Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Pogues

This is a soldier's tale and an eight-minute anti-war statement by cult Irish band The Pogues. Their style veers between shambolic pub riots and heart-rending ballads of joy, sadness and loss.

This one we shall file amongst the latter. It's off their 1985 album Rum, Sodomy And The Lash. There songs are often heavy on Irish nationalism, but this one told from an Australian's perspective. We had goosebumbs the whole way through it.

Pogues singer Shane McGowan also deserves special mention for being one of the greatest caners in rock history and yet remaining gloriously, effortlessly still alive. The pic at right is of him as a young man, when he still had his good looks.

The song itself was written by Eric Bogle, as has been brought to my attention by my friend the urbane internationalist Lance Dodd. Bogle is a Scottish-born singer-songwriter who moved to Australia and become one of Australia's most loved songwrights.

The Australasian Performing Rights Association named The Band Played Waltzing Matilda one of the Top 30 Australian songs in 2001.

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