mathilda , as we stopped to burry our slain
We burned ours, the Turks burned theirs, then it started all over again.
All those that were living, just tried to survive, in a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks, I kept myself alive, while around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse overhead
And when I awoke in me hospital bed
And saw, what it had done, I wished I was dead, I never knew there were worse things than dying.
And I’ll go no more Waltzing Mathilda, or around the green bush far and near
For a-huntin’ them pegs, a man need both legs, no more Waltzing Mathilda for me
They collected the wounded, the crippled, the lame, and they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane, those proud wounded heroes of Sulva
And when the ship pulled in, in to Circula Key
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
I thanked Christ, there is no one there waiting for me, to mourn and to grieve and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Mathilda, when they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared, then they all turned their faces away
And now, ev’ry April, I sit on me porch, and I watch the parade pass before me
I see me old com’rades, how proudly they march, renewing their dreams of past glory
I see the old men, all tired, stiff and sore
Those wearied old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask:”What are they marching for?” And I ask my self the same question.
And the band played Waltzing Mathilda, and the old men still answer the call
But year after year, the numbers grow few’r, someday no one will march there at all.
Waltzing Mathilda, Waltzing Mathilda, who’ll come ‘n Waltzing Mathilda with me?
Now their ghosts me be heard, as they pass by the Billabong
So who’ll come a Waltzing Mathilda with me?
I don’t know why Canada doesn’t have a song like this for Vimy or Dieppe. The closest tune I can think of is Nautical Disaster by the Hip. It is one of my favorite songs, but Gord Downie doesn’t get any of the facts right.
I moved into my new apartment yesterday evening. For some reason, the concept of multiple and well-placed electrical outlets in bedrooms seems to have been totally overlooked in China. There is one plug in the entire bedroom, and I am unable to access it, as it is behind this absolutely massive wardrobe. In addition, some of the light switches are in odd locations. Just aesthetic issues, but aside from that the place is pretty damn deck. I just need to populate it with items.
I got a hold of a copy of Team America: World Police. I didn’t think it was as funny as South Park BLU, but it was clever and it managed to insult just about everyone (which is probably the safest way to go when it comes to satire these days). Kim Jong Il and the Terrorists are great, especially when they bust into their native languages. The campy puppetry was a nice touch…and so was the Michael Moore bit.