Special Sub-Topic: "Waltzing Matilda"
|Under what type of tree did the swagman camp in "Waltzing Matilda"?|
Coolibah. This song was first written as a poem in 1895 but was first published as sheet music in 1903. A swagman was an itinerant who walked around the country side looking for work mostly on farms and stations. A Coolibah tree is a type of Eucalypt.
|The "Waltzing Matilda" swagman grabbed a 'jumbuck' that was watering at the waterhole. What the heck is a 'jumbuck'?|
Sheep. A jumbuck is an Australian slang word for a sheep although this term is not often used in modern times. It is thought that the word origninally came from an Aboriginal dialect.
|How many policemen rode up and tried to arrest the swagman in "Waltzing Matilda"?|
Three. "Up came the policemen - one, two and three" wrote Banjo Paterson. These were the words to the original version of "Waltzing Matilda" - but you may have heard the words sang as "Down came the troopers - one, two, three!" The words were altered for a Billy Tea commercial not long after the original was released in 1903.
|"Whose is that jumbuck you've got in the tucker-bag?" was what the policemen asked the swagman in "Waltzing Matilda". So, whose was it?|
The Squatter's. Yes, the squatter's. A squatter was the name of the farmer/grazier who took possesion of good farming land when no one else was using it. Tucker is a slang word for food, so a tucker-bag is what food was kept in.
|In "Waltzing Matilda" what happened after the swagman was confronted by the policemen?|
He jumped into the waterhole and drowned. "Up Sprang the swagman and jumped in the waterhole
Drowning himself by the Coolibah tree
And his voice can be heard as it sings in the billabongs".
Why he would prefer to kill himself than to be taken by the police for a pretty minor crime is anyone's guess!
|A referendum was held in 1977 to decide what the National Anthem of Australia should be. Which song was decided upon?|
"Advance Australia Fair". "Advance Australia Fair" had 43.2% of the vote, "Waltzing Matilda" 28.3%, "God Save the Queen" 18.7% and "Song of Australia" 9.6%. Many people realized that a song about a sheep stealing itinerant wouldn't give a great image to the rest of the world.
|Banjo Paterson began writing "Waltzing Matilda" at Dagworth Station near Winton in which Australian State?|
Queensland. In this context a "Station" is a large farm. Paterson was staying with friends, the Macpherson family, when he penned the words. Speculation has it that Paterson was inspired by the Shearer's Strike which greatly affected Dagworth Station when their shearing shed was burnt down by strikers just weeks earlier. The man that had started the blaze, Samuel Hoffmeister, was pulled out of a billabong, dead, by the squatter, Bob Macpherson and three policemen. Like the swagman in the story he took his own life to avoid being taken by the police.
|The tune to the original "Waltzing Matilda" was ... |
"The Craiglee March". Banjo heard Christina Macpherson playing a tune at Dagworth Station that she had heard at a race meeting and was able to put the now famous words to that tune, "The Craiglee March".
|Who sang "Waltzing Matilda" at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney?|
Slim Dusty. Slim Dusty was given the honour of singing this song for the whole world to see at the closing ceremony. A wonderful moment.
|What do the words 'waltzing matilda' mean?|
To walk and carry your belongings. The phrase is believed to originate from German immigrants. "Auf der walz" means to travel while learning a trade and "Matilda", of Teutonic origins, came to mean the army coats or blankets that soldiers would keep themselves warm with.
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