Thursday, 23 April 2015

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle

This weekend is the 100th anniversary since the Gallipoli campaign.

Gallipoli was the first major military action by the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) as "independent dominions" (an autonomous country within the British Empire).

The 25th of April, the day the troops first landed on Gallipoli, is now our national day of remembrance, Anzac Day.

Needless to say, there has been a LOT of commentary, TV shows, articles, exhibitions and books covering the Gallipoli story from every possible angle in Australia in recent months.

I've reviewed a number of them previously (here) - And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda is the latest offering.

There aren't many Australians who wouldn't know Bogle's famous war song, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. In fact it is hard not to sing it out loud as you read through this picture book version illustrated by the ubiquitous Bruce Whatley.

In the foreword, Bogle says he wrote the song in memory of the WW1 Anzac's.

He hoped it would "operate on two levels: firstly as a tribute and secondly, as an indictment of the stubborn stupidity & arrogance of the political and military leadership of the Allied Forces at the time, which led to the waste of all that courage and all those young lives."

Whatley's accompanying illustrations are also inspired by the Gallipoli campaign & reflect the archival research he put into his work.

If you've never heard this heartfelt folk song before I've included the youtube link of Bogle's version of the song (it has also been covered by the likes of John Williamson, Joan Baez & The Pogues.)

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