Posted by ESC on April 14, 2000
In Reply to: Waltzing Matilda posted by Brett Rose on April 14, 2000
: I thought I would add my bit of Australian Folklaw to the archives.(As I understand it)
: The famous Australian poem/song Waltzing Matilda, originated from Germany, where the young men of a village would travel the countrside going from town to town working as whatever was going at the time - this was called "Waltzing" (sp).Then during the war a "Matilda" was a nickname given to the woman of the night that kept the soldiers warm, this was also the name of the thick army coats the soldiers would wear.
: From this the Australian Swagman, (A drifter or tramp , who wanders around on foot , living on gratuity and odd jobs), would carry his "Swag" which contained all his worldly posessions/tools etc ...this was also his bed for the night.
: I look forward to hearing any one elses version of this.
On that same subject (Aussie-speak) here's one of my favorite sites: http://www.sunburntcountry.au.com/sayings/