Previous Troubadour - Utah Phillips Eric Bogle and Ralph McTell Eric Bogle and Utah Phillips Eric Bogle and Ramblin’ Jack Eric Bogle and Tom Paxton Eric Bogle’s Home Page Eric Bogle was born in Peebles Scotland in 1944. His father played the bagpipes and the house was always filled with musicians as Eric was growing up. “My life has been concerned with music and I come from a country and a generation and a society where music played quite an important part in our lives. It wasn't just the social lubricant that it is these days.” In Scottish music, Bogle explains, “it was important to preserve a sense of national identity within the 'British Empire', so there was always lots of Scottish music sung around the place.” The Scots language with its lyrical Gaelic roots gave him a love for words and he wrote poems from an early age. “I've always written poems. I'm a poet who puts poems to music rather than writes songs specifically.” According to Bogle’s blogography, he had a fairly rudimentary education “where he stubbornly refused to learn much of anything.” He left school at 16 and when he was 18 he joined the local rock band “The Informers” as their new lead singer. According to his somewhat hazy memory, he got the job because of his amazing vocal ability and the fact that he owned a Kombi van. When the band didn’t turn him into a rock sensation he denounced the whole pop music scene as “frivolous and full of bloody wankers” and became a folk singer. In the late 1960s, economic conditions in Scotland were deteriorating rapidly. After a series of dead end jobs, Bogle began searching for opportunities elsewhere. He chose Australia because, as Bogle tells it, he was led to believe that “Scotland and Australia were pretty much the same, except in Australia there's more sunshine and better wages. Of course, when you get here it's such a different society, it's a real shock. It's nothing like Scotland, I'm pleased to say.” So Bogle said goodbye to friends and family and moved there in 1969. Bogle took a job as an accountant but he kept his love for poetry and music and was quickly attracted to the lively folk scene he encountered there. He learned to play the guitar and began singing in the local clubs. In 1972 he met Carmel Verona Sutton in Canberra and  they were married. According to Bogle, “they still are, much to their mutual surprise.” He learned how to put his poems to music and, in 1971, wrote one of his most recognized songs, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” a haunting evocation of the ANZAC (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) experience fighting in the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I. It is not only a deeply moving anti-war ballad but also has strong references to the war in Vietnam which dominated the news at the time. The song has since been recorded by John McDermott, Mike Harding, the Pogues, De Dannan, Peter Paul and Mary, the Clancy Brothers, the Corries, Stockton’s Wing, the Chieftains and Priscilla Herdman among others and most recently by the Dropkick Murphys. Bogle continued writing songs with strong political and social undertones and interspersed them with humorous jabs at some of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of his newly adopted land. “Like most migrants I was cast in the role of observer in a totally new society. So you see a lot of novel ways and funny little things, that possibly the people who live here can't see, because they can't see the wood for the trees….” Commenting on his penchant for writing satirical songs Bogle asks “do you stand outside the mainstream as an observer and write songs as such, or do you join the mainstream and write songs as a participant? I know which one I prefer.” Bogle kept his day job as the Queensland state accountant for his company, complete with a home in Brisbane, a company car, an expense account and big salary, until 1980 when, as he tells it, “one day, for no particular reason, I looked around and thought ‘Is this all there is?’” Deciding that it wasn't, he hauled his wife back to Sydney with him and embarked on the perilous career path of a professional musician. “The rest, as they say, is history. Fairly obscure history, but history nonetheless.” Bogle’s songs cover a wide variety of subjects, including bright comic songs, satires and protest songs ranging from “The Aussie Bar-B-Q” and “Do You Sing any Dylan” to “Safe in the Harbor,” an homage to Stan Rogers, “Katie and the Dreamtime Land,” a tribute to American folksinger Kate Wolf following her untimely death from leukemia in 1986. Regardless of the subject, underlying all of Bogle’s songs is a deep reflection on the human condition. Three of his songs (recorded by other artists) have become Number One hits in Ireland. In 1976 he wrote another poignant anti-war song, “No Man’s Land” that has become as well known as “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.” It makes reference to the old Scottish song, “Flowers of the Forest” which is traditionally played over the grave of a soldier. The song is also known as “The Green Fields of France” and has been recorded by the Fureys, the Men they Couldn’t Hang, Ed Trickett, Joan Baez, Donovan and June Tabor.  Ironically, in 1997 Tony Blair, British Prime Minister and unflinching supporter of the Busch invasion of Iraq, called “No Man’s Land” his favorite anti-war poem. Over the years, Bogle’s songs have earned him the Order of Australia and the UN Peace Medal amongst many other accolades.  He has recorded more than a dozen CDs, still writes and tours and has become a staple of the international folk community. He currently resides near Adelaide, South Australia. "I'm Scottish for God's sake, of course I'm sentimental." “Realizing he was in danger of one day disappearing up his own fundamentals, Eric decided that perhaps his future lay elsewhere, and so emigrated to Australia in 1969.”                                                                       “Ironically, in 1997 Tony Blair, British Prime Minister and unflinching supporter of the Busch invasion of Iraq, called “No Man’s Land” his favorite anti-war poem.” Links to related sites: Click here to find out why there are no photos of Eric Bogle with Bob Dylan.