On entering the museum the first thing you see is a huge diorama that depicts the setting for the song. It also includes 52 different versions which you can listen to. The tune was written in 1895 by a woman called Christina McPhearson, who played it to one of Australia's most famous Folk Heroes, ``Banjo'' Patterson, who wrote the words, and originally might have sounded a little something like this.
Oh there once was a Swagman
A Swagman is ``a bum'', who went from place to place with his swag, a rolled up great coat. Swagmen would often arrive at homesteads just around sunset when they knew there might be dinner on the table.
camped in the billabongs
A billabong is a waterhole
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree;
And he sang as he looked at the old billy boiling,