OT: Australian computer "collectors" :)

From: Geoff Roberts <geoffrob_at_stmarks.pp.catholic.edu.au>
Date: Sat Sep 6 05:40:00 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Freidin" <class_at_fliptronics.com>
To: <cctalk_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2003 7:02 PM
Subject: Re: OT: Australian computer "collectors" :)

> Australia, which as we all know was colonised by convicts sentenced to
> "transportation" from England, has a long tradition of celebrating this
> heritage.

The number of Brit (and to a lesser degree) Yank Quartermasters I've seen
desperately searching for Lt. N. Kelly or D. Kelly to recover some kit
to them is staggering.

> Indeed the almost national anthem of Australia celebrates such
> behaviour. I draw your attention to statement 1210 of the lyrics of this
> Australian classic:
> 0000 Waltzing Matilda
> 0010 "Banjo" Paterson, 1893

There are several variants of the song, and probably the most well
known version is significantly different here:

> 2210 3. Down came the stockman, riding on his thoroughbred,

That would be "Squatter" not stockman. A Stockman is the equivalent
of the US cowboy and would be unlikely to be on a 'thoroughbred', that
be an expensive animal/ He would probably be on the classic 'Waler' or some
other 'bush' horse. The Squatter would be the well off owner of the sheep.
They were not landowners in the strict sense of the word, they simply went
into the bush in the early days of the colony and 'squatted' on as much land
as they could handle. The Crown legitimised most of this at a later time.

> Glossary:
> Swagman:
> A man who seeks casual work while traveling about carrying his swag.
> Swag:
> The pack or bundle containing the personal belongings of a swagman.
Also known as a 'Matilda. US nearest equivalent would be 'bindle'.

'> Billabong:
> A dead-end channel extending from the main stream of a river.

Uh, well, I think the technical term is Ox-Bow Lake. Where a meander of
the river has been cut off and left a small body of water behind that no
carries the flow of the river through it.

> Coulibah tree:
> Native Gum tree of Australia.

One of many. And it's Coolibah.

> Billy:
> A metal pot or kettle used in camp cooking.
Traditionally, for boiling water and making 'billy tea' but used to heat
any liquid or semi liquid food.

> Jumbuck:
> A sheep.

> Tucker:
> Food

> Tuckerbag:
> A bag for carrying food, used by a traveler in the bush or by a swagman

> Waltzing:
> A ballroom dance in triple time with a strong accent on the first beat.
In this context "Waltzing Matilda' is slang for dancing around the country
your 'Matilda', another slang term for a swag. ie, wandering around
your swag = 'Waltzing Matilda' This is quite clear in another more recent
called 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

> Stockman:
> A man who owns or raises livestock (Land owner)
That's just plain wrong. See above. A stockman is semantically equal to
the US cowboy. These days they are also known as 'ringers'.
Note: This is not the same meaning as 'ringer' of a shearing shed.
The man who could shear the most sheep in a day 'rung' the shed
and he was known as the 'Ringer'. That other old Aussie song "Click go the
shears' epitomises this.

> Waltzing Matilda is, briefly, a song about a tramp

To be absolutely correct, closer to the the US subspecies known
as the Hobo. A migratory worker. Often a shearer. A tramp is rather

> who camps by a creek
> and steals a sheep. Three policemen arrive; rather than submit to
> capture, the tramp commits suicide by drowning himself in the
> creek (see... the song is better :-)

Yeah. It's sorta the 'unofficial' national anthem I guess.
 For reasons that escape me, the mob that run the Rugby World Cup
objected to it being sung (something of a tradition) at Rugby matches. Not
that we give a
damn if they like it or not. Given the nature of Aussies, I think they just
guaranteed we will *always* do it now, just to piss 'em off.
They might as well tell the Kiwis not to do their Haka.

> Just thought you would like to know.

Not a bad effort.

Geoff in Oz
Received on Sat Sep 06 2003 - 05:40:00 BST

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