mudcat.org: Waltzing Matilda
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Waltzing Matilda

DigiTrad:
MARCHING THROUGH ROCHESTER
THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA
THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA (2)
WALKING A BULLDOG
WALTZING MATILDA


Related threads:
Review: Waltzing Matilda (74)
(origins) Craigielee/Waltzing Matilda (109) (closed)
Waltjim Bat Matilda (Folk Process!) (14)
Who'll come a-Volsung Brunhilde with me? (22)
happy? - Sept 7 (a happy Fusilier) (5)
waltzing matilda (52)
(origins) Lyr Add: The original Waltzing Matilda (26)
Lyr Req: Walzem Back Matilda (5)
(origins) Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter (17)
(origins) Tune Req: Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielee (29)
Waltzing Matilda, Scottish Tune (5) (closed)
(origins) Origins: Waltzing Matilda (43)
Auf der Walz - a German song quest ? (27)
Lyr Req: Waltzing Matilda (answered)^^^ (5)
Waltzing Mathilda Aussie Slang Words (44)


GUEST,Rodney 20 Mar 03 - 04:41 AM
Banjer 20 Mar 03 - 04:47 AM
Hrothgar 20 Mar 03 - 05:56 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Mar 03 - 06:11 AM
Bob Bolton 20 Mar 03 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,T-boy 20 Mar 03 - 07:40 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Mar 03 - 10:52 AM
Hrothgar 21 Mar 03 - 02:30 AM
Ian 21 Mar 03 - 03:39 AM
Steve Parkes 21 Mar 03 - 08:18 AM
Dead Horse 22 Mar 03 - 07:52 AM
Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland 22 Mar 03 - 08:20 AM
Bob Bolton 22 Mar 03 - 08:26 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 03 - 11:51 AM
Blackcatter 22 Mar 03 - 12:20 PM
open mike 22 Mar 03 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Q 22 Mar 03 - 02:03 PM
Mr Happy 22 Mar 03 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,NH Dave 22 Mar 03 - 06:27 PM
Blackcatter 22 Mar 03 - 10:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Mar 03 - 05:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 06:17 PM
Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland 23 Mar 03 - 06:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM
Giac 23 Mar 03 - 08:00 PM
Mr Red 24 Mar 03 - 07:33 AM
Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland 24 Mar 03 - 01:39 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Mar 03 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Dave the rave downunder 25 Mar 03 - 08:12 AM
Bob Bolton 26 Mar 03 - 05:00 AM
Mr Red 26 Mar 03 - 06:02 AM
masato sakurai 28 Mar 03 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Dale 29 Mar 03 - 01:34 AM
GUEST,Dale 29 Mar 03 - 02:30 AM
Bob Bolton 29 Mar 03 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Dave the rave 29 Mar 03 - 07:40 AM
Giac 29 Mar 03 - 07:45 AM
Bob Bolton 29 Mar 03 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,dave the rave 29 Mar 03 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,amergin 29 Mar 03 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Steve 31 Mar 03 - 03:39 AM
Bob Bolton 31 Mar 03 - 04:04 AM
Celtaddict 31 Mar 03 - 09:53 AM
Bob Bolton 31 Mar 03 - 06:22 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Mar 03 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,da man 23 Apr 03 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 02 Jul 04 - 08:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Jul 04 - 10:08 PM
Bob Bolton 03 Jul 04 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 03 Jul 04 - 11:49 AM
Bob Bolton 04 Jul 04 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Pete Coe 08 Jul 04 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 08 Jul 04 - 09:09 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Jul 04 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford 09 Jul 04 - 04:50 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Rodney
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 04:41 AM

Is it true that the tune to Waltzing Matilda was originally the tune of a Civl War song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Banjer
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 04:47 AM

I had not heard that, and can think of no CW song that uses the tune. Can anyone tell us when Matilda was written?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Hrothgar
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 05:56 AM

Try this old thread. With a bi of luck sombody will make a blue clicky thing out of this lot.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=3857#20312


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 06:11 AM

HEre are some of the threads, including the one Hrothgar mentions

Original Waltzing MAtilda

Banjo PAtterson - Waltzing Matilda

Bonnie Woods of Craigilea - Waltzing MAtilda

Rochester Recruiting Sergeant - New Song uses same tune


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 06:41 AM

G'day Rodney,

As we have it, Waltzing Matilda is a (~)1905 arrangement, by Marie Cowan, of Christina MacPherson's 1895 recollection of a tune she heard in 1893 - an arrangement of an 1805 setting of one of Scots poet Robert Tannahill's poems: Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea.

