The birth of a Nation
Hey there gather around for I’ve a tale to tell! And it’s a simple story you all know so well.
Everybody knows me- I’m the swaggy from the song, the one about Matilda and the Billabong.
Isn’t it amazing! A simple song like that, touches the Aussie heart where ever we are at?
It’s just a simple song about a thief in strife who escaped the law by the taking of his life.
We’ve all heard it sung, and have sung it loud with pride. It’s pride in who we are and never want to hide.
But why do we Australians love that silly song? I’ll tell you all about it. Won’t take very long.
The Background of this story that I now relate Was the Shearer’s strike 1894 the date.
On their Bicycles, or Shank’s pony at a jog the swaggies waltzed Matilda looking for a job…
There is something about the "Banjo” and his most famous work "Waltzing Matilda” that strikes a cord in all Australians.
I’ve heard it said that the Waltzing Matilda was the original "Fair Go” song. Many believe that the ballad of Waltzing Matilda as an allegoric expression of support for the "underdog”. Maybe that is why a little over a decade ago it was almost chosen as our National Anthem.
On the surface, there is not much to celebrate within the song as it deals with theft and suggests the suicide of a jolly swagman while 3 troopers and a squatter stood back and watched!. But there is much more to the story of Waltzing Matilda than most people know.
Our production will follow "Banjo” to Dagworth station with his fiancée Sarah Riley. At the time of the most heated civil unrest in Australia's history.
The Sheep Shearers strike of 1894 was the scene of tremendous upheaval between the "shearers” having to strike due to deteriorating conditions and cutting of wages by the Pastoralists while unseen landlords grew fat in England far from the land they had never seen and sheep they had never shorn.
This story is about Australian’s growing up and saying "enough is enough”. It’s about "Working hard all day and being paid a fair wage” This story is about "A fair go”
A love Triangle?
I did say that Sarah Riley was Banjo’s fiancée however, a beautiful young and talented woman who was the sister of the "squatter” mentioned in the song took Banjo’s eye. Christina McPherson is the woman that wrote the music to "Waltzing Matilda” when inadvertently trying to remember an old Scottish hymn "cragilee”.
The two girls were friends but one can’t help but wonder what the attraction might have been between two talented artists.
Banjo and Sarah never married …..I wonder?
What we do know is that together they created one of our Nations greatest songs. WALTZING MATILDA.
Waltzing Matilda Arena Spectacular will be performed at the Royal Toowoomba Show from the 27th to the 29th March 2013.
Register to Audition for Waltizng Matilda Arena Spectacular to be performed in March 2014.