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Eric Bogle is a folk singer-songwriter. He was born in Peebles, Scotland in 1944 and emigrated to Australia in 1969. He currently resides near Adelaide, South Australia.
Bogle's songs cover a wide range of subjects and themes, including comedic songs (e.g. "The Aussie Bar-B-Q"), satires (e.g. "I Hate Wogs"), protest songs and serious songs about the human condition such as "Now I'm Easy". His most famous songs are "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", written in 1971, which tells of the ANZAC experience fighting in the Battle of Gallipoli, and "No Man's Land", which is also World War I-themed. "No Man's land" 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.
Many of Bogle's songs have been covered by other artists; including John Schumann, June Tabor, The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners, John McDermott, Liam Clancy, Mike Harding, The Pogues, Robert Lawrence, De Dannan, Dropkick Murphys, The Corries, Billy Bragg, The Bushwackers, Slim Dusty and John Williamson.
Tropes used in Eric Bogle's work include:
- The Alleged Car: The kombi van in "Eric and the Informers"
- Anti-Christmas Song: "Santa Bloody Claus"
- An Arm and a Leg: "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"
- Berserk Button: "Do You Sing Any Dylan?"
- Dear Negative Reader: Parodied in "Bloody Rotten Audience"
- Department of Child Disservices: "Daniel Smiling"
- Embarrassing Nickname: According to "Introduction Song", the members of the band's nicknames are 'Wee Short-Arse' (Eric), 'Garbage Guts' (Brent) and 'Old Dogs Balls' (Andy).
- Fate Worse Than Death: "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"
- Gratuitous French / Gratuitous German: "Flying Finger Filler"
- It Tastes Like Feet: "Goodbye Lucky Country":
The beer still tastes like glue
- Mystery Meat: "The Great Aussie Takeaway"
- Out with a Bang: "Little Gomez" is about a randy Chihuahua that is crushed to death while attempting to consumate a liaison with a Saint Bernard.
- The Real Heroes: "Our National Pride"
- Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: "Keeper of the Flame"
- Singer Namedrop: Eric introduces himself in song at the start of his concerts. One version goes:
My name is Eric, some folk call me Eck,
Call me Ricky and I'll break your neck,
If you're feeling formal, Mr Bogle will do,
But to my friends it's Eric, and I hope that means you.
Well I wrote all the songs for tonight's extravaganza,
So there's a touch of class in every line of every stanza.
When I'm not writing songs, I hang around doing bugger all
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion
- "Plastic Paddy":
"When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and "The Mountains of Mourne"
In his search for Celtic chiché, the man has left no stone unturned
'Til he embarks upon the harp that once through terraced halls
Accompanying himself on the Bodhrán, which takes a lot of... courage.
- "World Cup Fever":
And when some stupid damn committee gave the match to Melbourne City
Though it made us all feel quite... annoyed, we didn't cause a fuss.
- Troubled Abuser: Discussed in "Daniel Smiling".
- The Troubles: "My Youngest Son Came Home Today"
- The Unintelligible: "Do You Sing Any Dylan?"
- Uranus Is Showing: "Eric and the Informers"
- War Is Hell
- Was It Really Worth It?: "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"