We know that the tune was a favourite of the wife of early Australian Governor Lachlan Macquarie (1810 - 1822) ... so the tune might well have been well known to Scots in the US. However, I can't place any specific American Civil War songs to the tune (which is rather more sprightly than the common form used for Waltzing Matilda). I certainly wouldn't be all that surprised if Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea was sung somewhere ... by some Scot ... at some time in the American Civil War.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,T-boy
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 07:40 AM

I think Guest Rodney meant the ENGLISH civil war.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Mar 03 - 10:52 AM

Kind of hard to tell!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Hrothgar
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 02:30 AM

Rodney might be thinking of the "Who'll be a Soldier for Marlborough With Me" song, which originated a lot later than Marlborough in the early 1700s. That was the War of the Spanish Succession, sixty years after the English Civil War.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Ian
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 03:39 AM

Banjo Paterson is reputed to have claimed he wrote the song to the tune of the White Cockade. There is some dispute as to who actually wrote the song as the words don't fit any version of that tune. At the house where banjo was staying when he claimes to have wrote it the lady of the house a keen musician could have re arranged the words to the tune it is now sung by.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 08:18 AM

"Who'll be a soldier" originated in the easrly 70s: it was written by Pete Coe, based on a "fragment" he'd found, and set to a convenient and appropriate tune. Barrie Roberts recorded it for a Dutch archive soon after and told them it was trad, out of devilment. You'll have to ask Pete for details on the fragment.
Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Dead Horse
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 07:52 AM

Correct Steve. Being an assimilated native of Rochester, I believed it was trad, until the man himself put me right (Pete Coe)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 08:20 AM

I have a problem with this song, how can the swagman be jolly and yet in the song he kills himself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 08:26 AM

G'day Ian,

I can't remember any specific reference by AB Banjo Paterson suggesting he knew the tune Christina MacPherson played on the autoharp ... rather, he asked if: "... there were words to that tune?".

Upon being told that Christina didn't know any (the tune she heard at the Warrnambool Races was Thomas Bulch's brass band arrangement as a quick march) Banjo offered a poem he aid he had just made up. (Recent folklorist study suggests he was making a line for Christina, which led to the breakup of his 7-year engagement to her old school chum Sarah Riley!).

Christina was a fairly cvompetent amateur pianist. I have examined sevaeral different autograph copies of her memory of the music with Paterson's words. These have occasional ... but consistent! ... errors in the note values in some bars - suggesting she was copying a laborious transcription by rote and not "hearing" the tune as she wrote it down.

A lot of this has only come to light now that the personal papers of the late members of the MacPherson family have been lodged with major library collections and examined by folklorists and researchers (particularly Richard Magoffin ... and, later, Dennis O'Keefe).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 11:51 AM

BitterFray - He WAS jolly until his reveries were disturbed by armed militia - his choice of suicide is probably the same choice facing a once jolly swagman, today in Bagdad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Blackcatter
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 12:20 PM

It could be inferred by some versions of the song that the swagman didn't commit suicide, merely that he died trying to get away. He wouldn't have been the first "outlaw" who drowned attempting to flee the law.

The line "You'll never catch me alive" doesn't always imply a willingness for suicide either. At least in the time of guns, many gangsters would say that to let the law know that a gun fight would be the ultimate end of any pursuit. Maybe it implys a willingness to die, but few turned the weapon upon themselves.


The folk ensemble I used to sing with always sang this song at the local homeless shelter durning dinner once a month. No one but me got the sad irony of singing a some about a homeless man who dies a tragic death to 500 homeless men.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: open mike
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 01:58 PM

isn't there a song that says "the band played waltzing matilda"
which is about an amputee soldier returning from war?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 02:03 PM

The Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda' is in the DT and there are threads on it.
Enter - the band played - in Lyrics Search, and you will find it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SONG OF THE AUSTRALIAN OUTLAW
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 05:44 PM

SONG OF THE AUSTRALIAN OUTLAW
[as sung by Ramblin Sid Rumpo(Kenneth Williams)]

(Words by Barry Took & Marty Feldman)

Well, hello my dearios. Well, tonight I shall have great pleasure ... but first of all I'd like to sing you a few songs. So loosen your grussets, traddle your thrums, let your bossocks down, and away we go.

