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Songs attributed ANZAC

Songs attributed to ANZAC hold a powerful place in Australian and New Zealand history, serving as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. These songs capture the spirit of the ANZACs, their courage, resilience, and camaraderie. Ranging from stirring war ballads to sentimental odes, these songs have become an integral part of ANZAC Day commemorations. In this essay, we will explore the significance of these songs, their themes, and their enduring impact on the collective memory of the ANZAC legend.

One of the most famous ANZAC songs is undoubtedly "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda." Penned by Eric Bogle, this song tells the story of a young Australian soldier who goes off to fight in Gallipoli. It beautifully encapsulates the horrors of war, the loss of comrades, and the devastating physical and emotional toll experienced by the ANZACs. The haunting refrain, "And the band played Waltzing Matilda, as we sailed away from the quay," represents the bitter irony of soldiers going off to war, only to return broken and scarred.

Another iconic anthem that emerged from the ANZAC experience is "I Was Only Nineteen." Written by John Schumann, this song vividly portrays the impact of the Vietnam War on the Australian soldiers. It narrates the story of a young ANZAC conscript who endures the harrowing experiences of war. The somber lyrics, combined with the powerful refrain, "God help me, I was only nineteen," poignantly capture the loss of innocence and the lasting emotional trauma suffered by these soldiers.

In addition to these deeply emotive songs, there are also those that celebrate the ANZAC spirit and the mateship forged on the battlefield. One such song is "It's a Long Way to Tipperary." Though not directly associated with ANZACs, this popular World War I tune took on new meaning when it became a favorite amongst Australian and New Zealand troops. The upbeat rhythm and catchy melody were morale boosters, helping to create a sense of unity amongst the soldiers.

The melody "The Last Post" deserves mention as one of the most iconic Australian and New Zealand bugle calls. Played during ANZAC Day services, it is a somber tune that signifies the end of the day's activities and a moment of reflection for those who lost their lives. This simple yet profound melody instills a sense of solemnity and reverence, ensuring the memory of the ANZACs is respectfully upheld.

Through these songs, the ANZAC legend is immortalized and passed down from generation to generation. The emotional depth and historical significance embedded within their lyrics resonate deeply with listeners. Songs attributed to ANZAC evoke pride, honor, and remembrance, allowing individuals to connect with the sacrifices made by these young soldiers a century ago.

In conclusion, songs attributed to ANZAC provide a profound insight into the experiences and emotions of Australian and New Zealand soldiers during World War I. These songs capture the essence of the ANZAC spirit, the horrors of war, and the lasting impact on those who served. Whether it be the haunting "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" or the powerful "I Was Only Nineteen," these songs have become an integral part of ANZAC Day commemorations and continue to evoke a deep sense of pride and reverence in the hearts of Australians and New Zealanders.


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