Waltzing Matilda - An Interpretation

Specially prepared for foreigners (i.e. non Australians, and especially US citizens) wishing to know what the words to our most famous song actually mean.


Humour Index
Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong

Under the shade of a coolabah tree

And he sang as he watched and waited 'till his billy boiled

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 watched and waited 'till his billy boiled

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong

Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee

And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker-bag

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Down came the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred

Down came the troopers, one, two, three

Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker-bag

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Waltzing matilda ... (etc)

Up jumped the swagman and jumped into the billabong

You'll never take me alive said he

Now his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong

You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me.

THE SILLY BASTARD COULDN'T SWIM !


I hope this helps those who would otherwise never have been able to decode this song.