Waltzing Matilda

The words to the song were written in 1895 by Banjo Paterson, a famous Australian poet, and the music was written (based on a folk tune) by Christina Macpherson, who wrote herself that she "was no musician, but she would do her best." Paterson wrote the piece while staying at the Dagworth Homestead, a bush station in Queensland. While he was there his hosts played him a traditional Celtic folk tune called "The Craigeelee", and Paterson decided that it would be a good piece to set lyrics to, producing them during the rest of his stay.

The tune is probably based on the Scottish song "Thou Bonnie Wood Of Craigielea", which Macpherson heard played by a band at the Warrnambool steeplechase. Robert Tannahill wrote the words in 1805 and James Barr composed the music in 1818. In 1893 it was arranged for brass band by Thomas Bulch.