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Old 05-03-2019, 07:05 PM   #1
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Default Waltzing Matilda

...just for the hell of it!



...and in recognition of my Oz grandaughter's upcoming 17th birthday.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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Always liked that song.
It tells a real story too.
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 Bears View Post
Always liked that song.
It tells a real story too.
I don't really know if it was true or just a folklore thing, but it's touchy. Maybe 1911 can tell us more.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:05 AM   #4
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I don't really know if it was true or just a folklore thing, but it's touchy. Maybe 1911 can tell us more.
Every Aussie kid of my generation heard that song a million times and sang along with it too. I learned to play it on the harmonica when I was little.

The words were written by Australian poet Banjo Patterson around 1890 and it was a story about a bloke who was most likely travelling by foot (waltzing) between jobs carrying his backpack (matilda) and he camped under a tree to boil up a cup of tea (boil the billy) when a stray sheep (jumbuck) comes up for a drink at the water hole (billabong) and so he decides he will have a bit of free mutton. He slaughters it and shoved it in his food storage unit (tucker bag) or what ever he was in the habit of storing excess dead sheep in. Thus the sheep was going to accompany him as he continued to waltz his matilda.

The owner of the sheep station (squatter) who is obviously wealthy as he is riding a thoroughbred horse catches him red handed at it and involves the constabulary. Sheep stealing was a capital offence so he denies them the privilege and drowns himself. Now the water hole is haunted.

Pretty good song considering when it was written and the oppressive convict roots of the place but it (and hunger) did inspire me to pinch a sheep and eat it when I was out bush as a kid with a 22 rifle. Sheep fed me and 2 mates for the best part of a week. Good to keep in touch with our convict roots.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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Good story! Thanks for sharing, 1911!
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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Silly me, I always thought that was a love ballad about a girl named Matilda.

I guess the Aussie lyrics had me confused.
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:48 PM   #7
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1911 - I've read several interpretations of "...leading a water-bag...'
in Banjo's original lyrics (missing from Slim's version).

Any ideas?

https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/a...tzing-matilda/

I also like Wallis & Matilda's version of the song with the earlier melody, but
can't find a YouTube video of it. Have it on CD though.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick-a-Roo View Post
1911 - I've read several interpretations of "...leading a water-bag...'
in Banjo's original lyrics (missing from Slim's version).

Any ideas?

https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/a...tzing-matilda/

I also like Wallis & Matilda's version of the song with the earlier melody, but
can't find a YouTube video of it. Have it on CD though.
I know the earlier version, it is still more the more popular version in Victoria than in the other states and features the words Leading a water bag" which I always figured tho be a play on him waltzing (dancing with) his swag and leading his water vessel as you would a woman you were dancing with.

Canvas water bags were very common years ago, you would often see them hanging off the front of land rovers and such when I was a kid. They could keep water cold on the hottest days too. I imagine the swaggie in the song favoured the water bag to a canteen.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:59 AM   #9
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Thank you for that, sir.

The Victoria connection makes sense to me as my grandaughter lives near Melbourne and
that's where I first heard the older version. And I'd never thought in terms of the guy
dancing...even though I'm sure we have all (as kids) danced with some inanimate object
in our lives. I know I did.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick-a-Roo View Post
Thank you for that, sir.

The Victoria connection makes sense to me as my grandaughter lives near Melbourne and
that's where I first heard the older version. And I'd never thought in terms of the guy
dancing...even though I'm sure we have all (as kids) danced with some inanimate object
in our lives. I know I did.
No worries, I think that is the whole imagery of the waltzing expression, "dancing around the bush" sounds a little more exciting than the lonely drudgery of humping a heavy old kit bag for miles during a depression era hoping to find some work.

In the Victorian favoured lyric he also calls his "swag/matilda" his "darling" again suggesting that she is his imaginary dance partner or sweetheart. Who knows, he may have become somewhat insane from heatstroke :-)
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