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Waltzing Matilda


 

CLASSIC BUSH VERSE – AUSTRALIAN DREAMING

 

Waltzing Matilda

A B PATERSON

Written as a poem but now better known as a song. Many would say it should be our national anthem but, in many ways, it is our unofficial national anthem and that’s probably good enough in this land of mutton.

Oh! there once was a swagman camped in a Billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree;
And he sang as he looked at his 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 water-hole,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee;
And he sang as he stowed him away in his tucker-bag,
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.”

Down came the Squatter a-riding his thoroughbred;
Down came Policemen — one, two and three.
“Whose is the jumbuck you’ve got in the tucker-bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me!”

But the swagman he up and he jumped in the water-hole,
Drowning 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?”