69 – Waltzing Matilda

Waltzing Matilda is described as ‘the people’s song’.  More well known than the actual Australian National Anthem around the world, Banjo Paterson’s jaunty little ditty actually contains clues to some turbulent times he witnessed in Australian history.  This episode shares a little background about the much loved song.


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Banjo Paterson nla.obj-2902002641-1

Christina Macpherson nla.obj-224076728-1

Waltzing Matilda manuscript notated by Christina Macpherson.  nla   obj-234957557-1 (the Bartlam-Roulston manuscript), circa 1895 [music].

Troopers at Dagworth Station during the shearer’s strike in 1894. WIKI

2017 Australian ten dollar note

Armed police near Hughenden,1891. John Oxley Library
Statue of a seated swagman at Winton
(ITM1235108 )
Swagman (SLNSW hall_35167h)

No Podcast recommendation this episode


O’KEEFFE, DENNIS, 2012. Waltzing Matilda: the secret history of Australia’s favourite song. Sydney, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74237-706-3.

MACPHERSON, CHRISTINE., 1934. Macpherson letter describing the creation of Waltzing Matilda: nla.obj-224075521.. Online. c 1934. National Library of Australia. Available from: https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-224075208/findingaid#nla-obj-224075224

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DICTIONARY CENTRE. Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms. School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics. Online. Available from: https://slll.cass.anu.edu.au/centres/andc/meanings-origins/w   [Accessed March 2024].

JAMES HARDY VAUX. A New and Comprehensive Vocabulary of the Flash Language. Online. Available from: https://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600111h.html [Accessed March 2024].

SEMMLER, Clement. Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson (1864–1941). In: Australian Dictionary of Biography. Online. Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Available from: https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/paterson-andrew-barton-banjo-7972 [Accessed March 2024].

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA. Cup of Tea? National Library of Australia. Online. Available from: https://www.nla.gov.au/digital-classroom/year-10/sell-australian-advertising-1790s-1990s/cup-tea [Accessed March 2024].

AUSTRALIAN WORKERS HERITAGE CENTRE. The Great Shearers’ Strike of 1891. AWHC. Online. Available from: https://www.australianworkersheritagecentre.com.au/discover/the-great-shearers-strike [Accessed March 2024].

FLINDERS SHIRE COUNCIL, 2023. Reflecting on the 1891 Shearer’s Strike. Visit Hughenden. Online. 3 August 2023. Available from: https://www.visithughenden.com.au/reflecting-on-the-1891-shearers-strike/ [Accessed March 2024].

NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIA. The many versions of Waltzing Matilda.  Online. Available from: https://www.nfsa.gov.au/latest/waltzing-matilda [Accessed March 2024].

NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIA. Old Time Christmas by Slim Dusty. Online. Available from: https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/old-time-christmas-slim-dusty [Accessed March 2024].

WALTZING MATILDA CENTRE. Waltzing Matilda Centre. Online. Available from: https://www.matildacentre.com.au/ [Accessed March 2024].

WIKIPEDIA, 2023. Dagworth Station. Wikipedia. Online. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dagworth_Station&oldid=1169161867 [Accessed March 2024].

WIKIPEDIA, 2024. Banjo Paterson. Online. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Banjo_Paterson&oldid=1212639214 [Accessed March 2024].

WIKIPEDIA: WALTZING MATILDA, 2024. Online. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Waltzing_Matilda&oldid=1211901708#Covers_and_derivative_works [Accessed March 2024].

BYRNE, Dr Liam, 2021. The 1891 Shearers’ Strike. Australian Trade Union Institute. Online. 20 May 2021. Available from: https://atui.org.au/2021/05/20/the-1891-shearers-strike/ [Accessed March 2024].

MJC. Waltzing Matilda: a Study Guide. Online. Available from: https://cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides8/Matilda.html [Accessed March 2024].

MONUMENT AUSTRALIA. Waltzing Matilda. Online. Available from: https://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/community/display/91833-waltzing-matilda [Accessed March 2024].

Waltzing Matilda Swagman | Monument Australia. Online. Available from: https://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/community/display/92922-waltzing-matilda-swagman [Accessed March 2024].

Waltzing Matilda Day. Online. 6 April 2012. Available from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-06/outback-town-holds-first-waltzing-matilda-day/3936668

Other Links:

Intro/Exit music modified from: ‘Grand Canyon’ by Löhstana, DAVID [CCFM Music]

Sound snippet: from Ray Chen  –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c364LnyOU4

WM Mashup from:

Bushwachers: Band played Waltzing Matilda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8HLDPu_2Xk

WM on Zither:  https://trishansoz.com/trishansoz/waltzing-matilda/Waltzing-Matilda.mp3

Youth Orchestra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQHUurdrJiM

Cobbers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koBV4Acx1H8

Dennis O’Keeffe: https://tintean.org.au/2014/05/05/the-man-they-call-the-banjodennis-okeefe/