Now first here's something I picked up down under ... and 'tis an Australian outlaw song, and tells of a squatter in the outback ... camping by a billabong ... and the billabong reports him to the police ... and up come the troopers and they catch him having a jumbuck in his tucker bag.
Well, that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

So anyway, as they bind up his polyps [pollips?] and carry him off, he sings this haunting lament:

Once long ago in the shade of a goolie bush
Toasting his splod in the faggot's gleam
Rested a ganderman, a knobbling at his woggling iron
And stuffing a sheep in the old mill stream.

Then up come the troopers and hung him by the billabong
They twisted his woggling irons, 1-2-3
Now his ghost sits and moans as it grunges in his gander can
Who'll come a-woggling his jumbuck with me

Tune: Waltzing Matilda (2 x verse only - very slowly, minor chords for last two lines)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,NH Dave
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 06:27 PM

Waltzing Matilda exists today down under, sung to two tunes; the one you hear on Radio Australia and see in most song books, and another called the Queensland version, sung to the tune of The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant, a more sprightly tune.

   Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Blackcatter
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 10:40 PM

So which tune is the one most of us non-Aussies know? My guess is that it's the former, but it's pretty sprightly. Especially for a depressing song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:14 AM

See Bob Bolton's comments earlier in this thread, and in other discussions of the subject (links above).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:17 PM

I read somewhere that Banjo Patterson couldn't hold a tune. And he couldn't play the Banjo either. I think the Banjo might have been rhyming slang for suit (Banjo and Flute).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:35 PM

I understand that Banjo Patterson was in fact Scottish, he came from Dundee and his real name was Andrew Barton Patterson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM

Not so - his father came from Scotland, but he was Aussie born. Here's a site about him - http://www.uq.edu.au/~mlwham/banjo/ And incientally he spelt his name with only one "t" -"Paterson".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Giac
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 08:00 PM

Uh, McGrath, on the page to which you linked above, it says about "Banjo"

His pseudonym, "The Banjo", was the name of a racehorse his father had once owned.

Thanks for the link, by the way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:33 AM

I occasionally hear it sung to a much more jaunty tune often referred to as the Queensland version. At the weekend the ceilidh band played that version. I have often heard it said that it was the original tune and lyrically it is a perfect fit (not an unusual phenomenon). They also hinted at more salacious interpretations of the lyrics, which if "Banjo" was angling for Christina may have some credence but I never saw it in the lyrics and it doesn't take much for me to find smut.

So what might be the Queensland version tune be called ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:39 PM

When I put my question I was only joking.

Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:14 AM

G'day Mr Red,

The Queensland version of Waltzing Matilda - also sometimes called the Buderim version ... (from the small town in Queensland whence it was collected), is probably a separate and independent setting of a tune to Paterson's published words ... the exact text of the poem, not the simpified text used in the Inglis Bros / "Billy Tea" promotional version arranged by Marie Cowan in 1905.

Christina also definitely set Paterson's exact words - against her remembered version of thou Bonnie Wood o' Craigielea ... I examined facsimiles of several holograph copies ... clearly in her hand and clearly set to the music which was later trimmed down to the popular version.

I can't see any "salacious" meanings to the lyrics ... his pitch for Christina was far more subtle than that ... but his engagement to Sarah Riley ceased after that visit ... and the MacPherson girls remembered him as: "... a bit of a cad ...". I presume that was because of his dumping Sarah for her schoolchum Christina ... whilst staying at Christina's brother's home, 'Dagworth" sheep station (also in Queensland, by the way!)

