Who Was Banjo Patterson?

Australia’s heritage shines through the names of Akubra’s hats. Many are named after places (Coober Pedy, Stony Creek, The Territory) while others are named after notaries such as the Lawson and the Banjo Paterson.

 

Banjo Paterson was a poet, author and journalist. Like most writers, he had a paying career and wrote on the side. At age 16 he began as a clerk in a law firm and became a lawyer when he was 22.

 

At age 21 he began submitting his work to the Sydney edition of The Bulletin under the pen name, “The Banjo”—the name of a favorite horse.

 

His poetry focused on Australian life, especially on the Bush and Outback. In 1890 he wrote, “The Man from Snowy River”, which inspired the movie by the same name. Five years later he wrote, “Waltzing Matilda”, Australia’s most famous bush ballad which was set to music in 1903. “Clancy of the Overflow”, another well-known poem was written in 1889.

 

Two novels include, “An Outback Marriage” and, “The Shearer’s Colt”. He also wrote many short stories.

Lyrics to Waltzing Matilda:

 

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah 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 that 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."

 

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."

 

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers, one, two, three,
"Who’s that 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 that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?",
"You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."

 

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
"You’ll never take me alive", said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that 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 pass by that billabong,
"You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."

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