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What does Waltzing Matilda mean?

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2009-12-11 05:56:34
2009-12-11 05:56:34

In Waltzing Matilda, an Australian swagman (homeless drifter who wandered between towns and cattle/sheepstations) stops by a billabong, which is a waterhole cut off from the main river or creek. He waits for water to boil in his billy, presumably to make some tea. While doing so, he notices a jumbuck, or male sheep, come to the water. He springs up, grabs the sheep, and stuffs it into his tucker bag (a bag or box to hold food or other other rations). The troopers (police) come after him, so he jumps into the billabong and drowns, preferring to die than to be carted off to gaol.

The actual words about going "waltzing matilda" mean having the freedom to come and go as one pleases. Swagmen would toss their swag (matilda) onto their back and go wandering, not subject to anyone's authority. This particular swagman was also not going to be subject to anyone's authority. He was free to camp wherever he wanted, free to roam, free to steal a sheep if he wanted, and free to take his own life so the troopers couldn't take away his freedom.

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Related Questions


what dose a tucker bag mean from the song Waltzing Matilda


Waltzing Matilda was created in 1903.


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 boil,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 boilYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabongUp jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bagYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bagYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.Up rode the squatter mounted on his thorough-bredDown came the troopers One Two ThreeWhose that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bagYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.Waltzing Matilda Waltzing MatildaYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with meWhose that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker-bagYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.Up jumped the swagman sprang in to the billabongYou'll never catch me alive said he,And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabongYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.Waltzing Matilda Waltzing MatildaYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with meAnd his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabongYou'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.


There are 3 troopers in Waltzing Matilda.


The words to Waltzing Matilda were written by AB 'Banjo' Paterson.


And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda was created in 1972.


Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong, Under the shade of a coolibah tree,And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabongYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with meWaltzing Matilda, waltzing MatildaYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with meAnd he sang as he sat and waited by the billabongYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.Down came a jumbuck to drink beside the billabongUp jumped the swagman and seized him with gleeAnd he sang as he tucked jumbuck in his tuckerbagYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with meWaltzing Matilda, waltzing MatildaYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with meAnd he sang as he sat and waited by the billabongYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.Down came the stockman, riding on his thoroughbred,Down came the troopers, one, two, three."Where's the jolly jumbuck you've got in your tuckerbag?You'll come a waltzing Matilda with meWaltzing Matilda, waltzing MatildaYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with meAnd he sang as he sat and waited by the billabongYou'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.Up jumped the swagman and plunged into the billabong,"You'll never catch me alive," cried heAnd his ghost may be heard as you ride beside the billabong,You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.Second Version of Waltzing MatildaOnce a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong Under the shade of a Coolabah treeAnd he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"Down come a jumbuck to drink at the water holeUp jumped a swagman and grabbed him in gleeAnd he sang as he stowed him away in his tucker bag"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me'".Up rode the Squatter a riding his thoroughbredUp rode the Trooper - one, two, three"Where's that jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?","You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me".But the swagman he up and jumped in the water holeDrowning himself by the Coolabah tree,And his ghost may be heard as it sings in the Billabong,"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"


"Matilda", as in the song "Waltzing Matilda", means a swag, which is a sort of sleeping bag bundle of blanket and sheets that you roll out on the ground. Waltzing in this case means walking or traveling - together "Waltzing Matilda" means traveling out bush on foot and sleeping under the stars in your sleeping bag.



Waltzing Matilda is considered an old country Australian folk song and a bush ballad.


The swagman in Waltzing Matilda caries a swag, which is simply a bundle with all his possessions.


Waltzing Matilda is a poem and a song which was first performed at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Queensland.


Yes. Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda.


Yes, "Waltzing Matilda" could be said to be a narrative poem as it tells a story in ballad form.


The "billy" in the song Waltzing Matilda is actually the word "Billabong" which is Aussie English meaning a small lake


A shearers' strike was occurring at the time of the writing of Waltzing Matilda, on Dagworth sheep station north of Winton.


All I can do is guess that you are referring to the classic Australian song "Waltzing Matilda", and if that is the case, "Matilda" is Australian slang for a sleeping bag. "Waltzing Matilda" means "life on the road" (like a hobo, or drifter).


Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson


"Waltzing Matilda" could be said to be a narrative poem as it tells a story in ballad form. In Australia, it can also be described as a "bush ballad".


the waltz-from the well known Australian song Waltzing Matilda


'Waltzing Matilda' was written by Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson, a significant Australian author and poet of the late 19th and early 20th century.



Waltzing Matilda is not a person. A Matilda was a swag, or the simple, basic belongings that a swagman carried with him as he roamed the Australian bush or outback, looking for work or a handout. A Matilda usually consisted of nothing more than a blanket, a billy and/or cooking pot, and maybe a spare shirt, if he was lucky. To go "waltzing Matilda" with someone was a colloquialism for joining a swagman on his travels, living free and unencumbered on the bush road.


Waltzing Matilda was first performed on 6 April 1895 at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Queensland, during a banquet for the Premier of Queensland.


Waltzing Matilda was first performed on 6 April 1895 at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Queensland, during a banquet for the Premier of Queensland.



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