Listen to Waltzing Matilda What does Waltzing Matilda Sound Like?

Waltzing Matilda is Australia's favourite song. The lyrics to the song were written by Banjo Paterson while holidaying in Outback Australia where he heard a tune being played by Christina Macpherson. Waltzing Matilda was first sung publicly in 1895. The first recording was in 1926 by John Collinson.

The Story of Waltzing Matilda - Australia's Favourite Song

Slim Dusty Sings
Waltzing Matilda

This rendition of Waltzing Matilda by Slim Dusty, a famous Australian country and western singer, is the one most often sung.

Nursery Rhyme Version of Waltzing Matilda

This version of Waltzing Matilda has a nice beat to it and also has "sing-a-long" words.

Waltzing Matilda by Bachelor Girl

This is beautiful rendition of Waltzing Matilda by the pop group Bachelor Girl.

Aboriginal Version of Waltzing Matilda

Ali Mills sings an Aboriginal Kriol version of the song.

Cartoon Version of Waltzing Matilda

Here is a 1930's or 1940's cartoon of the story. The swagman in the video clip looks very fat. In real life they were thin, poor and definitely didn't walk around puffing cigars.

First Recording of Waltzing Matilda Who Originally Sang Waltzing Matilda?

Wax cylinder Recorder

Click image to hear the first recording of Waltzing Matilda

Waltzing Matilda was first sung publicly in 1895. There are over 700 different versions of Waltzing Matilda. These have been recorded by such famous singers such as Slim Dusty, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, The Seekers,and Bill Haley & Comets. The oldest surviving recording of the song was made in 1926 on a wax disk and lasted only two minutes.

The first known recording of the song was made in 1926 in London, England by a singer named John Collinson. The recording is barely two minutes long. It almost seems like the singer was rushing through the song to make sure it all fitted in the old-fashioned wax recording disc which only had a recording capacity of about two and a half minutes.

While it can clearly be recognized as Waltzing Matilda, it is interesting to note that this version is different from the one we are familiar with today. There is a subtle but noticeable difference in the melody.

The Versions of Waltzing Matilda