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The band played waltzing Mathilda

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Traditionnel - Irlande


When I was a young man I carried me pack

And I lived the free life of the rover

From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback

I waltzed my Matilda all over

Then in 1915 my country said: Son,

It's time to stop rambling, 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

When the ship pulled away from the quay

And amid all the tears, flag waving and cheers

We sailed off for Gallipoli

It well I remember that terrible day

When our blood stained the sand and the water

And how in that hell they call Suvla Bay

We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter

Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well

He rained us with bullets, and he showered us with shell

And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell

He nearly blew us back home to Australia

And the band played Waltzing Matilda

When we stopped to bury our slain

Well we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs

Then it started all over again

Oh those that were living just tried to survive

In that 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 over head

And when I awoke in me hospital bed

And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead

I never knew there was worse things than dying

Oh no more I'll go Waltzing Matilda

All around the green bush far and near

For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs

No more waltzing Matilda for me

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed

And they shipped us back home to Australia

The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane

Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla

And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay

I looked at the place where me legs used to be

And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me

To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda

When they carried us down the gangway

Oh nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared

Then they turned all their faces away

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

Renewing their dreams of past glories

I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn

Those weary old heroes of 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, their numbers get fewer

Someday, 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 the billabong

So who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

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