Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree
And he sang as he watched an dwaited till his billy boiled
"Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me?".
Down come a jumbuck to drink at the water hole
Up jumped a swagman and grabbed him in glee
And he sang as he stowed him away in his tucker bag
"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me".
Up rode the Squatter a ridding his thoughbred
Up rode the Trooper - one, two, three
"Where's that jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?",
"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda and me".
But the swagman he up and jumped in the water hole
Drowning himself by the Coolbah tree,
And his ghost may be heard as it sings in the Billabong,
"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"
A.B. (Banjo) Paterson
Explanation on the Australian slag in the song
BillyA can or small kettle used to boil water for tea.
Coolabah treeA type of native tree in Australia.
JumbuckA sheep. There are 20 times as many sheep as there are people in Australia.
SquatterAt one time, squatters claimed (seized) land for themselves in addition to land that they had granted. Eventually through the continuos occupation of the land, their claims were legitimized in the eyes of the law.
SwagmanSomeone who lives on the open road. A hobo. The term came from the canvas bag that they would carry their bedroll and/or belongings in.
TrooperIn Australia's early days, there was no police force. The colony was protected by and policed by soldiers and even when a police force was eventually formed, they were still referred to as 'troopers'.
Tucker bagA bag for storing food in the bush.
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