Folksong arranged by Andrew Balent
(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)
None discovered thus far.
Waltzing Matilda is Australia's best-known bush ballad, and has been described as the country's "unofficial national anthem".
The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing) with one's belongings in a "matilda" (swag) slung over one's back. 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 (landowner), and three 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.
The original lyrics were written in 1895 by Australian poet Banjo Paterson, and were first published as sheet music in 1903. Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that it has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, in the Queensland outback, where Paterson wrote the lyrics.
The words were written to a tune played on a zither or autoharp by 31‑year‑old Christina Macpherson. The march was based on the music James Barr composed in 1818 for Robert Tannahill's 1806 poem Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielee. In the early 1890s it was arranged as "The Craigielee" march music for brass band by Australian composer Thomas Bulch. Macpherson had heard the tune played by a military band while attending the Warrnambool steeplechase horse racing in Victoria in April 1894, and played it back by ear at Dagworth. Paterson decided that the music would be a good piece to set lyrics to, and produced the original version during the rest of his stay at the station and in Winton.
- Program Note from Wikipedia
- Virginia: III
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Fletcher Ferrara, conductor) – 28 October 2018
- Deniliquin (Australia) Municipal Band – 30 November 2015
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Waltzing Matilda." Accessed 27 October 2018
- Waltzing Matilda, Wikipedia Accessed 27 October 2018