This is an anti-war song and is an indictment of how the English used the soldiers from the British Colonies especially as mere cannon fodder-sending them into the bloodiest battles or in the first waves of attacks on the enemy the Turks, the Germans- so the Australians, Canadians, the Irish & Scots were treated as mere pieces of meat for the Wars ongoing meat grinder.
"The young people ask
What are they marching for?
and I ask myself The same question"
And the band played Waltzing Mathilda-played by The Pogues
Here's the version by one of my favorites Liam Clancy
Liam Clancy - Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Dubliners Waltzing Matilda : Eric Bogle : Anzacs Gallipoli
Uploaded by celticstar01 on Mar 11, 2008
Tribute video of The Dubliners & Ronnie Drew's classic version of Eric Bogle anti-war song - The Band played Waltzing Matilda, with photos from the Anzacs Gallipoli Campaign. Almost 4,000 members of the Royal Dublin Fusilers also died at Gallipoli.
and so it goes,