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The Meaning Behind The Song: Waltzing Matilda (Queensland Version) by The Seekers


The Meaning Behind The Song: Waltzing Matilda (Queensland Version) by The Seekers

Waltzing Matilda is a beloved Australian folk song that has become an iconic symbol of national identity. Among the various versions of this classic tune, the Queensland Version recorded by The Seekers holds a special place in the hearts of many music lovers. The song depicts a story of a wandering swagman, or a traveler carrying his belongings in a swag, who meets a sheep thief and decides to join him on his rebellious journey.

The lyrics of Waltzing Matilda paint a vivid picture of the swagman’s adventurous lifestyle as he roams through the Australian outback. The song captures the essence of the bush, the vast unexplored wilderness that is quintessential to Australia’s heritage. As the swagman “waltzes Matilda,” which refers to carrying his swag as he walks, he encounters various obstacles and experiences along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions about Waltzing Matilda (Queensland Version)

1. Who wrote the Queensland Version of Waltzing Matilda?

The Queensland Version of Waltzing Matilda was written by an anonymous Australian poet who remains unknown to this day. The lyrics were later set to music and popularized by The Seekers.

2. Is Waltzing Matilda considered the unofficial national anthem of Australia?

Although Waltzing Matilda carries significant cultural and historical significance in Australia, it is not officially recognized as the national anthem. The country’s official anthem is “Advance Australia Fair.”

3. What is the meaning behind the title “Waltzing Matilda”?

In Australian slang, “waltzing” means to travel on foot with one’s belongings carried in a swag, and “Matilda” is a nickname for a swag. Therefore, “Waltzing Matilda” refers to the act of traveling while carrying one’s swag.

4. What inspired the lyrics of Waltzing Matilda?

The lyrics of Waltzing Matilda were inspired by the harsh and rugged Australian outback and the stories of the swagmen who roamed the land during tough economic times. It exemplifies the resilience and spirit of the working-class and captures the essence of the Australian bush culture.

5. What is the symbolism behind the swagman in the song?

The swagman in Waltzing Matilda represents the oppressed and downtrodden workers who struggled during the economic hardships faced by Australia in the late 1800s. He symbolizes the resilience and resourcefulness of the ordinary Australians who faced difficult circumstances.

6. Why is Waltzing Matilda embraced as a national song?

Waltzing Matilda resonates with Australians because it celebrates their unique culture and history. It tells a story of resilience, rebellion, and the beauty of the Australian landscape. The song has been embraced as a national icon representing the spirit of the Australian people.

7. Who are The Seekers?

The Seekers are an Australian folk music group formed in Melbourne in 1962. Comprising of Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, Athol Guy, and Judith Durham, they gained international recognition and success with their blend of folk, pop, and gospel music. The Seekers’ version of Waltzing Matilda is one of their most beloved recordings.

8. How has Waltzing Matilda impacted Australian society?

Waltzing Matilda has become deeply ingrained in Australian culture and has been embraced as an unofficial national anthem. The song is often performed at significant national events and has been used to rally and unite Australians. It has become a symbol of national pride and identity.

9. Are there any other famous versions of Waltzing Matilda?

Apart from The Seekers’ Queensland Version, there have been numerous interpretations and renditions of Waltzing Matilda by various artists over the years. Some notable versions include those by Slim Dusty, Rolf Harris, and John Williamson.

10. Has Waltzing Matilda been recognized internationally?

Waltzing Matilda has gained international recognition and popularity, often being performed and recorded by artists from around the world. The song’s timeless appeal and universal themes have resonated with audiences globally, cementing its status as an enduring folk classic.

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About Warren Barrett

Warren has spent nearly half a century (now that's a long time!) as an ink-stained wretch writing for music magazines and websites and has no plans on giving up soon.

He is curious about all types of music and instruments apart from any genre with 'Urban' in the title. He's also not so keen on Plastic Potted Plants, Reality TV, and any movies with Kevin Costner in them.

He lives in Delaware with his wife Wendy and lots of great memories...

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