ARTIST: Eric Bogle
TITLE: And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Lyrics and Chords

When I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty Outback
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over

/ D G D Bm / D A D - / :

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

/ A - G D / / D G D Bm - / D A D - / 

And the band played Waltzing Matilda 
As the ship pulled away from the quay
And amidst all the tears, flag waving and cheers
We sailed off for Gallipoli

/ D G D - / D G A - / G - D Bm - / D A D - /

And how well I remember that terrible day
When our blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay 
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter

Johnny Turk he was ready, he'd primed himself well
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us back home to Australia

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

And those that were left, well, we tried to survive 
In that mad world of blood, death 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

So no more I'll go 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 gathered the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The legless, the armless, the blind, the 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
Then they turned all their faces away

And so now every April I sit on my porch 
And I watch the parades pass before me
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march 
Reviving old dreams of past glories

And the old men march slowly, old bones stiff and sore
They're tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "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 more old men disappear
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, 
Who'll come 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

/ D - G - / D - - A / D A Bm G / D - A - D - /

Click here to submit corrections.

How to read these chord charts
Go back to the Table of Contents
Go back to the Index
Go back to my main page