1. Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    from/for our bro major pattrick j pitt 

    for rememberance day

    When I was a young man I carried my pack
    And I lived the free life of a rover
    From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
    I waltzed my Matilda all over
    Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
    It’s time to stop rambling ’cause 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
    As we sailed away from the quay
    And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
    We sailed off to Gallipoli

    How well I remember that terrible day
    How the blood stained the sand and the water
    And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
    We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
    Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
    He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
    And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell
    Nearly blew us right back to Australia
    But the band played Waltzing Matilda
    As we stopped to bury our slain
    We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
    Then we started all over again

    Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
    In a mad world of blood, death and fire
    And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
    But around me the corpses piled higher
    Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
    And when I woke up in my hospital bed
    And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
    Never knew there were worse things than dying
    For no more I’ll go waltzing Matilda
    All around the green bush far and near
    For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
    No more waltzing Matilda for me

    So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
    And they shipped us back home to Australia
    The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
    Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
    And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
    I looked at the place where my legs used to be
    And thank 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 turned all their faces away

    And now every April I sit on my porch
    And I watch the parade pass before me
    And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
    Reliving old dreams of past glory
    And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
    The forgotten 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 answer to the call
    But year after year their numbers get fewer
    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 you pass the Billabong
    Who’ll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?