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Eric Bogle

Bogle with John Munro in Watford during their 2009 farewell tour
Background information
Born 23 September 1944 (1944-09-23) (age 65)
Peebles, Scotland
Genres Folk music
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Website http://ericbogle.net

Eric Bogle (born 23 September 1944, Peebles, Scotland) is a folk singer-songwriter. He emigrated to Australia in 1969 and currently resides near Adelaide, South Australia.

Contents

Career

Several of his most famous songs tell of the futility or loss of war. Prominent among these is "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", written in 1972. The lyrics tell of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) experience fighting in the Battle of Gallipoli. It has also been interpreted as a reaction to the Vietnam War. Another of his best-known songs, "No Man's Land", is also World War I-themed. This song is commonly known as "The Green Fields of France", a title it was first given by The Fureys, and which has subsequently been used in many further cover versions. The song refers to the traditional Scottish song "Flowers of the Forest" being played over the grave of a World War I soldier. This song has been remade by Alec Beaton (with a Scottish soldier from "The Water is Wide"), Plethyn ("Gwaed ar eu Dwylo" (Blood on their Hands), sung in Welsh from "Blas y Pridd"), and Hannes Wader ("Es ist an der Zeit" (It is the Time)). American folk singer Charlie Zahm also has a version on his album Festival Favorites.

Another notable song on a similar theme, but with a more contemporary setting, is the Troubles-inspired "My Youngest Son Came Home Today", with its tale of a young man killed during factional fighting in Northern Ireland. Notably, the song does not take sides in the conflict; it does not mention whether the title character is Irish or British.

Bogle's songs cover a wide range of subjects and themes, including comedic songs ("The Aussie Bar-B-Q"), satires ("I Hate Wogs") protest songs and serious songs about the human condition such as "Now I'm Easy". His song "Safe in the Harbour" is an homage to Stan Rogers. "Katie and the Dreamtime Land" is a tribute to American folk singer Kate Wolf, who died from leukemia in 1986. 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?".

Touring

Bogle has undertaken an extensive concert tour of the UK (sometimes including dates in Europe as well), every three years since 1985. These tours have usually included a supporting cast of Australian-based singers and musicians, most regularly John Munro and Brent Millar. Bogle said that his 2009 tour, with John Munro, would be his last. This featured a Saturday Night Special on 27 June with Martyn Wyndham-Read, Johnny Collins and Les Sullivan in Watford, the only London venue.

Tributes

Many of his songs have been covered by other artists, including June Tabor, The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners, John McDermott, Liam Clancy, Mike Harding, The Pogues, De Dannan, Dropkick Murphys, Billy Bragg, and John Williamson.

In 2000, a five-CD Eric Bogle collection was released called Singing The Spirit Home. His first and only live performance DVD was released in May 2009.

External links

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