Waltzing Matilda

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Waltzing Matilda  (1895) 
by Banjo Paterson
Folk song by Banjo Paterson, written in 1895. It is widely considered Australia's national song. It tells the story of an itinerant worker (a "swagman") making a drink of tea at a bush camp and stealing a sheep to eat. When police officers come to arrest him, he drowns himself in a small watering hole (a "billabong").
Tune for "Waltzing Matilda" (help | file info or download)

Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabongs Banjo Paterson Christina Macpherson Original Waltzing Matilda manuscript.jpg

Paterson's "Waltzing Matilda" sheet music, transcribed by Christina Rutherford Macpherson.

Oh there once was a swagman camped in the billabong,
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 Matildta with me

2nd verse
Down came the jumbuck to drink at the billabong,
Up jumped the swagman & grabbed him with glee,
And he said as he put him away in the tucker bag
"You'll come a'waltzing Matilda with me"!—

Chorus: "You'll come" etc

3rd verse
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."

Chorus: "You'll come" etc

4th verse
But the swagman he up & he jumped in the water-hole
Drowning himself by the Coolibah tree,
And his ghost may be heard as it sings by the billabong
Who'll come a'waltzing Matilda with me.

Chorus: "Who'll come" etc

This work is is in the public domain because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (February 2012).