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Pogues – And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

The Pogues – And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda 

  • Activity types: Reading, ordering verses, text analysis, writing.
  • History: World War I.
  • Level: Intermediate / Upper-Intermediate.
  • Note:The ANZAC forces (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed in Gallipoli, Turkey on the 25th April, 1915.The song “And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by Eric Bogle commemorates the ensuing battle and is often praised for its haunting imagery of the devastation. Written in 1972, it was conceived as an anti-Vietnam War protest. In 2012 Bogle told The Sydney Morning Herald: “In the last verse, I say, ‘The young people ask what are they marching for and I ask myself the same question.’ I knew what I was trying to say there. The old soldier knew why they were marching, but he was heartbroken that they had to. But what comes across is that he’s saying Anzac Day is a waste of time. I said it clumsily. I’d say it better now.”
  • There have been many covers of the song – this worksheet uses The Pogues’ version.
  • Waltzing Matilda is Australia’s unofficial national anthem – there is a worksheet for this on www.tuneintoenglish.com.
  • Anzac Day is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand every 25th April.

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