Waltzing Matilda: Reading the Myths

Diannah Johnston


This paper discusses: the ‘myths’ surrounding the words for and the production of Waltzing Matilda; ideas from the late Russel Ward about the tune; these being perpetuated by coinage/ bank-note images, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, etc. Essentially the process of ‘elevation’ of the piece contains a sequence of steps obliterating a truer history of the Waltzing Matilda tune, and of its seminal place in the evolution of Australian culture.


Folkloristics; Folk Music; Waltzing Matilda; Russel Ward;

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