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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Eric Bogle & June Tabor

One of my favourite songwriters is the Scottish-Australian folk singer Eric Bogle. I especially like the interpretation of his work by the British singer June Tabor.  The three songs here are particularly poignant at this time because they are about the First World War. I have provided a link to each song performed by both June and Eric.
I don’t believe that any other medium has described the futility of war in a way that hits home like these songs do.
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

No Man's Land 
(also known as The Green Fields of France)

Now I'm Easy
By the way, a 'cocky' is Australian slang for a farmer 
(originally a cockatoo farmer).


Parnassus said...

Hello Bazza, In the last couple of years I have read the war writings of Paul Fussell, who was an infantry soldier in WWII, and who wrote extensively about the futility of war. Since he was (later) an English professor, he also thoroughly covered the WWI and WWII poets, who were so eloquent about the tragic aspects of war.

Hels said...


Not only was Eric Bogle's The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (1971) an extremely sad song about loss and grief. I think it was to remind subsequent generations about the futility and brutality of war. 1971 was a critical year for the anti-war movement.

bazza said...

Hello Jim. The war poets have done a very important and high-profile job in helping us to understand the real experience of The Great War, especially, for me, Wilfred Owen's Anthem For Doomed Youth.
Somehow I think the later work of songwriter's like Bogle have been somewhat overlooked!

bazza said...

Hels: I have never forgotten my reaction on first hearing that song. It's a great pity that others in high places have not heeded his lament.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bazza - thanks for posting this ... I hadn't realised and now will be back to read and listen to all the songs with their interpretation of war and its effects ... it certainly does sound like they have been overlooked ... thank you for letting us know - Hilary

bazza said...

Hilary: Thanks for that. I feel that you will enjoy and be moved by this music.

Sherry Ellis said...

I knew about the song, Waltzing Matilda, but not the song, The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. So sad! Thanks for sharing these songs.

bazza said...

Sherry: All of the songs are so sad and very pertinent at this time. Because they are not so well-known I thought I would give them a platform!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bazza - yes I am moved by the lyrics and the music - I particularly like Eric Bogle's versions ... I've made a note and will check in again - probably next year ... there's things going on now - cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Songwriters, poets and other artists do a magnificent job capturing the futility of war, and I've heard some compelling speeches offered by combat veterans, as well. Too bad the powers that be haven't learned the lesson.

bazza said...

Hi Hilary: Sorry I overlooked your second comment! Hope all is OK with you.

bazza said...

Susan: I'm a bit late in responding - apologies for that! Songwriters and poets are able to underline some home truths that politicians are unable to recognise.