WALTZING MATILDA

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • WALTZING MATILDA
    “Waltzing Matilda” is Australia‘s most widely known country folk song, and has been
    referred to as “the unofficial national anthem of Australia”. The song narrates the story of
    an itinerant worker making a drink of tea at a bush camp and stealing a sheep to eat.
    When the sheep’s owner arrives with three police officers to arrest the worker, he drowns
    himself in a small watering hole and goes on to haunt the site. The original lyrics were
    written in 1895 by the 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.
    The song has never been the officially recognized national anthem in Australia, but was
    one in four songs for that consideration. The lyrics to “Waltzing Matilda” are hidden on
    the final pages of Australian passports, such as above and below the words “notice” on
    some passports.
    Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
    Under the shade of a coolibah tree.
    He sang and he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
    “You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”
    Waltzing Matilda, Matilda, my darlin’,
    You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.
    He sang and he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
    “You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”
    Well, down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong;
    Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee.
    He laughed as he stowed the jumbuck in his tucker-bag,
    “You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”
    Waltzing Matilda, Matilda, my darlin’,
    You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.
    He laughed as he stowed the jumbuck in his tucker-bag,
    “You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”
    Well, 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.”
    Waltzing Matilda, Matilda, my darlin’,
    You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.
    “Where’s that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker-bag?
    You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”
    Well, up jumped the swagman and jumped into the billabong;
    “You’ll never take me alive,” said he.
    His ghost may be heard as you pass by the billabong,
    “You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”
    Waltzing Matilda, Matilda, my darlin’,
    You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.
    His ghost may be heard as you pass by the billabong,
    “You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.”