When I was a young lad I carried me pack,
I lived the free life of a rover
On the Murray’s green banks to the dusty outback
While I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, 'Son,
Time to start ramblin', there’s a-work to be done.'
And they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.

And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda, '
As the ship sailed away from the quay,
'Midst the songs and the cheers, flag waving and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

It’s well I remember that terrible day,
Our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that we call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.

The big Turkish shell caught me ass over head
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead
Never knew there was worse things than dyin'.

For I’ll go no more 'Waltzing Matilda, '
All along the green land running free
For to hunt and to pace, a man needs both legs,
No more 'Waltzing Matilda' for me.

They gathered the injured, 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 the ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where my legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To mourn, to grieve and to pity.

And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda, '
As they wheeled us down the gangway,
And nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
And they all turned their faces away.

And the band still plays 'Waltzing Matilda, '
And the young men still answer the call,
But as year follows year, more young men disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Mathilda, Waltzing Mathilda,
Who’ll come a-waltzing Mathilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the Billabong
Who’ll come a-waltzing Mathilda with me?

More lyrics from Joan Baez

Tags
female vocalistsfolkacoustic