WISHING A SPECIAL NEW YEAR WITH AN AUSTRALIAN BALLAD

WISHING A SPECIAL HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH AN AUSTRALIAN BALLAD

WALTZING MATILDA

Waltzing Matilda is the essence of the Australian ballads written by last-century poet Banyo Paterson.

This Bush ballad is a style of poetry and folk music that depicts the life, character, and scenery of the Australian Bush Life. The ballad employs a straightforward rhyme structure to narrate the story representing action and adventure and uses a slang language very colorful, colloquial, and idiomatically Australian, exploring themes of folklorist languages evolved during the colonization of this land.

Waltzing Matilde has been for a long time the unofficial national anthem and during those long years had become an icon of Australian culture.

The Ballad tells the story of a worker who stops to make camp and tea by a local billabong (pond of stagnant water) and comes across a sheep, which the worker captures and kills.

The owner of the sheep and three policemen pursue the worker, who commits suicide and occupies the billabong as a ghost.

A. B. (“BANJO”) PATERSON

Waltzing Matilda

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong(1),
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy(2) boiled,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

Along came a jumbuck(3) to drink at the billabong,
Up jumped the swagman(4) and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag(5),
You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

Up rode the squatter(6), mounted on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers(7), one, two, three,
Whose is that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

Up jumped the swagman, leapt into the billabong,
You’ll never catch me alive, said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by the billabong,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
Who’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me?

  1. Billabong = Pond of stagnant water
  2. Billy = Pot to boil water for the tea
  3. Jumbuck = Sheep
  4. Swagman = Vagrant globetrotter
  5. Tucker bag = Bag used to place food
  6. Squatter = Sheep’s owner
  7.  Troopers = Policemen

Published by carlogabbiwriter

Italian born, and living in Australia. I'm writing for the past 15 years in both Italian and English language. I pubblished my first book in USA and it's available with Amazon. I also wrote several long stories which are grouped under the name "A song of Love" and several other works available in my blog in Rosso Venexiano.

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