Banjo Paterson


Facts on Banjo Paterson

  • Andrew Barton Paterson, poet, solicitor, journalist, war correspondent and soldier, was born on 17 February 1864 at Narrambla near Orange, New South Wales, eldest of seven children.
  • He was educated at the bush school at Binalong and at Sydney Grammar School.
  • While at Sydney Grammar he lived at Gladesville with his grandmother Emily Barton, a well-read woman who fostered his love of poetry.
  • Between the years of 1880-1886 Paterson worked as a solicitor. During these years he began publishing verse in the Bulletin and Sydney Mail under the pseudonyms 'B' and 'The Banjo'.
  • In 1895, at the age of 31 and still in partnership with Street, Andrew Barton Paterson achieved two milestones in Australian writing. He composed his now famous ballad 'Waltzing Matilda' and his first book, The Man from Snowy River.
  • Paterson travelled to South Africa in 1899 as special war correspondent.
  • By 1902 Paterson had left the legal profession. The following year he was appointed Editor of the Evening News (Sydney), a position he held until 1908 when he resigned.
  • In 1903 he married Alice Walker in Tenterfield. The Patersons had two children, Grace born in 1904 and Hugh born in 1906.

  • In Australia again he returned to journalism, retiring in 1930. He was created CBE in 1939. At the time of his death on 5 February 1941 his reputation as the principal folk poet of Australia was secure.

Andrew Paterson's most famous poems.

Some of his most famous poems included 'Waltzing Matilda', 'The Man from Snowy River', 'The Man from Ironbark' and 'Clancy of the Overflow'.
Here is the first verse from The Man from Snowy River;

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.