If Wishes Were Fishes is a beautiful song.

We played it at my dear Mum’s funeral a few years ago.

It still brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it . . .

Eric Bogle, if you’re not aware of him, is an Australian folk singer-songwriter.

Like my grandfather he was born and raised in Scotland and emigrated to Australia in 1969 at the age of 25.

His songs have covered a range of subjects and have been covered by many artists.

Best known are probably the ones about war: No Man’s Land (also known as The Green Fields of France) and And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

The latter was named one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time in 2001, as part of the celebrations for the Australasian Performing Right Association’s 75th anniversary.

Bogle was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1987, “In recognition of service to the performing arts as a song writer and singer”.

The whimsical If Wishes Were Fishes is not one of his better known tunes – but it’s a “good’un” as Mum used to say.



Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.