COMMENT: Get ready to sing as troop train heads your way

WHETHER it is the national anthem or a Long Way to Tipperary, everyone aboard the 2015 troop train re-enactment is in fine voice.

During the early part of the 20th century, singing was the pastime that brought families, friends and even communities together.

Australians would throng to music halls or gather around the piano at home and enthusiastically belt out tunes such as Pack up your Troubles.

Since arriving at our departure point on Sunday - the little town of Winton - music has come to the fore.

From Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to the youngest members of the local Scout troop, more than 300 people delivered a skin-tingling rendition of the national anthem at the town hall.

And we've sung the anthem at least six times since that night.

In Emerald on Tuesday evening, the local brass band and choir serenaded the arriving train with a range of Aussie favourites.

And earlier that day a gaggle of school children wandered through the nine carriages delivering an exquisite version of It's A Long Way to Tipperary.

There was barely a dry eye as they passed by. As the train leaves each station "here we go, here we go, here we goooo" flows down the halls and "show me the way to go home" follows the disembarking passengers. As Lake Macquarie resident and fellow passenger Lorraine Webster says, "Somebody will start up singing, then the others will start up."

I have to admit I'm a little selfish when it comes to my favourite musical moment on this trip - a heart-warming serenade of Happy Birthday delivered by a carriage full of strangers as I turned 44 on Wednesday.

Being far from home and away from the one I love, it was music to my ears.

Topics:  anzac centenary troop train re-enactment

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