"GUEST,NH Dave" The so-called Rochester recruiting song was a parody on the well-known (Marie Cowan" setting, not the "Queensland" one, which was only collected in the early 1950s. Although Pete Coe cobbled up the main body of that parody in the early 1970s, he was basing it on a first verse and chorus that had turned up in field collecting in Australia. This is the part which i believe was a (self defence ...?) parody by British troops, probably in WW I ... or, perhaps the Boer War ... getting heartily sick and tired of Aussies interminably singing their new favourite song!

Regards,

Bob Bolton



Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Dave the rave downunder
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 08:12 AM

Anyone wanting the SERIOUS TRUTH about this most discussed song
should consult Frank Hardy (author of 'Power Without Glory')
In his book 'Great Australian Legends' Truthful Jones tells him
the story of the demise of one Samuel Hoffmeister, a Bavarian anarchist, one of the shearers who set up a military style camp at
Barcaldine in 1891, the beginning of the great strikes.
He and his mates burnt down squatter Mcpherson's woolshed in 1894 (Mcpherson hired 'scab' labour you see)
The troopers came after him for arson, conspiracy and sedition - but he shot himself by the four mile billabong near Kynuna.
The Dagworth woolshed fire was mentioned at the inquest.
'The Banjo' arrived the year after, and you can think what you like about the rest....
Incidentally Frank Hardy was the first person Wendy Lowenstein (folklorist, feminist, activist, educator) ever heard sing an Australian folksong...waltz on! regards Davo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 05:00 AM

G'day Davo,

I was keeping down the tune side of the story ... and not getting into speculation about the events that spurred Paterson to write the poem. By his own account, Paterson heard the tale of the death of Hoffmeister, at Combo Waterhole ("The Billabong") from Bob MacPherson as well as hearing the local expression "Waltzing Matilda" - and was "inspired" to write a poem about it.

Several of those looking at the events suspect there was a lot more behind that. As it happened, the Magistrate at the inquest into Hoffmeister's "suicide" was ... Bob MacPherson. The police involvement comprised three local troopers - a sergeant and two constables. There is a possibility that Paterson's poem uses these images, along with the German-derived local term for carrying a swag, as an oblique suggestion that MacPherson was covering up something not quite like suicide.

Whatever his motives or meaning - it probably helped erode his welcome at Dagworth. (It is interesting that several of Paterson's other poems seem to have a dig at persons with names very like "MacPherson!). Paterson became very vague about the details of one of his most popular poems, in later years. In the late 1930s, he told a friend of my father that he " ... could not remember writing it ... but the royalties were fine." At other times he had not trouble remembering writing it - but he did sell rights to the poem along with "a heap of rubbish" around 1903.

Very interesting, but not too illuminating.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Mr Red
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 06:02 AM

This is what I like about the 'Cat.
Thanks folks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 11:12 PM

No one seems to have posted the link to this great site (with original sheet music, recordings, and info).

MusicAustralia: Waltzing Matilda

~Masato


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 01:34 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 02:30 AM

I have no idea why my other post is blank, or where the message I typed may turn up. Anyway, here is the short version. The Seekers recorded both versions, an audition of the Queensland version in 1963, followed by a released version in 1964.   They recorded it with the other tune in 1994. All three recordings are on their 5 CD box set released in 1995.

It is a worthwhile set, 126 recordings which you can usually get for 30-some dollars, US.

Now I will see if I can click the right button . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 06:32 AM

G'day Masato,

I presume that you mean the National Library of Australa site at:

Waltzing Matilda.

I have used this site to download images of everything from Christina's handwritten copy to WW II sheet music ... with cover photos of 2nd AIF soldiers who look like the kids in my high school Cadet Corps!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Dave the rave
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 07:40 AM

Cheers Bob (and others) Obviously the debate goes on and we learn a little more each day, hey hey. Questions though - who owns the copyright to the 'Buderim' or Queensland version? Allans are the holders of world rights, I believe, to the other one. Where do Angus and Robertson (piblishers) fit in? If a version (just for argument's sake) different enough from the copyright versions were to be released (say on the forthcoming Declan Affley CD) , who owns it? (I'm not very hot on the legals)   Davo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Giac
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 07:45 AM

Hopefully, this fixes Bob's link, which goes to the home page of the same site as Masato's, which goes directly to search results for Waltzing Matilda:

MusicAustralia

~;o) Mary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 08:03 AM

G'day Davo,

There are no valid Australian copyrights in respect of the MacPherson or Cowan versions ... Christina merely wrote down her memory of a tune she had heard .. Marie Cowan merly arrnged Christina's tune and never claimed anything else. Her husband claimed copyright after her death in (?)1939 ... so it's public domain in 1989. Paterson died in 1941, so his published verse became public domain in 1991. American claims to the contrary are ... American!

