Eric Bogle - Live At Stonyfell Winery

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(May 2009) 21 tracks: The Sound of Singing * Now I'm Easy * The Colour of Dreams * Lost Soul * The Dalai Lama's Candle * Rosie * The Waltzing Matilda Waltz * Tired * If Wishes Were Fishes * No Man's Land (The Green Fields of France / Willie McBride) * Hallowed Ground * The Dreamer * Leaving Nancy * Them Old Song Writing Blues * One Small Star * Endangered Species * A Reason For It All * Shelter * The Band Played Waltzing Matilda * The Gift of Years * Singing The Spirit Home.

A live performance DVD recording made at Stonyfell Winery, Adelaide, Australia - this is Eric Bogle's first and (he says) last DVD. Including additional interview material.

UK television has never recorded a documentary of this 'Scottish son' . This DVD containing many of Eric's most popular and requested songs should fill the gap to some extent.

As Eric prepares to hang up his 'touring boots' and embark on his final UK tour, he thought this an appropriate time to record a concert in Australia. The DVD contains 21 of Eric's most requested songs from a remarkable recording career, plus some chat with Eric and his touring buddy John Munro.

A compulsive, almost obsessive songwriter for most of his adult life, Eric has written some songs that have pretty much become Australian (if not world) classics of their particular genre. Possibly his best known song is The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, which confirmed its status by appearing as a question in the Australian version of Trivial Pursuit!

Some of his other songs - No Man's Land (The Green Fields of France / Willie McBride), Leaving Nancy, Now I'm Easy, Shelter, If Wishes Were Fishes - are now beginning to rival Matilda in the icon stakes. Eric's songs have been recorded by Joan Baez, Mary Black, Jean Redpath, June Tabor, Donovan, John Williamson, Billy Bragg, The Pogues, The Fureys and The Corries - to name just a few.

Eric was born in Peebles in Scotland and says he was "destined to be a politician or a folk singer of protest songs... And so one of these prophecies came to pass". In 1969 he emigrated to Australia and in 1980, after various jobs, he embarked on the perilous career path of a professional musician.

Together with his touring partner John Munro, Eric has literally taken his music to the world. He has toured extensively over the last 25 years or so, and this includes 8 tours of North America, 10 tours of Europe and many tours of Australia. He has appeared at every major folk and Country music festival in Australia and around the world.

He has won many awards along the way, including the Order Of Australia medal for services to the entertainment industry and a Peace Medal from the United Nations for his efforts, through music, to promote peace and racial harmony. In Scotland he was recognised by the Scots Trad Music Awards and has been placed in their Hall Of Fame.

No Man's Land (also known as The Green Fields of France, Willie McBride or William McBride)

Well how do you do Private William McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside?
And I'll rest for a while in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19,
When you joined the glorious fallen back in 1916.
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean,
Or Willie McBride was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they play the fyfe lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er you,
As they lowered you down?
Did the bugles play the Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flooers o' the Forest?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some faithful heart does your memory enshrine?
And though you died back in 1916,
In some faithful heart are you forever 19.
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enshrined forever behind the glass pane,
Of an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Ah the sun's shining now on these green fields of France,
The warm winds blow gently and the red poppies dance,
The trenches have vanished under the plough,
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in the graveyard it's still No Man's Land,
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand,
To Man's blind indifference to his fellow-man,
To a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

And I can't help but wonder now William McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering and the sorrow and the glory, the shame,
The killing the dying, it was all done in vain.
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again and again and again.

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