It's war, war, war ... everywhere you look to - from the deserts of Libya to the mountains of the Ukraine.
70 years ago, World War II came to an end; 100 years ago, World War I got stuck in Flanders; and 200 years ago the bloody fight at Waterloo put an end to Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions. From time immemorial the art of songwriting commemorated and commented on battles and heroes, but also the suffering and plight.
Singer-songwriter Eric Bogle (born a few days after the D-Day landings in Normandy) had a fair share in this art; whether his Youngest Son Didn't Come Home Today from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, or Young Willie McBride was slaughtered at the Green Fields of France.
This April, Eric Bogle was invited to the Gallipoli Centenary and sang his And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, written in 1971 about the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) experience fighting on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli, to a large gathering of Australians and, as Eric puts it, 'of course the ghosts of all those boys I originally wrote the song for.'
You can see Eric singing the song in Gallipoli on ANZAC Day @ the YouTube link on the right, or follow the link to the lyrics of And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda on Eric's website. Of course, there is more to sing about than the futility of war, and Bogle's songs cover the whole human condition.
So keep on folking, Tom Keller (Walkin' T:-)M)