Eric Bogle was born in Peebles, Scotland, in 1944, but emigrated to Australia in 1969 and now lives there with his wife Carmel. He has been recording in Australia for several decades and most of his albums have been released on licence by Greentrax Recordings for the U.K., Ireland, Europe and North America. This amounts to more than a dozen albums, including collections, albums with the late John Munro and the amazing 5 X CD Box Set – ‘Singing The Spirit Home’ (CDTRAX4001B). Greentrax is very proud of this long association and always welcomes a new album from Eric. M.D. Ian Green considers this to be one of Eric’s best in recent years and said to Eric: ‘I cried, I laughed and I pondered the issues - and I enjoyed every single moment of it’.
Eric Bogle is probably best known for his song ‘And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’, which was named in 2001 as one of the Australian Performing Rights Association’s Top 30 Australian songs of all time. In 1987 Eric was appointed a Member of The Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the performing arts as a songwriter and singer. He was also awarded a Peace Medal from the U.N. for his efforts to promote peace and social harmony through his music. Apart from being recognised by the Scots Trad Awards, Eric remains virtually unrecognised in his homeland. Shame on our politicians and T.V. producers!
‘The Source of Light’ was recorded and produced in Australia in late 2021 by Peter Titchener and the artwork was designed by Emma Luker, both members of the ‘Bogle Band’. Emma also plays fiddle, cello, viola, adds harmony vocals and was responsible for the vocal arrangements, while Peter plays guitar and adds vocals. Other guest singers and musicians include Damien Steele Scott (acoustic guitar and electric bass); Jon James (percussion); Richard Coates (accordion and keyboards); The Sherrahs (backing vocals); Anthony Stewart (mandolin and electric guitar); and Anthony O’Neil (tenor banjo). In addition, Gina Jeffreys (lead vocals); Peter Franche (accordion); Rod McCormack (acoustic guitar) and Mike Haynes (upright bass) recorded the song ‘The Girl in The Photo’ and English artists Chris While (vocals) and Julie Matthews (keyboards) laid down ‘a poignant and loving interpretation’ of ‘Catching The Wave’. All songs are written by Eric except ‘The Border’ (by the late John Munro), a tune – ‘Mind The Gap’ - by Emma Luker and two songs by Peter Titchener: ‘Eric’s Never Written a Song About Me’ (sung by Peter) and ‘The Girl in The Photo’ (‘a nice song written by Peter Titchener for his Mum’ says Eric), mentioned above.
Eric’s songs are: ‘The Old Dog’s Song’ (‘a song for your wellbeing’); ‘The Armageddon Waltz’ (‘we’re all doomed’ - maybe?); ‘Embers’ (‘memories mostly comfort or hurt’); ‘Song For Susan’ (written in memory of percussionist Jon James’ late partner); ‘The Source of Light’ (‘countries torn apart by war’); ‘If She Ever Dreamed’ (Eric returns to sing of his mother Nancy); ‘A Cottage In The Country’ (‘an idyllic little cottage in the country?’); ‘The Flag’ (like many of us Eric hates fascists!); ‘Catching The Wave’ (about a well-known Australian figure on the folk scene); ‘When The Last Tree Falls’ (‘we’re all doomed – Part Deux’); ‘A Dear John Letter’ (‘written for our dear mate’ – linked to ‘Mind The Gap’, a tune for John); and ‘If I Should Wake’ (‘an a capella song - learn the words and sing’ says Eric).
This is a remarkable collection and was recorded at a time when Eric was not in the best of health. We are very pleased to report that he is now on the mend and still performing in concert in Australia and New Zealand.
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Eric Bogle (unknown/website).