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Holiday Australia: Waltzing Matilda: A Poem by Banjo Patterson (1864–1941)

As sung by ALL Australians as our ‘unofficial’ National Anthem... (yes.. it REALLY is much more preferred than our National Anthem..) however here’s the You Tube ‘goosebump’ inducing version of our National Anthem: Advance Australia Fair from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. One version of the origin of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is HERE .. whatever the origin - it seems the publishers were the real robbers as Paterson sold the rights to the song to the big publishing house (Angus and Robertson) for - wait for it - 5 quid.! An extraordinary number of versions are around for the song but the video below is our favourite - again from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and sung by Australia’s most beloved C & W singer and ‘Bush Balladeer’, the late Slim Dusty. (We were there.. and so so proud!!!)

 



 

 

Waltzing Matilda ('Banjo' (A.B.) Patterson: circa:1890)
Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me”

Chorus/Refrain:
“Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til 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 stuffed that jumbuck in his tucker-bag
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred
Up rode 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

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into that 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”

 (The chorus is repeated after each verse. In each case, the third line of the refrain is the same as the third line of the preceding verse. The last two lines of the last verse are usually performed in a muted hushed tone, before finishing the song (as loudly and as out of tune as possible) and with great feeling... usually nowadays followed by the lusty chorus: (legacy of the Sydney 2000 Games) “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi - Oi - Oi!!!)
 


 

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