It is 90 years this very week since the bloody Gallipoli campaign which cost the lives of more than 100,000 Allied and Turkish soldiers - with another quarter of a million wounded. Allied leaders/ decision makers, included Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill ('the Greatest Britain ever'). The Campaign was a complete fiasco; poorly planned and badly executed. The Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZACS) saw their most significant losses ever. Indeed, the saying arose that Australia became a nation founded on the blood of the soldiers who died at Gallipoli.
This haunting 'folk' song - And The Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda - was written by popular Scottish-Australian balladeer Eric Bogle in 1971. Interpretations vary, but some end with a haunting rendition of 'Waltzing Matilda'. This version by The Pogues is from the album Rum, Sodomy & The Lash and lends itself to Shane MacGowan's honest rawness.
It's the most powerful anti-war song I know and, although nominally about Gallipoli, may be equally about Vietnam (different decades, different countries, different protagonists, much the same outcomes). Eric Bogle penned this song having witnessed the annual ANZAC Veterans parade.
So, take some time for a few minutes of interruption-free peace and quiet. Turn up the volume and listen to the words.
Perhaps there, my friend, but for the grace of a god, go us all.
Lest we forget.
(click here to buy Rum Sodomy And The Lash from AmazonUK)