I watched On the Beach on cable not long ago. It's a profound and cautionary Cold War-era film about the aftermath of a nuclear war. Gregory Peck plays a sub commander serving in Australia where the end of the world is a little slower to arrive because the holocaust occurred in the Northern Hemisphere. I'd wanted to see it for some time but had just never encountered it nor read the Neville Shute novel on which it's based, though I will soon.
The Land Down Under
Because of the down under setting, the musical score is permeated by elements of Waltzing Matilda as well as a jolly rendition of the lyrics late in the story. I mentioned that here in passing a few weeks back.
In the course of searching for a nice version of "Waltzing" I ran across another tune, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," a folksy Australian tune. Something about it struck me so I grabbed it too.
I've spent a little more time learning it's origins now. It's tied to remembrances of the Gallipoli experiences of Australians of World War I.
Liner notes from the tune's author Eric Bogle explain his motivation. It was penned after he watched a march on Anzac Day ( Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) to commemorate the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli.
The tune is reminiscent of and is as haunting as the original Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye, told from the point of view of young Australian drifter who is coaxed into service and barely survives battle.
He speaks of watching Anzac Day parades and his former comrades marching even though he cannot.
It's a tune that when listened to today resonates for me with new meaning. Perhaps it should too have been cautionary for all of us.
Also on the Pod
Speaking of songs from shows, probably my favorite free tune from iTunes is "Every Ship Must Sail Away" from Blue Merle. I noticed the other night it was used to round out an episode of "Bones" on Fox.
Interesting placement. Bet it was on one of the writer or producer's iPods as well.