The exact copyright status of a collected tune (eg the Buderim version) is ... interesting. The singer did not claim composition ... the collectors considered it public domain. The performance is copyright - as a track. I'd wear the green shirt and claim public anon/trad or domain. I can't see anyone having any valid counterclaim (but I'm not a copyright lawyer!). Declan's version would only be 'copyright' in respect of an exact copy of his performance ... What's "exact" mean?

Giac/Mary: Thanks for repairs ... I should have run the new-fangled Clicky Test!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,dave the rave
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 09:27 AM

Thanks Bob...'the green shirt' I like that! My gut feeling was always to assume public domain in this context, and to Jerilderie with the consequences. I'm quite sure the old Declining Affably would approve. No doubt you'll hear the evidence yourself in Canberry in a coupla weeks. regards davo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 11:12 AM

interesting discussion and very timely as I have been learning this tune on my dulcimer....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 03:39 AM

As the singer in the Ceilidh band referred to about 10 pages up (!) by Mr.Red (thanks Red for putting me onto this site, I can see many hours of reading ahead!!) I would like to say that the version we sing is from a Bushwackers album "and the band played Waltzing Matilda" (yes, that's on it too)released in 1977 on Release records. Claimed as Trad so hopefully I won't end up in court just yet.

thisd, and many other fine Aussie tunes (many referring to sheep strangely) were published in the Bushwackers tune book. A fine band and well worth a listen if you can still get hold of the records. My personal favourite is 'The Lachlan tigers' but we haven't yet attempted that one in public.

Re. the salacious undertones, well I heard an Australian stand-up comic (can't remember who) suggesting the term 'Waltzing Matilda' was a slang term for a pastime of chaps in the bush too long with only a swag roll for company!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 04:04 AM

G'day Steve,

Actually, your stand-up comic was not all that far from the truth. The Soldiers referred to their bedroll - or, if it came to that, their great coat, which they wrapped about them to sleep as "Mechilde" or "Metz" because these were generic names for 'camp followers' ... women who followed the army and did washing ... or cooking ... and whatever else was in demand ...!

The puritanic German tradesmen, on their spell as 'journeymen' (auf die walz ... mit Matilde) might have tried to keep the image of the 'Matilda' as a travelling bag/toolroll &c ... but the folk remember such things!

Regard(les)s,

Bob Boltonj


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Celtaddict
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 09:53 AM

Mr. Red: Scott Balfour's Alice Springs group, Bloodwood, recorded Waltzing Matilda to another tune, cited on the CD as "traditional." It is bouncy and a good fit; might this be the one you mean?
Of course one of the national pastimes of musician friends down under seems to be new words to old tunes and rearranging lyric/tune pairings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 06:22 PM

G'day Celtaddict,

I can't remember hearing Bloodwood do Waltzing Matilda - but the odds are pretty high that the alternative tune they use would be the "Queensland" or "Buderim" version ... that was very widely used by Australian 'Folk revival' groups from the '60s onwards (like Bloodwood!). Very few performers - certainly in the commercial end of things - have recorded Christina's original (Denis O'Keefe certainly has ... although I question the accuracy of his third line to the refrain!).

If you follow the DigiTrad link (above) to Waltzing Matilda, you will find a further link to playable MIDIs of all three tunes. It is a lot easier for you to listen to them than for me to try and describe a tune verbally!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 06:40 PM

G'day again,

Steve: I'm sure the alternative tune you use, from a Bushwackers recording, will be the "Queensland Version" ... it starts with an early octave jump, up from the low tonic note to the octave above, between "... was a" and "swagman" — as against both the common 'Marie Cowan" arrangement and Christina's original running down from the dominant. (See ... it's a lot easier listening to the MIDIs!)

