The Pogues – And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

One of the more depressing songs sung by The Pogues, written by Eric Bogle. For those who are unfamiliar with the song, it’s about an Aussie soldier who was sent overseas to fight in WWI. The soldiers were sent into the meat grinder in Gallipoli, Turkey, where soldiers died and were wounded day after day.

It’s very anti-war, singing about the uselessness and waste of war. Whether in a formal war or everyday life, there’s nothing to like about guns and violence. Nothing. Too bad one political party in the US is dedicated to supporting it.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Kenneth C. Fingeret

    Hello arcadesproject,

    The other party knows what its job is. To be the faux opposition and mostly surrender without a fight. They are the other part of the Uniparty.

  • Rupert Murdoch financed half the budget of “Gallipoli”. He didn’t “make” the film. “Gallipoli” was very much Peter Weir’s film.

  • Eric Bogle’s version. Both are good.

  • draftmama

    I grew up in England after the war. My parents and all their peers were permanently damaged by their roles in that catastrophe (my father was in a POW camp in Burma, my mum drove an ambulance in Bristol which was bombed every night, my father in law was a Battle of Britain fighter pilot at 18, my favorite uncle was in the French resistance, etc. etc. etc.

    For most of my youth and into adulthood I had nightmares about being in battles, terrified because people were trying to kill me for no reason. Those nightmares are infrequent now in my 60’s, but the carnage that continues in the world gives me daymares.

  • samiinh

    Me too. Love the Pogues and Eric Bogle’s music. That we never learn is an understatement. Thank you.

  • MyrddinWilt

    The idea was to knock Turkey out of the war. They only joined on the German side because they were paid 5 million quid (the Brits had only offered four).

    Cutting the German supply lines and enabling passage through to the Russian Black Sea fleet was the point.

    Might not have been a great idea. But compared to the slaughter going on in France it did actually have a strategic goal.

    The original plan didn’t have a landing at all.

  • arcadesproject

    ‘Too bad one political party in the US is dedicated to supporting it….’
    Too bad indeed and perhaps worse that the other major political party writhes and cringes and wrings its hands, just like fucking Uriah Heap, while claiming to support rational gun control measures, and then capitulates. Every time.

  • Antifa

    Let us give you the benefit of the doubt — say the Brits and Aussies got off the beach at Gallipoli, and “won” the battle. It would still have been an insane event, and a Pyrrhic victory. They were in no condition to do anything but get back on their ships and get out of there. They could not have advanced far inland without needing three or four times their number — immediately — to cover their expanding lines. And from whence would these troops have come? And their bullets and biscuits?

    Gallipoli was planned and attempted simply to show the British public that the war in France was not a futile stalemate. It had no military purpose beyond the show.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Oddly enough, the Gallipoli campaign was one of the least idiotic of WWI. It did actually have a clear strategic objective, unlike the fights in France where the generals were unable to understand that maybe it was better to give up a few hundred yards and dig trenches in earth rather than gravel or marsh.

    The allies came very close to winning. The Turkish troops were in full retreat. They were rallied by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, one of the rare events where a commander seems to have won a battle through force of personality alone.

    The allies lost mainly because the intelligence was wrong and grossly underestimated the number of Turkish troops. The reason for the high casualty rate was similar to the reason Waterloo had such a high casualty rate, both sides knew that it was an all or nothing event.

    The reason that it gets a bad rap as the worst example of WWI battles is twofold. First it is one of the few WWI battles that actually had an outcome. Nobody really remembers whether the Somme or Ypres was a victory for either side. Secondly, Rupert Murdoch made a film about the battle that like most of his films is an anti-British polemic that is remarkably truth-free.

  • samizdat

    Love the Pogues, and I love this song, but…

    We will never learn.

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