I have to share with you this gem I found the other day.
Regular readers will know I love comedian/entertainer Adam Hills* (and I know I’m not the only one out there) so when I found this clip from his show In Gordon Street Tonight I was thrilled.
This clip has the unexpected combination of Adam Hills reciting the famous Australian poem written by Banjo Paterson, Clancy of the Overflow, alongside his talented wife Ali McGregor, who is singing Under The Milky Way Tonight, by The Church.
Who would have ever thought those two completely different things would fit together so well!
*Click here if you want to see other posts about Adam Hills I have done. Go on. He is very funny and he can sing too. Not as well as his wife of course…. 😉
After yesterday’s post about Banjo Paterson I thought today I would write about another of his poems. Banjo Paterson also wrote the poem Waltzing Matilda, a variation of which is probably better known as a song rather than the original poem.
Waltzing Matilda is about a swagman who, after settling down under a tree and making camp (boiling his billy), steals a wandering sheep.
The squatter (landowner) and police arrive and to avoid capture, the swagman jumps into the billabong and commits suicide, the poem ending with his ghostly voice haunting the billabong.
A swagman is a homeless man who travels about the bush looking for work. The lifestyle of the swagman was often romanticized but I doubt that being homeless, with very few posessions, and viewed with suspicion wherever you go is the happiest existence…
I am also using the swagman reference as a tenuous link to include this photo of a framed print by William Hatherell* my mum and dad found at a market a few months ago and passed on to me which is, very conveniently, of a swagman with his swag and a billy hanging off his belt.
It also means I get to include Waltzing Matilda as sung by the late Slim Dusty. I am not a country music fan, but who can resist an Aussie icon singing another Aussie icon.
*William Hatherell (1855-1928) was an illustrator known for his detailed work.
On Sunday it was the birthday of one of Australia’s best known poets, Banjo Paterson.
Andrew Barton Paterson was born on 17th February, 1864, near Orange in NSW. He was not only a poet, among other things he was also a journalist, a war correspondent and a WWI soldier.
Banjo Paterson wrote many poems about the harsh life in the Australian bush, although this one published in The Queenslander in 1901 called A Mountain Station is more amusing than anything else. 🙂
He also wrote some of Australia’s favourite poems, The Man from Snowy River, Clancy of the Overflow and, one I’m sure you have all heard, Waltzing Matilda.
The Man from Snowy River was even made into a film in the early 80’s, and Banjo Paterson is also on our ten-dollar note, along with an illustration of The Man from Snowy River.
I was looking for a Banjo Paterson clip to add and found this one, accompanied by great images, old and new illustrating the tale of Clancy of the Overflow (with the strains of Waltzing Matilda playing in the background).