Waltzing Matilda PlayAlong


“Waltzing Matilda” is an Australian “bush ballad” composed in the late 1800’s. Over the years it has become Australia’s “unofficial national anthem”.

The original lyrics were composed in 1895 by Australian poet Banjo Paterson, to a tune played by Christina Macpherson, borrowed from an earlier British song called “The Bold Fusilier”, also known as “Marching through Rochester”. In 1903, Marie Cowan changed some of the lyrics and wrote a new variation of the tune. It was then published as an advertising jingle for Billy tea.

The song has a rich history and has inspired many spinoff versions such as “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda“. Many of these are associated with various Australian military bands and events.

According to Wikipedia:
“The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing) with one’s belongings in a “matilda” (swag) slung over one’s back.[2] The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or “swagman”, making a drink of billy tea at a bush camp and capturing a stray jumbuck (sheep) to eat. When the jumbuck’s owner, a squatter (grazier), and three troopers (mounted policemen) pursue the swagman for theft, he declares “You’ll never catch me alive!” and commits suicide by drowning himself in a nearby billabong (watering hole), after which his ghost haunts the site.”
Also in the keys of G and D…

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