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Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter

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MARCHING THROUGH ROCHESTER
THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA
THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA (2)
WALKING A BULLDOG
WALTZING MATILDA


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Naemanson 02 Oct 10 - 10:46 AM
Desert Dancer 02 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM
Lighter 02 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM
Little Robyn 02 Oct 10 - 03:10 PM
greg stephens 02 Oct 10 - 03:13 PM
Richard Mellish 02 Oct 10 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Oct 10 - 07:19 PM
Richard Mellish 03 Oct 10 - 06:23 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 07:08 AM
Hrothgar 03 Oct 10 - 08:46 AM
Effsee 03 Oct 10 - 10:58 AM
Lighter 03 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 10 - 01:37 PM
Little Robyn 03 Oct 10 - 02:34 PM
zozimus 03 Oct 10 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Denarse 05 Oct 10 - 07:28 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Oct 10 - 01:49 AM
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Subject: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Naemanson
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 10:46 AM

I was doing research and stumbled over Music Australia, a part of the Australian National Library. On a whim I checked out Patterson's Waltzing Matilda, it being the only song my fatigue fogged brain could dredge up.

I found this letter from Christina Rutherford Macpherson to a Dr. Thomas Wood telling him of the origins of the song. The letter is not dated.

The site may be of some interest to some of you.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM

Cool!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 02:32 PM

And I wonder where the band got the tune from!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Little Robyn
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 03:10 PM

So is the tune she's talking about the "Queensland tune" - Matilda my darling?
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 03:13 PM

The tune is like the standard one, though it has changed over the years. There are also some significant errors in her musical notation in the letter: you have to figure out for yourself what she meant, there are too many beats in some bars.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 05:42 PM

For loads more information about the song in its various versions, see this website.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 07:19 PM

Can I take this opportunity to say that Christina McPherson is one of my partner's ancestors? And add that the story of her providing Banjo Patterson with the tune to Waltzing Matilda has long since become a part of her family's mythology that they're all rightly proud of? For an Aussie, I'd imagine it's a pretty special claim to fame...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:23 AM

For further loads of information, see this website, which was linked to in an earlier Mudcat thread.

I think that I came across yet another site some months ago but I haven't yet rediscovered it.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:08 AM

John Meredith in his Book "Folk Songs of Australia and the Men and Women who sang them" collected from both a Arthur Buchanan and Fred Stoane, antidotial (sp?) evidence that Waltzing Matilda had been sung well before Banjo was meant to have written it.

One of things that everybody forgets about Banjo was that he was also a recorder and collector of Folk Songs around the same time he was meant to have written Waltzing Matilda, it is quite possible that he modified a song he had already collected and presented it as his own to Christina.

Banjo's Patterson published his collection in 1905 as "The Old Bush Songs Composed and Sung in the Bushranging, Digging and Overlanding Days"

Bruce D


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Hrothgar
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:46 AM

I think that there were some people who were determined that a song of the people like Waltzing Matilda had to be traditional, and they just couldn't bring themselves to believe that a Sydney solicitor-cum-journalist could have written it.

They therefore grabbed every tiny little scrap of information that might have indicated a traditional origin, and flogged it to death.

Unfortunately for them, the evidence in favour of Paterson seems to outweigh that in favour of oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Effsee
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 10:58 AM

From today's Scotland on Sunday..."James Barr, from Ayrshire, is credited with writing the tune Thou Bonnie Wood o' Craigielea, which Australian musician Andrew "Banjo" Paterson adapted and set the words for Waltzing Matilda to in 1895."

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/Penicillin-telephone-TV-we-know.6562471.jp


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 11:33 AM

A midi of "Thou Bonnie Wood o' Craigielea":

http://www.contemplator.com/scotland/craiglea.html

It bears no important similarity to "Waltzing Matilda."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 01:37 PM

It's quite common to find cases of good new songs being mistakenly alleged to have been around before they were written. For example a number of songs by Ewan McColl and Sydney Carter. In a way it's a tribute to the quality of a song when that happens.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Little Robyn
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:34 PM

That tune isn't at all like either the Queensland version or the more common version.
Banjo Patterson must have done some serious adapting, in my view.
But then, wasn't he also a musician as well as a poet and solicitor?
The tune on the link above bears more resemblance to "The Queensland Drover".
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: zozimus
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:49 PM

Ted Egan, in his book "The Land Downunder", claims that the swagman in Waltzing Matilda" refers to Frenchy Hoffmeister, who committed suicide following the burning of Dagworth woolshed in northeast Queensland as part of a protest by the Shearer's Union in 1891, so presumably Banjo Patterson wrote his verse around that time


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: GUEST,Denarse
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 07:28 PM

For all the information go to waltzingmatilda.net.au


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Subject: RE: Origins: Waltzing Matilda: MacPherson Letter
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 01:49 AM

blicky -
Welcome to the International Home of 'Waltzing Matilda'


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