The air of  the Scottish ballad "Thou bonnie wood of Craigie-lea" was the basis for the much-loved Australian national song "Waltzing Matilda".

The original tune was composed in Scotland in about 1808 by James Barr.  Thomas Gleadhill wrote a version in about 1850.

In 1895 Christina McPherson, on a sheep station in outback Queensland, wrote the version which has been used for Waltzing Matilda, the poet "Banjo" Patterson sitting with her composing the words of the song. The popular version sung since the early 1900s has a modified tune and words.

The three versions of the first line of the tune are shown below.

Thomas Swift Gleadhill, composer and piano teacher, was born 30 Jan 1827 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He died 21 Sep 1890 at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken in 2001 at Richard Magoffin's former folk museum, Waltzing Matilda Expo, at Kynuna, Queensland, which is near where the song Waltzing Matilda was created.

Magoffin's collection is now to be found in the National Library of Australia in Canberra.