Tête en bas

Down under wandering. Archipelagoes to islands; beaches to deserts; mountains to cities.

I’m a swagman!


  • English: I'm a swagman!
  • Français: I'm a swagman!

A swag is one of the symbol of australian outback. As long as you haven’t try it, you don’t really understand. Your not sure. You’re asking question. And then, one night, you end up sleeping in a swag. And you can’t sleep in anything else after that. You even end up buying one!

Swags came from germany, but was not really adopted in his mother country. The weather was not the best for it. But Australian climate was just perfect, and it was a great success. Lot of ozie have there own swag (specially those traveling in the outback).

Good. But what it is exactly? Well… it’s the son of a tent and a sleeping bag. Imagine a sleeping back, with a mattress in it, in a big strong fabric, and you’ll get the idea. Perfect for sleeping outside when the weather is nice to watch the star. If it’s a little bit to cold, you can bring the fabric back to protect your poor little noise. Just perfect! But why only it the outback? I haven’t try the waterproofing of a swag yet, but I can of feel that you prefer to be in a dry place. You also prefer to be in a warm place, as camping outside when it’s freezing is… freezing. And it’s also the pleasure of watching the star. And there’s no better place that the remote australian outback for that. Swag was used a lot by worker/wanderer, going from one farm to an other one. Very handy: you roll all your stuff in the swag, and in 30 seconds, your ready to go to bed. The next morning, you’re ready to go in 30 seconds too. Not really easy when you’re hitch hiking or traveling light. But perfect if you have a car!

So…

A rolled swag looks like that :

An open swag with a sleeper in it looks like that :

And if you want, you can transform your swag to a comfy couch:

As the swag is really classical in australian culture, we find it in the very famous song “Waltzing Matilda”. Probably the most known traditional australian song. Yes, a Matilda is a swag. And a swagman is a wanderer. If you want to complete story of the song, a visit to wikipedia is a must: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltzing_Matilda

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong.
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee.
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred.
Down came the troopers, one, two, three.
“Whose[N 1] that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me”
“Whose that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong.
“You’ll never catch me alive”, said he.
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”

4 Responses to “I’m a swagman!

  1. July 8th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Kaly says:

    Hi, sagman !

    J’avais inventé le swag moi aussi : tu te rappelles le roman que je n’ai toujours pas fini d’écrire (ça tombe bien, j’en ai commencé un autre…!!) et que je t’ai fait lire…

  2. July 13th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Lavande says:

    Qu’est-ce que c’est un billabong?
    Ton swag c’est un 3 places :) ?

  3. July 14th, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Sébastien Chion says:

    Un billabong, pour simplifier, est une marre. Ou une mare. Je ne sais jamais. Quand à mon swag, il est deux places. On l’a transformé en 3 places pour quelques nuits particulièrement froides. On tient à trois dedans, à condition de ne pas vouloir bouger !

  4. July 14th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Lavande says:

    A voir l’aridité de certains coins, je ne pense pas que les gens qui y habitent en aient marre des mares: elles doivent au contraire être très appréciées!

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