Melbourne Daily Photo
Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Australia Day - Let's Go Waltzing!
So famous in fact, his face appears on the $10 note along with the words to his "Man From Snowy River"! And a drawing of a Snowy River horseman. - How many people have their poetry printed on their country's bank notes?
Growing up on a station close to the main route between Melbourne and Sydney at Illalong near Yass, drovers, Cobb & Co. coaches, and bullock teams were part of his childhood and became familiar sights to him. Seeing horsemen from the Snowy Mountains country and Murrumbidgee River area taking part in picnic races and polo matches, gave him a fondness for horses and inspired his writings -
"There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses -- he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray..."
- So starts the immortal poem ("The Man From Snowy River") by the Banjo which most Australian school children of yesteryear learnt, along with "Clancy Of The Overflow" -
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just "on spec", addressed as follows: "Clancy, of The Overflow".
A movie titled "The Man From Snowy River" was made in 1982, and who could forget the stirring sight of One hundred and twenty stockmen in Akubras and Drizabones led by the man from Snowy River at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics?
During the Second Boer War, he sailed for South Africa in October 1899 and became a war correspondent for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Written in 1887 and set to music in 1903, "Waltzing Matilda" is often referred to as our "unofficial national anthem"
Sung by Slim Dusty - A great Australian country music singer-songwriter, he sold more than seven million albums and singles in Australia.
A swagman or swaggie - A bloke who travels around the country (often in the bush) in search of work.
Billabong - A pool or lagoon of water.
Jumbuck - A sheep
Squatter - The big boss who owns (usually) many acres of land.
Trooper - Police.
Swag - A bundly carried by swagmen over their shoulder or back containing their possessions.
Matilda - The name given to the "swag". There's a reason why a swag is called Matilda - the story goes something like this -
There was once a swagman called Joe who "waltzed" ie, travelled far and wide around Australia for many years, and his wife, Matilda accompanied him. Known as Mrs. Swaggie Joe, she was kind, well-liked and respected by all the other swagmen.
The years passed and together Joe and his wife grew old. One day, Joe woke up only to find his beloved Matilda had died during the night. The bush telegraph was busy as it always is in the bush, and the other swaggies came to pay their respects - and they named their swags "Matilda" in Matilda's memory.