Sunday, June 21

"Waltzing Matilda"

"Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's best known and much loved national song. It is recognized by every Australian, and has attained status as the nation's unofficial national anthem.

For over 100 years "Waltzing Matilda" has been passed on by word of mouth, in written forms, in sound recordings and other media. It has been represented in countless artistic works, through music, films, television, dance and literature. The song appears in multiple genres -parodies and painting, in travel stories, in children's books, at sporting events.

The words of "Waltzing Matilda" were written in 1895 by the famous Australian poet Andrew Barton Paterson. The music was written by Christina Macpherson (based on a folk Scottish tune).

"Waltzing Matilda" is the story about a tramp who camps by a creep and steals a sheep. Three policemen arrive and he escapes arrest - and certain hanging - committing suicide by leaping into the billabong, where his ghost may be heard by all who pass by.

Glossary of the Australian terms:

WALZING MATILDA: The act of carrying the "swag"

BILLABONG: Section of still water adjacent to a river

COOLIBAH: A species of gum or eucalyptus tree

SWAGMAN: An Australian tramp or itinerant farm hand, carrying his "swag" (his provisions and blankets)

BILLY: An open topped tin can, with a wire carrying handle, used as a kettle for boiling water into which tea is thrown

TUCKER BAG: A bag for "tucker" or food, part of the "swag"

JUMBUCK: A sheep

SQUATTER: A grazier or farmer owner. The meaning of this word has changed later in the twentieth century to mean a person who occupies a property illegally

TROOPERS: a cavalry soldier or a policeman on horseback.

The only one of these words that has basically died out of Australian English is "jumbuck". "troopers" is a bit dated, and "Waltzing Matilda" only survives because of this song.

Who'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me? the swagman asks, a century later. And a warm, dry wind from the gracelands of australia bears the burden of his sorrow to the world.

6 comentarios:

Black Twilight said...

I love that song (as an Aussie myself)
its good to give the 'dictionary' because the first time I heard that song in school I was like....what? they didn't explain it to us at all, so for years I was singing(what seemed to me) jibberish.

isabelgg said...

Thanks a lot for your comment. I have here in my school in Spain a colleague who is an Aussi too, and she also loves the song.
A kiss

Ñoco Le Bolo said...

… looking …

What a sensitive post!. NIce song. I understand Australian people. The have a pretty sweet balad.
Your vocabulary section... very interesting.
Eleven out of ten

... HHK


Marina said...

Preciosa historia, divertida al parecer (lo digo por las risas)... Bueno, vale , no me he enterado de nada, pero me gusta venir y visitarte, mi querida, mo preciosa amiga.
Un enorme Kiss o mil Kisses

Marina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xurxo said...

Nice song Isabel. I want to thank you for your post in my blog. Have an amazing summer. Enjoy the beach and the sun and, which is most important,recharge your bateries for the next course.