Waltzing Matilda

(click voicing to view and hear online)

Two-part     Three-part


According to Australian lore, a "matilda" is the the personal belongings pack of a man (a swagman) who seeks casual work while traveling about carrying on his back his portable shelter rolled up with his personal belongings.  Thus, in antiquated Australian Pidgin, he is "waltzing" his "matilda," or as we might say in America, he is "carrying his backpack."


As the two verses of song's lyrics indicate, he's resting under the shade of a "coolibah" (an Australian gum tree) waiting for his "billy" (a metal pot) to boil.  Evidently he sees a sheep grazing nearby.  He grabs the "jambuck" (sheep) and jams it in his "tucker-bag" (a container that protects his food) and takes off with it.  If we were to sing the remaining verses of the song, we would find that the owner of the land arrives with the authorities to arrest him. He immediately jumps in the "billabong" (a large meandering lake) and commits suicide.  As the legend goes, his ghost may be heard by those who pass that area to this very day.


Access the two-part and three-part variable voicing chart to see the options that are available.  It is published in the three-part version only, which can be sung as a two-part setting, with Part III optional.


Words:  Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson

Music:  Australian Bush Song

Voicing: Two- and Three-part Variable with Piano

Arranger: Gwyneth Cooper

CP Catalog #U117451


This work is available in E-Print.

Please remember the copyright law.

It is illegal to purchase a single oactavo, then photocopy it.

Order hard-copy scores from your favorite music distributor, J.S.Pepper, Inc. or directly from Cambatia Press.



When you click the three-part setting of Waltzing Matilda you will be able to access an engraved copy of the piece.  When the new page appears, if you haven't already downloaded the scorch plug-in, you will be asked to do so. This plug-in gives you access to all the scores on the Cambiata Press website.  After the music appears on your screen, there are TWO WAYS to view and hear it:

1.  Click the "play" icon and you will hear the piece played electronically, and as it plays, the cursor will lead your vision through the piece.  Read the text as you listen to the music.


2.  Click the "Hear Choir Audio" link (upper right hand corner) to hear a choral ensemble sing the piece.  Use the Sibelius "page" icon to move the pages of the engraved copy manually as you listen.  Do not click the "play" icon while the ensemble is singing or you will hear both renditions simultaneously.

The three-part setting is presented in this choral rendition.


Sung by the Cambiata Singers

of the Arkansas Boys Choir,

Don L. Collins, Director





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