thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I had a special post planned but events overtook me so for the moment I am posting this because every time I hear it fucks me up.

The australians have the whole "waltzing matilda" going. This is a song by an irish band about some of the things that happened in WW1 from the point of view of an aussie soldier at the time

Oh, and the battle in question was churchills fuck up. The idea that everyone in the UK regards winston churchill as a hero is absolutely wrong. Many people then and now regarded/regard him as a murderous bastard who made a couple of good speeches. On the whole, we're quite pleased he is dead. Ask the hunger strikers, the suffragetes and a million other people why. Anyway...

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback

I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again

Now those that were living,did their best to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for seven long weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, christ I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
And no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
to the green bushes so far and near
For to hang tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
and they turned their faces away

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And I see the old men all twisted and torn
The forgotten heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll go a waltzing Matilda with me?

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 7:37 pm  
  • At 10:04 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    also to the tune of waltzing Matilda:

    Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
    And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
    Who'll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

    Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
    Who'll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me
    And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled,
    Who'll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

    A recently added verse sings --

    Forgetting that spoons stir hot liquids much better
    The swagman immersed his tool in his tea
    And he sighed as he spied his old willy boiling
    Now I can't bugger you, so will you bugger me?

    The heretical part is complements of Bill Bryson
    by the way: My great grandfather fought at Galipoli and wrote a book about it too but never published.

  • At 6:35 am, Blogger land of the morning calm said…

    It may be about vietnam, but this song sends chills through me as well. Good article.

    'He was only 19'

    Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal
    (1t was long march from cadets).
    The sixth battalion was the next to tour and It was me who drew the card. We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left.

    Chorus I:
    And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay.
    This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.
    And there's me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens. God help me, I was only nineteen.

    From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat, I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.
    But we made our tents a home. V.B. and pinups on the lockers, And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub.

    Chorus 2:
    And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
    And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?
    And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means? God help me, I was only nineteen.

    A four week operation, when each step can mean your last one
    On two legs: it was a war within yourself.

    But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you dusted off,
    So you closed your eyes and thought about something else.

    Chorus 3:
    Then someone yelled out "Contact"', and the bloke behind me swore. We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar. Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon. God help me, he was going home in June.

    1 can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
    On a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau.

    And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle.
    'Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row

    Chorus 4:
    And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears.
    And stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
    I caught some pieces In my back that I didn't even feel.
    God help me, I was only nineteen.

    Chorus 5:
    And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
    And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
    And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?

    God help me, I was only nineteen.


  • At 10:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 7:25 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    good stuff Michael

  • At 9:02 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks everyone. watched the vid. emotional stuff

  • At 8:41 am, Blogger JACOBITE said…

    yes winni was a compleat asshole, as so was many a great british hero, lol

    And the pogues song is one of there best. And thanks for reading my blog hope to see you about all the best


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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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