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  • Waltzing Matilda

    Sue Rogers posted on April 29, 2011 16:18

    Download the Lyrics and Chords

    “Waltzing Matilda”: Slang for travelling by foot with ones things in a Matilda (bag) slung over ones back.
    “Billabong”: Watering hole
    “Trooper”: State policeman
    “Swagman”: Hobo
    “Jumbuck”: Sheep
    “Tucker Bag”: Food Bag
    "billy":  tin with a lid and a wire handle used for boiling water, making tea, etc. over an open fire

    The title is Australian slang for travelling by foot with one's belongings (waltzing, derived from the German auf der Walz) 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.


    A video for this song:

    Posted in: Individual Songs, May 2011 Campfire Songs, June 2011, Saunders Farm Songlist, Nov 2011 Some BUG favourites, Jan 2012 Songs for outings, July 2012 - Anything Goes: summertime favourites!, February 2013, Oct 2013 - ghostly songs, January 2014 - Old and New BUG Event Songs, October 2014 - spooky Beatles, February 2015 - Sue and Mark vacation time, Spooktacular BUG Jam - Oct 2015, Oct 2016 BUG Spooktacular, January 2017 - BUG Event songs, October 2017, January 2018 - BUG Event Songs, Jan 2019, October 2019, January 2020, April 29 2020 (0 Comments)


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