"Banjo's Billabong Near Winton"

"Banjo's Billabong Near Winton"

"Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong under the shade of a Coolibah tree" - from Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson

I have fond memories of my Nana Marg. As a young lad, she would tell me tales of ill-fated explorers Bourke & Wills and sing songs from legendary bush poet Banjo Patterson. They all helped to shape my view of what it meant to be an Australian.

Little did I know I would find myself some forty years later in a small outback town of Winton searching for painting subjects, and discover it was the very location where Banjo wrote his famous Waltzing Matilda.

The actual Billabong is thought to be at Combo Conservation Park which is just to the north of Winton.

On my travels around Winton, I came across this Billabong about an hour to the south and had to wonder if it was possible Banjo himself sat under these trees humming the tune that was to become Waltzing Matilda.

It turns out he wrote the tune while staying at Dagworth Station, a sheep and cattle station near Winton.

For my non-Australian friends, a Billabong is a still section of water cut off from a river or creek. Waltzing Matilda refers to someone who is usually down on his luck traveling by foot with all his belongings in his swag.

Enjoyed painting this one 🙂

Here are the words to Banjo Pattersons '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 'til his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
He sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee
And he sang as he stowed 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 stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred
Up rode the troopers, one, two, three
"With 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"
"With 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"

"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