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Bob Macpherson the brother of Christina and Paterson are said to have taken rides together at Dagworth. Here they would probably have passed the Combo Waterhole, where Macpherson is purported to have told this story to Paterson. Although not remaining in close contact, Paterson and Christina Macpherson both maintained this version of events until their deaths. Amongst Macpherson's belongings, found after her death in , was an unopened letter to a music researcher that read " He then and there wrote the first verse.
We tried it and thought it went well, so he then wrote the other verses. Miss Macpherson used to play a little Scottish tune on a zither and I put words to it and called it Waltzing Matilda. The occasion was a banquet for the Premier of Queensland. In February ABC News reported an investigation by barrister Trevor Monti that the death of Hoffmeister was more akin to a gangland assassination than to suicide. The same report asserts "Writer Matthew Richardson says the song was most likely written as a carefully worded political allegory to record and comment on the events of the shearers' strike.
A number of alternative theories for the origins or meaning of "Waltzing Matilda" have been proposed since the time it was written; however, most experts now essentially agree on the details outlined above. Some oral stories collected during the twentieth century claimed that Paterson had merely modified a preexisting bush song, but there is no evidence for this.
In Paterson himself published a book of bush ballads he had collected from around Australia entitled Old Bush Songs , with nothing resembling "Waltzing Matilda" in it. Nor do any other publications or recordings of bush ballads include anything to suggest it preceded Paterson. Meanwhile, handwritten manuscripts from the time the song originated indicate the song's origins with Paterson and Christina Macpherson, as do their own recollections and other pieces of evidence. There has been speculation  about the relationship "Waltzing Matilda" bears to an English song, "The Bold Fusilier" also known as "Marching through Rochester", referring to Rochester in Kent and the Duke of Marlborough , a song sung to the same tune and dated by some back to the 18th century but first printed in A bold fusilier came marching back through Rochester Off from the wars in the north country, And he sang as he marched Through the crowded streets of Rochester, Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?
In amateur Australian historian Peter Forrest claimed that the widespread belief that Paterson had penned the ballad as a socialist anthem, inspired by the Great Shearers' Strike, was false and a "misappropriation" by political groups. In Marie Cowan was hired to alter the song lyrics for use as an advertising jingle for Billy Tea, making it nationally famous.
Although no copyright applied to the song in Australia and many other countries, the Australian Olympic organisers had to pay royalties to an American publisher, Carl Fischer Music , following the song being played at the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta. Magoffin remain in copyright in America.
There are no "official" lyrics to "Waltzing Matilda" and slight variations can be found in different sources. Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong Under the shade of a coolibah tree, And he sang as he watched and waited till his "Billy" boiled,  "You'll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me. Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, You'll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me, And he sang as he watched and waited till his "Billy" boiled, "You'll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.
Down came the troopers, one, two, and three.
Christina's Matilda : Edel Wignell :
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me. The lyrics contain many distinctively Australian English words, some now rarely used outside the song. In a facsimile of the first part of the original manuscript, included in Singer of the Bush , a collection of Paterson's works published by Lansdowne Press in , the first two verses appear as follows:.
Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabong, Under the shade of a Coolibah tree, And he sang as he looked at the old billy boiling, Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me? Who'll come a waltzin' Matilda my darling, Who'll come a waltzin' Matilda with me?
Waltzing Matilda and leading a water bag, Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me? Down came a jumbuck to drink at the water hole, Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him in glee, And he sang as he put him away in the tucker bag, You'll come a waltzin' Matilda with me.
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You'll come a waltzing Matilda my darling, You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me. Waltzing Matilda and leading a water bag, You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me. Some corrections in the manuscript are evident; the verses originally read differences in italics:. Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabong, Under the shade of a Coolibah tree, And he sang as he looked at the old billy boiling, Who'll come a roving Australia with me?
Who'll come a rovin rest missing Who'll come a waltzin' Matilda with me? Waltzing Matilda and leading a tucker bag.
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me? It has been suggested that these changes were from an even earlier version, and that Paterson was talked out of using this text, but the manuscript does not bear this out. In particular, the first line of the chorus was corrected before it had been finished, so the original version is incomplete.
Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabongs, Under the shade of a Coolibah tree, And he sang as he looked at the old billy boiling, "Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me? Who'll come a waltzing Matilda, my darling, Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me? Waltzing Matilda and leading a water-bag, Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me?
Down came a jumbuck to drink at the waterhole, Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him in glee, And he sang as he put him away in the tucker-bag, You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me. Chorus Up came the squatter a-riding his thoroughbred, Up rose the troopers—one, two, a and three. You'll come a waltzing Matilda with we.
And his voice can be heard as it sings in the billabongs, Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me. By contrast with the original, and also with subsequent versions, the chorus of all the verses was the same in this version. This is also apparently the only version that uses "billabongs" instead of "billabong". Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales 8: A Revolutionary Wa Nathan Hale. In the Mouth of the Wolf Michael Morpurgo. Freedom Train Dorothy Sterling. George Washington Carver Janet Benge. Who Was Isaac Newton? The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child Jim Weiss.
Brother Andrew Janet Benge. The Celts Fiona Macdonald. The British Empire Ellis Roxburgh. I am Albert Einstein Brad Meltzer. My Life with the Chimpanzees Jane Goodall. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Laura Loria. Both sheet music versions are here for readers to use.
A gem of a book for all ages, especially those beginning to see that history is a demanding and stimulating discipline. Recommended for historians or musicians from 8 to 18 years old. The real strength of this book lies in the retelling of historical events within the context of an ordinary life, kept alive through family history. Wignell has an engaging style which keeps the whole as one narrative.
As with all family histories, there are necessary asides and qualifications, but it is overall a successful portrait of late 19th century colonial life for young readers. The question of acknowledgment of contributions to a work of art, like a song, forms an interesting subtext for the child reader to think about too. The National Library of Australia being cited as the source of many of these items may lead readers to their excellent site on this topic.
As they become more prevalent, I have finally found a word that I can use for the information book in picture book form: These books are taking the place of conventional nonfiction publishing for children, as it wilts under the assault of Googling, and this is a particularly engaging example. This little-known woman introduced Banjo Paterson to the tune which he used to accompany his words to create Australia's most popular song.
Christina's story is full of interest.
There is an exciting account of a rather dangerous meeting which her family had with the bushranger Dan Morgan. Christina was only a baby when this occurred. We learn of her education at a Ladies' School in Melbourne. We are told of the events which led to her familiarity with a marching tune. This melody would inspire her famous musical setting for Paterson's words. How she came to be at Dagworth Station in Queensland and meet Paterson is also revealed.
We learn of the depressed economic situation which played a part in inspiring Paterson's words. We discover that there was more than one version of Waltzing Matilda. While setting the historical record straight by acknowledging the importance of Christina's contribution, the book also includes archival photographs of those who appear in the narrative and the places mentioned.
There are copies of the different Matilda versions for the reader to compare and maps to locate where events took place. A comprehensive glossary is provided at the end of the book. As a former teacher, I found the educational possibilities for individual or group research work are clearly obvious.
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