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Waltzing Matilda (The Countdown Kids) (Australia)
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This is the most popular folk song of Australia, commonly referred to as  Australia's unofficial national anthem, often played even in official events.

There are many words only used in Australia, most of them old-fashioned, so English speakers outside Australia (and even in Australia too) need translation to understand what the song is telling about!

There are no "official" lyrics to "Waltzing Matilda", and slight variations can be found in different sources.

Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he sat and he waited by the billabong
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he sat and he waited by the billabong
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"

Down came a jumbuck to drink beside the billabong,
Up jumped the swagman and seized him with glee,
And he sang as he tucked to the jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he tucked to the jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Down came the stockman riding on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers, one, two, three,
"Where's the jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
"Where's the jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Up jumped the swagman and plunged into the billabong,
"You'll never catch me alive", cried he,
And his ghost may be heard as you ride beside the billabong,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And his ghost may be heard as you ride beside the billabong,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

(AE)= Australian English word.

JOLLY= Happy, cheerful (always in a good mood).

SWAGMAN= (AE) A man who travelled the country looking for work.

BILLABONG= (AE) A water pond (that was originally part of a river bend but got cut off and isolated)

SHADE= An area protected from the sun.

COOLIBAH TREE= (AE) A kind of eucalyptus tree which usually grows near billabongs.

A-WALTZING= (AE) Waltzing. In old English the gerund form of a verb was formed with a prefix (A-) and a suffix (-ING). Today we only use the suffix. The prefix only survives in poetry and old songs (e.g. two lines from two famous Christmas carols say: "here we come a-caroling among the leaves so green" or "seven swams a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings..."). The word WALTZ /wɒlts/ (or /wɒls/) is the name of a European dance (often the first dance in a wedding), but here it is used with a different meaning. Some people say that the swagman says that his bag is "waltzing with him" because when he walks, it swings on his bag from side to side, like when dancing a waltz. Other people say this word has nothing to do with the name of the dance, and it derives from a word used by German immigrants in Australia and means "to travel from place to place learning new techniques from masters as an apprentice".

MATILDA= (AE) a romantic term for a swagman's bundle (all the swagman's belongings carried on his back, wrapped in a blanket or cloth). Since swagmen travelled alone, they felt lonely and often talked to their bundles or even danced with them for fun, so they gave it a woman's name: Matilda.

JUMBACK= (AE) a sheep that lives wild, is not shorn and so, it is supposed to have no owner.

DOWN CAME A JUMBUCK= In old English, when a sentence started with an adverbial, there was an inversion. In modern English that may also happen sometimes, specially if we want to make it sound old (like in poetry and some songs). This sentence starts with DOWN, so we put the verb CAME before the subject A JUMBUCK. The same thing happens in the next line: "Up jumped the swagman" and in other sentence in the song.

SEIZED= /si:zd/ Grabbed, took.

GLEE= Happiness, joy.  (the adjective "glad"=happy derives from this)

HE SANG AS HE TUCKED...= The word AS can often mean WHEN or WHILE.

TUCKED= (coll.) To tuck something means to put it inside a bag or another object.

TUCKER BAG= (AE) "Tucker" is an old fashioned Australian word meaning "food", so his tucker bag is where he carried the food.

STOCKMAN= The owner of the stock (cattle, farm animals). So the stockman here is the owner of the sheep. But they say it was a "jumbuck", which means that the sheep was wild, it had no owner. So we suppose that the stockman is lying, he is not the owner.

THOROUGHBRED= A purebred or pedigreed animal, especially a horse.

TROOPERS= Troopers in Australia are like the sheriff's assistants in the Far West of America. So they are similar to modern policemen.

JOLLY= (a bit old fashioned) This word usually means "happy" but here it means "very nice" (probably meaning big and fat).

PLUNGED= Throw. If you plunge into the water, you jump and fall head first.

CRIED HE= In quotations (the exact words someone said) we often use an inversion when we put the speech verb afterwards, but not if it goes before:
- he said, "I like it"
- "I like it", said he.  (but we can also say: "I like it", he said)

GHOST= The spirit of a death person that appears to living people.

The title is Australian slang for travelling by foot with one's goods in a "Matilda" (bag) slung over one's back. The bag is swinging as he walks, so he says it's waltzing. Since he travels around alone, with no company other than his travelling bag, he took to talk to his bag and calls her Matilda. So "waltzing Matilda" has nothing to do with dancing or with a woman, it's about travelling with a bag.

The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker or swagman making a drink of tea at a bush camp by a water pond (billabong) and capturing a sheep (jumbuck) to eat. When the sheep's ostensible owner arrives with three police officers to arrest the worker for the theft (a crime punishable by hanging), the worker drowns himself in a small watering hole and goes on to haunt the site as a ghost.

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