The Story Behind Waltzing Matilda and Why this song is relevant for independent musicians?

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, is a folk song that has been sung and recorded by many artists over the years.

The song was written by Scottish-Australian folk singer-songwriter Eric Bogle in 1971 and tells the story of a young Australian soldier who is sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign during World War I.

Eric Bogle, singer-songwriter, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Eric Bogle,2022. Photo obtained from the singer’s Facebook fan page.

Eric Bogle is a Scottish-Australian folk singer-songwriter. Born in Scotland in 1944, he emigrated to Australia in 1969 and began performing in folk clubs and festivals. He is best known for his songs about war and its impact on soldiers and their families, including “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” “No Man’s Land (The Green Fields of France),” and “The Gift of Years.” Bogle has released numerous albums over the years and has been awarded several prestigious awards for his contributions to music, including the Order of Australia Medal in 2018. He continues to perform and record music to this day

The lyrics are based on the true events of the Gallipoli campaign, which was fought between April 1915 and January 1916. The campaign was an unsuccessful attempt by Allied forces to take control of the Dardanelles strait in order to open up a sea route to Russia.

He describes in the song barely surviving for a few weeks, watching soldiers die around him. Finally, he is injured and wakes up in a hospital where he discovers that he has lost his legs. This is frustrating and sad for him because he will not be able to continue dancing The Matilda Waltz. Having volunteered, he returns to find himself disillusioned by the realities of war. He witnessed the horrors of the battle and the loss of his friends and comrades and returns home scarred by the experience.

The Melody has become an iconic Australian folk song and is often played on ANZAC Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who have served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

When the ship carrying the young soldiers had left Australia,

the band played “Waltzing Matilda” while the crowd waved flags and cheered.

Why is this song relevant for Independent Musicians?


The Composition is a great example of how a simple folk song can have a powerful impact on people’s emotions and memories. The lyrics are evocative and poignant, and the melody is beautiful and haunting. This is something that independent musicians can strive for in their own music – to create something that touches people’s hearts and minds.


Secondly, the song has been covered and recorded by many different artists over the years, demonstrating how a good song can have a life beyond its original creator. This is particularly relevant for independent musicians who are looking to get their music out there,  by creating something that resonates with people, they can build a fan base and attract attention from other musicians who may want to cover their songs.


Finally, the song’s message of anti-war sentiment and the impact of war on soldiers and their families is a timeless one that is still relevant today. As independent musicians, you have the power to use music to raise awareness about important social and political issues and to connect with people on a deeper level.


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