Monday, December 12, 2011

Waltzing Matilda (Queensland Version)


Words:  Banjo Paterson






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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.

Up came the jumbuck to drink at the waterhole,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee;
And he sang as he put him away in his tucker-bag,
"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.

Up came the squatter a-riding his thoroughbred;
Up came the policeman - one, two, and three.
"Whose is the jumbuck you've got in the tucker-bag?
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with we."

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.

Up sprang the swagman and jumped into the waterhole,
Drowning himself by the Coolibah tree;
And his voice can be heard as it sings in the billabongs,
"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.


The Queensland version of this great song.

Loads of information exists on the web surrounding this song.  A decent starting point is this National Library of Australia site: Who'll Come A'Waltzing Matilda With Me?  The notes on this version (The Buderim Variant) include the following:


The Buderim tune was collected from an oral source by John Manifold in 1955 and discussed in Who Wrote the Ballads: Notes on Australian Folksong and included in Manifold's 1964 The Penguin Australian Song Book. Manifold's informant was John O'Neill from Buderim in south-east Queensland, thus lending the names ‘Buderim’ or ‘O'Neill’ to this variant of the Queensland version. This tune seems to have been widely disseminated not long after ‘Waltzing Matilda’ had become well known in the Winton district. O'Neill remembered his father singing this version when he was a boy under ten years old.

After his contact with Manifold, O'Neill also handed down the tune to a Mrs Joy Durst, who played in the Melbourne Billabong Band in 1956 (Harry Pearce Papers, NLA MS2765 Box 13). From there it passed into the hands of other folk revival bands and took on a new performance life. During the folk revival this tune more generally became known as the ‘Queensland version’.



There is of course an extensive discussion of this one on Mudcat.


And now is as good a time as any to include my favourite version of the alternative (and better known tune).  This from Ali Mills:


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for adding Ali's grandfather's version. Great, isn't it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A favorite of mine, thanks for both of these versions. J

    ReplyDelete