The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot waltzing with one's belongings in a "matilda" swag slung over one's back. When the jumbuck's owner, a squatter landowner , and three troopers mounted policemen pursue the swagman for theft, he declares "You'll never catch me alive! The original lyric was written in by Australian poet Banjo Paterson , and were first published as sheet music in Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that it has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton , in the Queensland outback , where Paterson wrote the lyrics. The song was first recorded in as performed by John Collinson and Russell Callow. Macpherson had heard the tune "The Craigielee March" played by a military band while attending the Warrnambool steeplechase horse racing in Victoria in April , and played it back by ear at Dagworth. Paterson decided that the music would be a good piece to set lyrics to, and produced the original version during the rest of his stay at the station and in Winton.
Listen to Waltzing Matilda on a Zither
What Waltzing Matilda Originally Sounded Like
Waltzing Matilda is Australia's unofficial anthem, a song about a man living in the bushland of Australia. It is also the name of an overnight sailing boat in the Whitsundays. Waltzing Matilda is a song from the late s about a man who lives in the bush was his swag, whereupon he gets himself into trouble by killing the sheep of a landowner nearby. The song is well known to most Australians and was written by a man named Banjo Paterson in a town called Winton in Queensland It's been adapted many times in many ways and was originally made famous in a Billy Tea advertisement. The song, while a household song, has a much more loaded history than many realize. It's not just about a swagman living in the bush. The owner, clearly mad, gets the police after the man, but rather than be captured, he kills himself in the nearby billabong or watering hole.
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Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. According to the National Library of Australia:. As he was waiting for his water to boil to make himself a billy tea, a jumbuck sheep came along which he steals by placing into his knapsack.
The lyrics to Waltzing Matilda were written by Banjo Paterson , who used many unique Australian strine words and idioms. Christina Macpherson composed the music. The version of the song sung today is an arrangement by Maria Cowan. Waltzing Matilda tells the story of a swagman who steals a sheep, makes a meal of it, and is caught red-handed by a wealthy landowner. Fearing for his life, the swagman jumps into the waterhole and drowns.