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Photographer's Note

Everybody probably knows the song Waltzing Matilda that is "the unofficial national anthem of Australia". But who knows what is Matilda? I was very surprised to learn that Matilda is not a blond girl but a SWAG, it is bedroll. And waltzing matilda means going with the bedroll that gives warmth to the man, like a woman. The title is Australian slang for travelling by foot with one's goods (waltzing, derived from the German auf der Walz) in a "Matilda" (bag) slung over one's back. The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or "swagman", making a drink of tea at a bush camp near a billabong under the tree and capturing a sheep to eat. When the sheep's owner arrives with three police officers to arrest the worker for the theft, the worker commits suicide by drowning himself in the nearby watering hole, after which his ghost haunts the site. Sad story.

I was very excited at the possibility to sleep in swag, just under the sky. It was fantastic, there were so many stars on the clear sky, and finally I saw Southern Cross well visible. I was very impressed and I was much more happy than I would be with a four star hotel. I am not quite sure if the pond in a photo is a billabong and what the trees are, also there were no jumbocks around, but anyway I think it fits the song well. The photo was made when we hiked around Kings Canyon, in Red Center.

In WS you can see the swag and how they are carried.
I wonder if any of my Australian friends had ever such great experience.

And of course
the song

gildasjan, Romano46, Gigidusud, jhm, ikeharel, tyro, Sonata11, ChrisJ has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13401 W: 141 N: 34841] (157280)
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