Australia’s best known bush ballad, Waltzing Matilda has today been recreated on the couch of a Woolloongabba apartment, as an itinerant Brisbane worker boils a billy in his temporary living arrangement.

The man, Ned Coffey, is a twenty-something gatorade sax player with on and off work in landscaping. Currently he is camping out on a mate’s couch until his parents go travelling and he can live at home without having to pay rent – a modern day swagman

The Waltzing Matilda story is a famous part of Australian folklore, as it details the story of an Australian traveller who steals a lamb and his then pursued by police before drowning in a Billabong.

The original poem was coined by Banjo Paterson in 1895 –  and the lyrics were first published as sheet music in 1903. Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that it has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, in the Queensland outback, where Paterson wrote the lyrics.

This new and improved variation of that story, however, is based in suburban Brisbane, and doesn’t involve any police (just yet) but more so an angry childhood friend.

“Just chill out” Ned tells his close mate and kind of landlord.

“I’ll be gone soon, and you won’t have to worry about me again”

It is not yet known at this point if Ned would be willing to drown himself to avoid prosecution, but he is equally inclined to engage in petty theft.


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