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Waltzing Matilda
 
A poem/song by Banjo Paterson
"Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's most widely known bush ballad. A country folk song, the song has been referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia". The title is Australian slang for travelling by foot with one's goods in a "Matilda" (bag) slung over one's back. The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or "swagman", making a drink of tea at a bush camp and capturing a sheep to eat. When the sheep's owner arrives with three police officers to arrest the worker for the theft, the worker commits suicide by drowning himself in the nearby watering hole, after which his ghost haunts the site.

The original lyrics were written in 1895 by poet and nationalist Banjo Paterson. It was first published as sheet music in 1903. Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that the song has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, Queensland. In 2012, to remind Australians of the song's significance, Winton organised the inaugural Waltzing Matilda Day to be held on 6 April, the anniversary of its first performance. The song was first recorded in 1926 as performed by John Collinson and Russell Callow. In 2008, this recording of "Waltzing Matilda" was added to the "Sounds of Australia Registry" in the National Film and Sound Archive which says that there are more recordings of Waltzing Matilda than any other Australian song.

A swagman (also called a swaggie, sundowner or tussocker) is an old Australian and New Zealand term describing an underclass of transient temporary workers, who travelled by foot from farm to farm carrying the traditional swag (bedroll). Also characteristic of swagman attire was a hat strung with corks to ward off flies. Particularly during the Depression of the 1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployed men travelled the rural areas of Australia on foot, their few meagre possessions rolled up and carried in their swag. Typically, they would seek work in farms and towns they travelled through, and in many cases the farmers, if no permanent work was available, would provide food and shelter in return for some menial task.

Info sourced from Wikipedia.org
"Waltzing Matilda" © Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

Listen to "Waltzing Matilda"  - performed by The Outback Singers - © Outback Singers  -  play the MP3 light version
Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers, one, two, three,
"Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
"You'll never take me alive", said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
Image 1 - http://todonaiart.com/blog/?p=59
Image 2 - http://www.booksillustrated.com.au/
Image 3 - http://nashos.org.au/movie.htm
Image 4 - http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/501027
The original lyrics were written in 1895 by poet and nationalist Banjo Paterson. It was first published as sheet music in 1903. Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that the song has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, Queensland. In 2012, to remind Australians of the song's significance, Winton organised the inaugural Waltzing Matilda Day to be held on 6 April, the anniversary of its first performance. The song was first recorded in 1926 as performed by John Collinson and Russell Callow. In 2008, this recording of "Waltzing Matilda" was added to the "Sounds of Australia Registry" in the National Film and Sound Archive which says that there are more recordings of Waltzing Matilda than any other Australian song.
"Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's most widely known bush ballad. A country folk song, the song has been referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia". The title is Australian slang for travelling by foot with one's goods in a "Matilda" (bag) slung over one's back. The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or "swagman", making a drink of tea at a bush camp and capturing a sheep to eat. When the sheep's owner arrives with three police officers to arrest the worker for the theft, the worker commits suicide by drowning himself in the nearby watering hole, after which his ghost haunts the site.
A swagman (also called a swaggie, sundowner or tussocker) is an old Australian and New Zealand term describing an underclass of transient temporary workers, who travelled by foot from farm to farm carrying the traditional swag (bedroll). Also characteristic of swagman attire was a hat strung with corks to ward off flies. Particularly during the Depression of the 1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, unemployed men travelled the rural areas of Australia on foot, their few meagre possessions rolled up and carried in their swag. Typically, they would seek work in farms and towns they travelled through, and in many cases the farmers, if no permanent work was available, would provide food and shelter in return for some menial task.

Info sourced from Wikipedia.org
Aussie Culture Index

The Great South Land

Advance Australia Fair

Waltzing Matilda

The Man from Snowy River

Clancy of the Overflow

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