Eric Bogle Poems

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Eric Bogle
Eric Bogle (born 23 September 1944) is a Scottish-born Australian singer and songwriter. Born in Peebles, Scotland, and emigrating to Australia in 1969, he currently resides near Adelaide, South Australia. One of his most famous songs is "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". It was written in 1972 and is a haunting evocation of the ANZAC experience fighting in the Battle of Gallipoli. It has also been interpreted as a reaction to the Vietnam War. Bogle's songs cover a wide range of subjects, including bright comic songs, satires ("I Hate Wogs"), protest songs and other serious considerations of the human condition. Some idea of the breadth of his work can be gained from the differing subject matter, ranging from "The Aussie Bar-B-Q" to an homage to Stan Rogers, entitled "Safe in the Harbour". One of his most popular songs, "Katie and the Dreamtime Land", is a tribute to American folksinger Kate Wolf, following her untimely death from leukemia in 1986. In a similar vein to "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", his song, "No Man's Land", refers to the old Scottish song, "Flowers of the Forest" being played over the grave of a World War I soldier. (The song is often referred to as "The Green Fields of France", a title it was first given by The Fureys and subsequently used by The Men They Couldn't Hang.) In 1997, British Prime Minister Tony Blair presented a Belfast girl who wrote to him about the Troubles with a framed copy of the lyrics to "The Green Fields of France", calling it his favourite anti-war poem.[citation needed] Other well-known songs, with lighter subject matter, include two homages to departed pets, "Little Gomez" and "Nobody's Moggy Now", and an acknowledgment of his folk music fans with, "Do You Sing Any Dylan?". Many of his songs have been covered by other artists, particularly his anti-war songs. "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "No Man's Land" both gained fame in versions by June Tabor, The Men They Couldn't Hang and The Clancy Brothers. "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" was covered by John McDermott, Mike Harding and The Pogues, and "All the Fine Young Men" was recorded by De Dannan. Recently, the Dropkick Murphys covered "The Green Fields of France", and "Shelter" was covered by John Williamson on his album of great Australian anthems.

now i'm easy
For nearly sixty years I've been a cockie*
Of droughts and fires and floods I've lived through ... [read poem]
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