I presume you are in America (?) and you are thinking of doing Lachlan Tigers. There have been a number of previous threads about the family of songs set to this tune. Most of them (in the UK and the US) seem to be sea songs ... and it is quite common for sea songs to turn up in Australia with cattle droving or sheep shearing lyrics. This probably starts with the fact that anybody who came here in the 19th century had to have had at least a few month's contact with sailing ships ... unless they were very long-distance swimmers!

Two common songs with the same tune (more or less) are The Cruise of the Bigler - US/Great Lakes song and Sam Larner's (UK) The Dogger Bank. Do a search on either of these and you will find a lot of threads almost as verbose as those on Waltzing Matilda ... and all with a lot of postings by me!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,da man
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 01:32 AM

U ALL NEED TO GET NEW LIvEZ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 08:44 PM

Hate to be a latecomer, but I thought Pete Coe based 'Who'll be soldier' on a fragment collected in the UK (East Anglia?), the remaining verses of which had been suppressed as 'outway rude' by one of those prudish collectors like the Revd.Olly Marton.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 10:08 PM

I think you may be wrong about that "suppression". "Outway rude", in any case, was just how one particular singer described a song that he wasn't willing to sing to a collector. I forget who it was (and the song, by today's standards, was innocent enough), but he probably wouldn't have sung it in front of his wife either. Those were different times, and we shouldn't fall into the trap of judging them by the opinions we hold a century later.

You can easily ask Pete, of course. His website is at http://www.backshift.demon.co.uk/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 08:05 AM

G'day Barrie Roberts,

I'm fairly sure that ... somewhere in the plethora of related threads above ... someone reports that Pete Coe admits having pretty well made up his song from the whole cloth!

That said, there has always been an undercurrent of suspicion about 'Banjo' Paterson's dealings with this poem. The early folk collectors of "The Bush Music Revival" of the 1950s onwards all put this down to confirming their suspicions of Paterson as a 'right-wing' toff ... but evidence is building up that the vagueness has more to do with 'Banjo's' nocturnal meanderings at the MacPherson Homestead.

His long engagement to Sarah Reilly ended after this ... and he may have been trying to impress Christina - anyway, the poem was sold of in a job lot for £3 ... then became popular to Marie Cowan's simplification of Christina's tune - as an advertising dodger for Inglis's Billy Tea!

Later collectors / folklorists picked up references to "an older version / older song" ... and occasional snatches of something like the "Marlborough" verses, however all these surfaced in the late 1940s and early '50s ... easily long enough for a parody (perhaps raised in self defence by British troops tired od the Aussies rattling out Waltzing Matilda!) to have receded into the dim past of "Grandfather's song ... which must be hundreds of years old!".

It is most unlikely that a song from Marlborough's time has completely escaped collection in Britain, yet turned up in Australia ... decades after Paterson's widely distributed and known Matilda.

Regards (again),

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 11:49 AM

...and G'day to you, Bob.
What I was trying to say, in my stumbling way, was that someone (and it might have beeb the Revd.Olly Marton) collected a whole song about 'Who'll be a Soldier?' circa 1910, but thought that all except the first verse was obscene. Hence, he preserved only the melody plus verse one. Pete Coe, I believe, built on that to create his song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 09:59 AM

G'day Barrie,

I can well believe a British Forces parody of Waltzing Matilda might have originated in the Boer War Era ... a lot of the Queenslander bushmen who learned it around Winton in 1895 would have enlisted in Australian colonial units. Richard Magoffin, in his books about the song has maintained the parodies started then ... and "obscenity" runs deep in forces songs. That same reticence to sing - or record - the words is mentioned in accounts of snippets appearing in Australia in the between- and post- war periods.

I stand by my conjecture that a song staying entirely sub rosa for several centuries - then popping up all over the world takes a lot of creditting.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Pete Coe
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 05:44 PM

