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Bob Bolton Review: Waltzing Matilda (74* d) RE: Review: Waltzing Matilda 15 Sep 13

G'day Iain Pollock,

Tunes set to several of Tannahill's poems have persisted for centuries in various localities ... which have adopted whatever word / tune setting as a "local" song of regard (in ... at the very least: Australia / Northern Ireland / Canada if I recall the various different song/settings).

The story of the composition of Waltzing Matilda is now dragged out of most of the obfuscation arising from Paterson's relationships! One of the separate elements that has been lost under the destruction brought on Germany by their involvement in two World Wars is the German element - recognised by Paterson.

This is the German Journeyman's period "Auf der Walz" ... travelling round acquiring skills before being allowed back home to set up as a tradesman. Such journeymen carried their tools and belonging in a composite blanket roll / pack ... called by the soldiers' cognomen "Mathilde". I'm assured the song exists ... even persists ... but I have not found a reliable German source for it!

This associates withPaterson's surreptitiously slipping in a jibe at Bob MacPherson and his probable complicity in the death of the Germanic "swagman" - 'Dutchy Hoffmeister ... who had been involved in torching the MacPherson woolshed.

It appears, from later police evidence (gathered by three troopers and the squatter MacPherson ...!) that 'Dutchy' committed suicide ... by somehow shooting himself in the back of the head with his own rifle!

It is also interesting that, in later poetic works by Paterson, there are several (different) snide references to (different ... ?) persons of (~) the surname MacPherson!


Bob Bolton

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