As Australia Day nears you start to see a flood of the Red, White and Blue and as Australians we love it. We can’t get enough merchanise that displays the Australian Flag with the Southern Cross, Union Jack and Commonwealth Star, as it symobolises who we are and represents all that we believe in, being freedom, equality for all and a relaxed jovial lifestyle.
For myself, I have always been proud to be Australian and have known just how lucky I am to call Australia home. I am definitely one of those that wears the Australia merchandise, but this year I decided to use my creative ability as an Artist to create some Australiana myself in the form of a Sarah Jane Australia Candle.
As I was thinking about the design, I thought about what is iconic to me. Obviously the flag is a must feature but growing up Waltzing Matilda I always connected with being Australian. Now I know, I know, I probably should be acknowledging or referencing our National Anthem, “Advance Australia Fair” but I think Waltzing Matilda melody fits the laid back life we have more. Plus if I think about the times I’ve been overseas and run into other Australians it’s not our Anthem that gets sung in foreign streets but rather Waltzing Matilda, or the great Men at Work ballad ” Down Under”, but of course that has copyright and licencing issues. So with the design decided upon this is where it becomes interesting.
Banjo Patterson, a name we all know for his early Poetry and Literature about our Country, first wrote Waltzing Matilda in 1895 in Queensland. Most people when they think of that tune resonate the lyrics back to Banjo Patterson, well I know I did. However, what I was not aware of is that the original lyrics are quite different from what we know today. In fact it seems there was a clever woman by the name of Marie Cowan who in 1903 altered the Waltzing Matilda lyrics for the purpose of selling her Billy Tea Bags. Amazingly this is the version of lyrics that has withstood time and what we sing today, so I can only assume her marketing idea was a complete success!
So if you are wondering why we have credited Marie Cowan on our Sarah Jane Candle….you now know why and further who she is.
So whatever Australia Day holds for you, embrace it and take the time to remember what it means to you as it is different for each of us.