I returned from a gig in Blackpool last night where I'd sung 'The Bold Fusilier' to find an Email from Barrie Roberts who told me about these threads & the fact that he'd been accused of recording my song for Dutch/Danish Radio & telling them that the song was traditional, as a joke! Barrie Roberts is innocent, OK? He was one of the people I asked about the rest of the song after I'd discovered the first verse as I knew he'd been out to Australia. I remember him saying that he'd got the first verse too but couldn't find the rest & he's always known that I filled in the rest of the verses including singing the re-created song at his folk club in Walsall. He's always given me credit for it. Would that others be as well informed as there's a lot of opinionated misinformation on these threads. Mind you, it's a compliment to have my song accepted as traditional even if it is registered with PRS/MCPS & I do get royalties for it.
It may well be that the 'Roberts' mentioned may have been Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman who perform the song & who originally thought it was traditional. I think they now credit me with the re-created song. that doesn't stop some audiences telling them that it's nothing to do with me, 'it's a traditional song, hundreds of years old, it's even sung by The Sealed Knot Society'. There was even a letter in The Times last September which said quite definitely that it was written by 'Strawhead', she had it on one of their LPs. On this LP it says quite clearly that Strawhead learned it off me! In fact I saw Chris Pollington of Srawhead only a few weeks ago. They'd just done a gig at Blenheim Palace for some Battle re-enactment society & performed the song. When they'd finished several people came up to them to give them the 'right words', this happens quite often, so Chris tells me. The 'right words' always turn out to be based on my own 'originals', which is the version they stick to, politely refusing all other pale imitations. There follows my account of the re-creation of the song & my 'original' words.

The Bold Fusilier ...
Pete Coe confesses all ...

In 1967, I discovered a children's
magazine which had an article about a song called "The Gay Fusilier",
sung to a tune now widely known as "Waltzing Matilda". The lady
who sang the song to the collector was too embarrassed to sing all
but the first verse ( it was a soldier's song after all!). So there
I was with just a first verse and a tune. I asked around and nobody
else had the rest of the song. One or two had what I had, and had
asked around in their turn, but similarly had nothing more.

I set to in 1970 'ish to write the rest of the verses - using the collected first verse and tune as a pattern BUT echoing some of the 20th century experiences of growing up in an area of high unemployment in the North West of England i.e. one of the main options for school leavers was to join the forces. Several members of my family did just that and I tried to reflect the arguments for and against and the economic circumstances which sometimes affected their decisions.

I recorded my version of the re-made song in 1971 on the Leader
/ Trailer album "Open the Door and Let us in" - Pete & Chris Coe,
which is now unavailable, and this is the version which re-rooted
itself in the English Folk scene and was recorded by others far and
near. For obvious reasons the song title was changed to "The Bold Fusilier", but it's also known as 'The Streets Of Rochester' & The Rochester Recruiting Sergeant'

With regard to the melody, there's a book called "On The Origins Of
Waltzing Matilda" by Harry H Pearce ( Hawthorn Press) which identifies
the tune to be a version of a Scottish Pipe tune called "Craigielee"
and mixed up with other possible European tunes and returned to these
shores by the soldiers in Marlboroughs wars.

It seems to surprise some (Australian) academics and anoraks that
Banjo Patterson - like many of his contemporaries - knew quite a lot
about folk songs and if he did write "Waltzing Matilda" to a well
known tune, he was only following in the footsteps of Robert Burns,
William Blake and others who often wrote new words to existing traditional
tunes or had old tunes in mind for some of their poems.

Unfortunately the argument seems to have been seized upon by Nationalists
who really ought to get out more.

My recreated song was taken up by the Sealed Knot Society who substitute Cromwell for Marlborough, other Battle Re-enactment Societies perform it too, it's even been translated into Spanish. These versions are all clearly adaptations of my recreated original (enclosed) though I'm not always credited. In September '03 there were letters in The Times about the origins of the song. I didn't reply, being a Guardian Man, but it was interesting to read quite a lot of opinionated misinformation.

The version of the song now popularly sung was re-created by me and
is copyright Backshift Music. It is registered as such with MCPS & PRS & I do get royalties. All due credits please.

That's all I know.

THE GAY FUSILIER (Later changed to Bold!!)

Words: PETER COE
Tune: TraditionaI (adapted)
               
        1.         A gay fusilier came marching down through Rochester,
                Bound for the wars in the low country,
                And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
                Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough with me.
                
CHORUS
                Who'll be a soldier, who'll be a soldier
                Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough with me,
                And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
                Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough with me.
                     
