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Lyr Add: As If He Knows (Eric Bogle)

15 Oct 02 - 12:56 AM (#803291)
Subject: Lyr Add: AS IF HE KNOWS (Eric Bogle)
From: Amergin

AS IF HE KNOWS
Eric Bogle

It's as if he knows
He's standing close to me
His breath warm on my sleeve
His head hung low
It's as if he knows
What the dawn will bring
The end of everything
For my old Banjo
And all along the picket lines beneath the desert sky
The light horsemen move amongst their mates to say one last goodbye
And the horses stand so quietly
Row on silent row
It's as if they know

Time after time
We rode through shot and shell
We rode in and out of Hell
On their strong backs
Time after time
They brought us safely through
By their swift sure hooves
And their brave hearts
Tomorrow we will form up ranks and march down to the quay
And sail back to our loved ones in that dear land across the sea
While our loyal and true companions
Who asked so little and gave so much
Will lie dead in the dust

For the orders came
No horses to return
We were to abandon them
To be slaves
After all we'd shared
And all that we'd been through
A nation's gratitude
Was a dusty grave
For we can't leave them to the people here, we'd rather see them dead
So each man will take his best mate's horse with a bullet through the head
For the people here are like their land
Wild and cruel and hard
So Banjo, here's your reward

It's as if he knows
He's standing close to me
His breath warm upon my sleeve
His head hung low
It's as if he knows.


these are Eric's notes from the cd Colur of Dreams:

During WWI, Australia shipped about 53,000 horses overseas to serve in the various theatres of that war. Of that number, only one returned to Australia at the end of the war, and it was, of course, a General's favourite mount. The rest, or at least the survivors of that original 53,000, were not allowed to return home mainly because of quarantine restrictions, it was feared they could spread anthreax and similar diseases throughout Australia's cattle industry. So the ANZACS were ordered to get rid of what horses they had left. In the European theatre of war many of the horses were sold or given to French and Belgian farmers and peasants and such like. But in Palestine the Light Horsemen refused to either give or sell their horses to the local Arab population, as they thought that the Arabs in general treated their animals with dreadful cruelty. Mind you, I can't think of anything more cruel than subjecting innocent horses to the horrors of modern warfare, but i guess those were the prevailing attitudes of the times. So, rather than leave their horses to a lifetime of slavery, as they saw it, the Light Horsemen shot them. Each man shot his best mate's horse, and that was that. I wrote this song after reading an Anzac Day newspaper artivle about an old veteran Light Horsemen called Elijah Conn, who was talking about his horse, Banjo, and how his best mate shot Banjo just before they marched off to the ship that was waiting to take them home to Australia. Even after 70 years, Elijah's eyes filled with tears when talking about it. This song is for Elijah and Banjo. Sorry to take up so much of your time with this little story, but it's one that deserves to be heard I think.


15 Oct 02 - 09:28 AM (#803489)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: As If He Knows-Eric Bogle
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Amergin,

On Sunday, Patricia prevailed upon me to go to a display of "Flowers as Art" - at Government House, Sydney ... no longer used by the Governor - and administered by the Historic Houses Trust. On the way, we walked past a corner of the Botanic Gardens ... with a bronze memorial to the horses of the Australian Desert Corps in WW I.

There are lines of praise ... and the final bald statement: "They did not return".

Regards,

Bob Bolton


15 Oct 02 - 06:06 PM (#803879)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: As If He Knows-Eric Bogle
From: vectis

Music anyone?


17 May 03 - 02:27 PM (#954471)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: As If He Knows (Eric Bogle)
From: GUEST

the music can be found in the spring edition of sing out....

it appears they have a midi file at thery're site as well...

sing out


31 Dec 17 - 10:01 PM (#3896709)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: As If He Knows (Eric Bogle)
From: GUEST,Genie San s-cotokie

Eric Bogle sings "As If He Knows"


01 Jan 18 - 06:53 AM (#3896733)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: As If He Knows (Eric Bogle)
From: GUEST

"During WWI, Australia shipped about 53,000 horses overseas to serve in the various theatres of that war. Of that number, only one returned to Australia at the end of the war, and it was, of course, a General's favourite mount."

All true, pity Bogle didn't go on to explain the hoops that General had to go through to be allowed to bring his horse back, or the extensive and lengthy quarantine and veterinary checks the horse was subjected to - all expense being paid by that General.

Nice yarn by way of a sleeve note, but my guess is that at some point or other Bogle came across this written much earlier by "Banjo" Paterson about the Second Boer War:

The Last Parade

Andrew Barton ?Banjo? Paterson

WITH never a sound of trumpet,
    With never a flag displayed,
The last of the old campaigners
    Lined up for the last parade.
Weary they were and battered,
    Shoeless, and knocked about;
From under their ragged forelocks
    Their hungry eyes looked out.

And they watched as the old commander
    Read out, to the cheering men,
The Nation?s thanks and the orders
    To carry them home again.

And the last of the old campaigners,
    Sinewy, lean, and spare?
He spoke for his hungry comrades:
    ?Have we not done our share?

?Starving and tired and thirsty
    We limped on the blazing plain;
And after a long night?s picket
    You saddled us up again.

?We froze on the wind-swept kopjes
    When the frost lay snowy-white.
Never a halt in the daytime,
    Never a rest at night!

?We knew when the rifles rattled
    From the hillside bare and brown,
And over our weary shoulders
    We felt warm blood run down,

?As we turned for the stretching gallop,
    Crushed to the earth with weight;
But we carried our riders through it?
    Carried them perhaps too late.

?Steel! We were steel to stand it?
    We that have lasted through,
We that are old campaigners
    Pitiful, poor, and few.

?Over the sea you brought us,
    Over the leagues of foam:
Now we have served you fairly
    Will you not take us home?

?Home to the Hunter River,
    To the flats where the lucerne grows;
Home where the Murrumbidgee
    Runs white with the melted snows.

?This is a small thing surely!
    Will not you give command
That the last of the old campaigners
    Go back to their native land??

.    .    .    .    .
They looked at the grim commander,
    But never a sign he made.
?Dismiss!? and the old campaigners
    Moved off from their last parade.


Paterson got the nickname "Banjo" from a none too successful race horse he once bought.