Historical information

Print was purchased because of the popularity of the song that was written by Eric Bogle in 1971 following his attendance at an ANZAC Parade in Canberra


The anti-war song “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” has become a cultural icon in Australia, and elsewhere has been recorded over 130 times in 10 different languages. The song was written in 1971 by Eric Bogle, a Scottish immigrant to Australia, who has penned more than 250 powerful compositions, which, among other things, focus on the failure of history to impress upon youth the futility of war. Appropriately, Bogle was named Australian Humanist of the Year in 2001 for capturing “the ethos of humanism through his perceptive and individualistic song writing with its exposure of racism, bigotry, war mongering and injustice of all kinds”. Additionally, he was awarded the United Nations Peace Medal (1986), and was made Member of the Order of Australia (1987). This article asks why a song written by a Scot in Australia, fifty-six years after the Dardanelles campaign, feels as if it has “always existed. That it belongs to culture and country”. It questions what the appeal imbued within the lyrics of those five short verses might be and recounts the story behind the creation of what Pete Seeger referred to as “one of the world’s greatest songs”. Through interviews with the writer, and an examination of the relevant historiography, this article presents a study of “the most potent ballad of the age”. It also examines what Bogle meant when he said that it was a song that “came into its time”

Physical description

Wooden framed glass front print - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Inscriptions & markings

Print contain the lyrics of the song