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Waltzing Matilda: The secret history of Australia's favourite song by [O'Keeffe, Dennis]
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Waltzing Matilda: The secret history of Australia's favourite song Kindle Edition

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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About the Author

Dennis O'Keeffe is one of the nation's leading performers of Australian traditional songs, and has been a successful song-writing teacher for over ten years. For as many years, he has led the Australian traditional song sessions at the National folk Festival in Canberra. Dennis plays the anglo-concertina, an instrument that came to Australia during the gold-rush of the 1850s. Dennis has been at the birth of hundreds of songs, having written some forty songs about Australian history, and nurtured many song writers from their first idea through the first public performance of their song. When he is not on the road performing, he lives in country Victoria.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1928 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,296,272 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that weaves our Australian history together 28 May 2012
By Malcolm Cameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Waltzing Matilda
The Secret History of Australia's Favourite Song
by Dennis O'Keefe

Waltzing Matilda is Australia's most loved song. Its story weaves its way in a complex web of national history. Surprisingly, the derivation of "waltzing" is from the German term "auf der Waltz" meaning "on the tramp" while the "Matildas" were female camp followers who accompanied the soldiers in the Thirty Year War. In the Australian vernacular "Waltzing Matilda" thus means to go walkabout, looking for a job, with your tools of trade and whatever keeps you warm at night.

The original was written by Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson at Dagworth Station in western Queensland in 1895. Its verses are from specific events that occurred during the 1894 shearers' strike culminating in the alleged suicide of Samuel Hoffmeister (the swagman) beside the Four-Mile Billagong near Kynuna in western Queensland. There in remote Queensland shearing sheds were burnt down by striking union shearers agitating to maintain wages, gain conditions and finally to get a foothold in parliament. A formative period often recorded as poetry in the "Bulletin".

Then how was it about a "jolly" swagman camped by a billabong asked by the troopers about a "jolly" jumbuck? This is a mere strand in Dennis O'Keefe's story of squatters, unions, violence, gun battles, intrigue, romance and conflict. A story that realistically weaves our Australian history from convicts to land ownership into a coherent whole.

Here is an Australian folk song synonymous with the country itself, like "La Marseillaise" for the French, "Danny Boy" for the Irish, "Flower of Scotland" or "Loch Lomond" for the Scots, "Land of Hope and Glory" for the English and "This Land is Your Land" for the Americans. And here is a book that tells it entertainingly and with feeling.

Malcolm Cameron
28 May 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars love it 15 Feb. 2017
By H. Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book, great song and great history
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 22 Oct. 2015
By Glenn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read through that part of our history.
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