The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

I was contacted by Goiridh Domhnullach from Canada who provided me with the link to a very moving rendition of this famous song. Following the Lyrics as sung by Eric Bogle and remembering those men and women on Remembrance Day at 11am on the 11th of the 11th.

Goiridh is the grand-nephew of Canadian First World War dead.

I would like to thank Goiridh for sending this link as his family will also be remembered on Remembrance Day.

Let us all remember those who lost their lives or were injured during the actions of war. Also let us remember those who have struggled and taken their own lives to be free of the unseen pain and anguish. Lest We Forget.

One of the best-put-together songs I’ve ever heard. Eric Bogle deserves so much praise for crafting such an important message out of the carnage and futility of war.

  •  Tha ceann math aige gu deanadh oran. Gaelic for “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”
  • Fois shiorruidh dhaibh uile.   Eternal peace to all who are lost to war.


When I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murry’s green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915 my country said, “Son,
It’s time you stop rambling, there’s work to be done.”
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they marched me away to the war.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As the ship pulled away from the quay
And midst all the cheers, flag waving and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli

It’s well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water
And of 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 rained us with bullets, and showered us with shell,
And in five minutes flat, he’d blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us back home to Australia.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As we stopped to bury our slain,
and we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.

those who were livinge just tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
While around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, sure I wished I was dead.
I never knew there were worse things than dying.
For I’ll go no more Waltzing Matilda,
All around the green bush far and free
To hunt and to pace, a man needs both legs,
No more waltzing Matilda for me.

They collected the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they sent us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And when our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.
But the Band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.

So now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving their dreams and past glory,
I see the old men all tired, stiff and sore
Those forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question.
But the band plays Waltzing Matilda,
And the old men still answer the call,
But year after year, the numbers get fewer
Someday, no one will march there at all.
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda.
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts can be heard as they march by the billibong
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

*UPDATE:  –  Veterans’ Recognition Bill

The Veterans’ Recognition Bill has received Royal Assent on 30 October and is now legislated as the Australian Veterans’ Recognition (Putting Veterans and their Families First) Act 2019.

Information from DVA for ESO’s regarding the most frequently asked questions.          Click the link which opens a new page in PDF for easier reading

Below are 3 pages of the 21 page document sent by DVA. These 3 pages look at the Eligibility for the Covenant. I suggest downloading the full document from the above link for all the information.

DVA are experiencing a heavy call load. If you can, apply on line at

VRP FAQs for ESOs_Page_6VRP FAQs for ESOs_Page_7VRP FAQs for ESOs_Page_8

UPDATE :Veterans’ Recognition Bill

Post Traumatic Stress + Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs Australia’s program for people living with PTSD

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) support dogs are trained to reduce the impact of specific symptoms for people living with this condition and improve their overall quality of life.

Assistance Dogs can help guide those living with trauma back to a sense of safety, helping to improve interpersonal connections, encourage engagement in the community, and regain areas of functioning that may have been diminished by their trauma.

All ADA trained and qualified dogs have full Public Access Rights, allowing them to accompany their handlers on all public transport and into almost all public areas. These rights are protected under Federal law*.

Our dogs are trained to the highest standards and are accredited by Assistance Dogs International.

Our program provides Assistance Dogs to successful applicants free of charge, entirely funded through charitable donations from individuals and corporations.

While we wish we could open our program to all those living with post trauma stress, ADA is currently only placing dogs with former Australian Defence Force or Police personnel diagnosed with PTSD.

What is PTSD?

All of us will experience some form of trauma during our lives, and most of us will recover without long-term difficulty. Some people who are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events, or experience a particularly traumatic incident, may go on to develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Our bodies instinctively respond to threat to help us survive-to get away, fight the threat, or slow down to let the threat pass. This is known as the Flight/Flight/Freeze response. Intense or repeated trauma can lead to this response becoming extremely sensitive.

When this happens almost any environment becomes threatening, and anything relating to the traumatic incident provokes an activation of the Flight/Flight/Freeze response. This contributes to many of the symptoms we associate with PTSD:

  • Re-experiencing trauma when reminded of it
  • Avoiding reminders of trauma
  • Low mood or depression
  • Severe anxiety
  • Reactivity, irritability, and agitation
  • Disturbed sleep and nightmare
  • Dissociation
    Significant psychological, social, and functional difficulties may come out of this. PTSD is particularly prevalent in former military and police personal who often endure exposure to traumatic incidents in the course of their duties. Up to 25% of Australian Defence Force personnel who have transitioned out of active duty, and 20% of police, would meet criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD.How can an Assistance Dog help?

    Assistance Dogs help people with PTSD in two ways; Advanced Skills Training, and the Human-Animal Bond:

    1. Advanced Skills Training:

    All ADA dogs undergo rigorous preparations for up to two years, including 16-20 weeks of advanced skill training. Our dogs master bespoke cues aimed at addressing PTSD-specific areas of difficulty, including:

    • Positioning cues, which allow the handler to position the dog as needed and create space for themselves in public or crowded places, allowing for an increased sense of security and encouraging community engagement.
    • Contact cues, which allow the handler to request physical contact facilitating grounding, mindfulness, and focus.
    • Nightmare interruption, which allows a dog to recognise signs of distress in sleep, or immediately after waking, and provide support for calming.

    People living with PTSD often show external signs associated with their stress response (e.g. bouncing legs, rubbing hands, breathing heavily, sweating excessively etc.). Our PTSD dogs are trained to use these external signs as cues for relevant skills to provide support when it is needed most.

    Our training is highly personalised, shaping the dog’s skills to individual needs. We encourage and support ongoing skill development in our dog teams.

    1. The Human-Animal bond:

    The close bond between a person and their dog encourages a sense of safety which can be tremendously beneficial for people living with PTSD.

    The calming influence of a dog can help reduce both physical and psychological reactivity which is particularly relevant for people who have experienced trauma.

    By tapping into this calming effect using grounding techniques, an Assistance Dog can reduce the threat response allowing for increased community engagement and calmer interpersonal interactions.

    We work with successful applicants to encourage a strong bond with their dogs, and through this bond, gain the skills and motivation they need to reach their goals.

    The Public Access Rights granted to Assistance Dogs allow this calming influence to be present as needed throughout the day, across almost all settings.

    It cost around 40 thousand dollars to train a dog.

    *Assistance Animal Public Access Rights are protected under federal law through the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. People who receive a PTSD Service Dog are provided with a photographic identity badge as proof of Service Dog status, which they must take with them in public, and a Service Dog jacket for the dog.

    Stephane and Veo’s storyStephane and Veo’s story

    After serving in the armed forces for 18 years, both at home and abroad, Stephane was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    After being matched with Veo, Stephane has told us how his life has changed, and continues to change each day they are together.

    “Veo’s company is an endless source of support for me.I find myself laughing at his mischief; seeing new things that I couldn’t see before; having the motivation to leave the house and also having protection at all times.”

    “By being by my side when I withdraw and disappear, Veo has given me the mental fortitude to do the things I would normally shy from and or avoid.”

    Veo has had an impact on not only Stephane, but the whole family too.

    “Most of all, my little girls love him and he brings us all together.”

  • Assistance Dogs Australia – Web Link