The St Patrick’s Day thing got me thinking about the Pogues and my favourite cover of theirs, And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.
I had heard of Eric Bogle in my mid teens due to No Man’s Land, the finest anti war song ever written. Being in CND you tended to rub shoulders with the woolly jumper brigade who always seemed to have a guitar or two stashed away which could be produced at the drop of a hat or placard to educate us young ones in the words and music of Leon Rosselson, Dick Gaughan, Eric Bogle amongst others. So when Rum, Sodomy and The Lash was first heard some of our mob were already acquainted with the final track on the album. Also at this time with Billy Bragg becoming popular folk was no longer something to be embarrassed about.
Eric Bogle was born in Peebles in the Scottish Borders and emigrated to Australia as a “ten pound tourist” in 1969. His songs have been covered by the likes of The Men They Couldn’t Hang, June Tarbour and Billy Bragg.
I was fortunate enough to see Bogle in 2003 on one of his rare returns to these shores. He had the audience laughing one minute and crying the next, the night was an emotional roller coaster.
If anybody can listen to Leaving Nancy, the first song he wrote when he arrived in Australia and which recalls the last time he saw his mother and not be moved then they are not really human. It would bring a tear to a glass eye as the saying goes.
Eric Bogle – Leaving Nancy
And this needs no introduction.
Eric Bogle – And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.
He is in the UK at the moment doing a pretty extensive tour, check here if interested