I was born in Peebles, Scotland, in 1944 and had the usual early musical influences of Lonnie Donegan and Elvis Presley, and ended up singing in a rock group for three years in the early sixties.
In 1969 I emigrated to Australia, the only sensible thing I've ever done in my life. I started writing songs in Australia having only written poetry previously. In 1972, I wrote "Matilda" after watching an ANZAC march in Canberra, and that was the start of a road I've often since wondered whether I should ever have taken!
"Matilda" was followed by "No Man's Land", another World War I song, which I wrote after a short sobering visit to one of the multitude of military cemeteries in northern France. I attempted to convey in the song the sad, angry, futile atmosphere of that graveyard.
These songs have been the most commercially successful I've ever written, but of course I've written many others, about subjects ranging from bar-b-q's to humped back whales, I love them all equally because they're mine, and like a father with his kids, I'm proud of them all and don't like to play favourites.
Eric Bogle, liner notes for "Now I'm Easy" (Celtic Music CM 004, 1980)