Is Waltzing Matilda an Australian song?

Once a jolly swagman camped beside a billabong,

Under the shade of a coolibah tree,

And he sang as he sat and waited while his billy boiled,

“Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?”

These are words from “Waltzing Matilda,” an Australian ballad, or song that tells a story. Ballads are one kind of folk music. Folk music includes all the traditional songs of a country or group of people.

People learn folk songs by listening. They pass the song from person to person, from place to place and from parents to children. Often the melody and words develop over many years. So, most of the time, nobody knows who made up a folk song.

Some songs that are written by composers become folk songs, too. If many people in a country like a song and sing it often, they think of it as theirs. It says something about their people and their country.

People in Australia think of “Waltzing Matilda” as their song. And when people around the world hear the song, they think of Australians. So although the composer is known – his name is “Banjo” Paterson – “Waltzing Matilda” is certainly a folk song, a song of the people.

Picture Credit : Google