2.        Not I, said the baker, nor I said the mason,
        Most of the people with them did agree,
        To be paid in the powder and rattle of the cannonball
        Wages for soldiers for Marlborough and thee
                
CHORUS
                Wages for soldiers .... (etc.)

3.        The King he has ordered new troops for the continent,
        To strike the last blows at the enemy
        And if you'd be a rover all in a scarlet uniforn
        Take the King's shilling for Marlborough and me.
CHORUS
                Take the King's shilling ... (etc.)

4.         Oh I, said a young man, have long endured the parish queue,
        No work or wages, for the likes of me,
        Starvation or danger, it shall prove my destiny
        To seek fresh employment with Marlborough and thee

   CHORUS         Seek fresh employment .. (etc)
        
5.        So forty new recruits went marching down through Rochester
        Bound for the wars in the low country,
        And they sang as they marched through the crowded streets of Rochester,
        Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough with me.
                     

                         ® Pete Coe. pub Backshift Music


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 09:09 PM

Pete -- I thank you for exonerating me. Now I can walk out in daylight again.
I hesitate to stir this pot further, but isn't there a suggestion above that a song from Marlborough's day wouldn't survive into the 20th century? And isn't there a US song called 'Molly Brooks' which is a corruption of an English song --- 'Marlbrough has gone to war' --- and hasn't that got a French couisin, 'Marlbrough se va'ten guerre'. Aren't they all about the Duke of Marlborough and aren't they all still around?
Keep waltzing your matildas, lads, and stay away from billabongs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 11:02 PM

G'day Barrie,

My argument is not that a song from Marlborough's era would not survive, but that this specific song would not go totally unnoticed in Britain for two centuries ... during which both the "Romantic" revival of many folklore songs and the later "scientific" collection of folksong occurred - then spontaneously reappear all over Australia. The detail (common to several accounts of collecting versions of this song) of the informant singing only the first verse (the one closely matching the already well-known Waltzing Matilda) ... because the rest of the song was too obscene ... is a strong support for the conclusion that the song these informants had was one being bandied about by soldiers in the Boer War or WW I - and directed at Australians - who were widely noted at the time as being keen on singing Waltzing Matilda).

I am certain that elements of older songs (more likely German than English) all inform Waltzing Matilda ... and a good friend of mine, Don Brian, has advanced the theory that Paterson was quite consciously using both concealed meanings and associations with some older Germanic sources to covertly remind Bob MacPherson of his doubts about MacPherson's impartiality in his inquest into the death of the (German) bloke who set fire to the Dagworth Station (MacPherson's) woolshed during the great Shearers' Strike. Paterson did not go home from Dagworth a friend of the MacPhersons - even if he may have made a play for Christina.

Certainly, old songs like Marlbrooke (Marlborough) se va t'en guerre survived (even if only as childrens' songs). In fact, Marlbrooke is the first European song known to have been sung in Australia ... and the first such song known to have been passed on by oral transmission! Shortly after the First Fleet had anchored in Botany Bay (before they realised it wasn't worth bothering with - and moved the colony up the coast to Sydney Cove) the French explorer Le Compte de La Perouse sailed into Botany Bay. The naval officers of both groups socialised ... and the only song they had in common was Marlbrooke, so they sang that (presumably, ad nauseam!). The next morning, English officers reported hearing the Australian natives, passing by in their canoes, singing the same melody.

However, Marlbrooke is certainly not Waltzing Matilda (or Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea). The event of Paterson's hearing Craigielea) - as remembered by Christina MacPherson from the local arrangement played the year before at Warrnambool Races is well documented ... not by Paterson - but by the Macpherson women, whose papers are now available for study. The tune had been widely available in Australia ever since the days of Governor Macquarie, over half a century before, as the tune was his wife's favourite and he imported band arrangements for the Marine Band.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Waltzing Matilda
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 04:50 AM

Great to have Mr. Pete Coe himself put the record straight on his fine song, always a winner at a singaround.

For future reference it would be useful if it could be placed in a thread with a more obviously relevant title.

It has the unusual distinction for a credited song, that it appears twice in the DT under different titles. One version is given with 'I can not stand the parish queue' instead of the superior 'I've long endured....' and 'salvation or danger' instead of 'starvation and danger'

all in a scarlet uniform,
Keith


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 15 April 1:11 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.