This is Rod Stewart’s version, which was released as a single in 1992 and then included in his unplugged album of 1993. The song was written by Tom Waits and released in his third studio album Small Change, released in September 1976 on Asylum Records. Considered the work of a “very talented lyricist”. It was covered by Rod Stewart and released as a single in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Tom Waits said in 1979 that he met a girl named Matilda, “And uh, I had a little too much to drink that night. This is about throwing up in a foreign country.”
Talking about the lyrics, Waits has said, “when you’re ‘waltzing matilda’, you’re on the road. You’re not with your girlfriend, you’re on the bum. For me, I was in Europe for the first time, and I felt like a soldier far away from home and drunk on the corner with no money, lost.”
I was highly impressed with the song because, well I must say, at first it reminded me of being in English school and being taught to sing “Waltzing Matilda”. Of course I had forgotten all of that by 1992 when I heard Rod Stewart singing that song. But then all the memories came back. So I love the song and this is one of those songs that does not get old for me. I hope you like it too. I hope it brings you some good memories…
“Waltzing Matilda” is traditionally considered a song that celebrates the struggle of the poor against the rich, the rich that are protected by the all powerful state that constantly runs over and tramples the rights of the poor. This is the most famous Australian folk-song, especially internationally and was even considered as a possible choice for the national anthem. Australians are very much attached to this song, and with good reason the love it. There is a museum dedicated to the son in Winton, Queensland. It was composed in 1895 by Andrew Barton Paterson, an Australian poet. He is also known as “Banjo” Paterson. What we know now is the modified first version, which is, in truth the second version of “Waltzing Matilda”.
I will give you here three lovely versions. First “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”:
And “Tom Traubert’s Blues-Waltzing Matilda” by Rod Stewart:
And finally, “Waltzing Matilda” as sung by Johnny Cash: