Lo, Saturnalia

Just a ditty tossed out amongst the dross of logging activity metrics and channeling error messages into PagerDuty (oh what a bane on society that thing is!)

(Starts like JingleBells…)

Lo, Saturnalia
~~~~~~~~~~~
On Saturnalia go,
Out into the snow,
Take your master’s clothes,
And wear them like your own.

Drag your keg of beer,
To the bonfire burning near,
Lift your mug on high,
and raise your voice in cheer.

Ohhhh, the old year dies,
the new year’s born,
the gods are smiling down.
Saturn on his lofty throne,
is baying like a hound.

The ol’ yule log,
the roasting hog,
the gifts to loved ones dear,
are demonstrated, celebrated
to last throughout the year.

Waltzing Matilda – quiet coercion

I’ve been fond of the song Waltzing Matilda since forever. Whistling, strange words, catchy-tune, what’s not to like.

There’s a history of the song, of course, which depicts a rather unpleasant story about sheep shearers, a strike and the pursuit and suicide of one of the shearers near a pond.

The phrase, Waltzing Matilda is suppose to mean go on walk-about with your kit (swag, including your tent). But, I think there’s way more to the phrase that what we innocently take on. Reviewing the lyrics: (wikipedia)

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.”

Chorus:
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.”

(Chorus)

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

(Chorus)

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.”


You’ll notice that each time the stanza, “You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me”, is spoken, there’s a specific directive implied.

  • I’m gonna drink my tea.
  • I’m gonna take you, sheep, kill you and eat you.
  • You’re commin’ with us, says the troopers to the swagman.
  • You’re all gonna follow me to the grave, says the ghost of the swagman.

That last one is especially poignant:

And his ghost may be heard as YOU pass by that billabong,
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.

Is Waltzing Matilda, ultimately, a euphemism for dying? Not a very happy tune, now is it?

Lyrics – On a Journey

Restin’ on a rock in the river,
Let the water wash my cares away.
See the weeds they dance and shiver,
Let my mind drift higher as I say,

Let’s float to ol’ St. Louie, fly to New York City,
Run to Detroit, Denver or LA.
Just get away, hey, hey. Just get away.

Sittin’ on a bus bound for nowhere,
Diesel smoke ain’t the kind I enjoy.
Lady looks at me with flowers in her hair,
Time to take a trip, hold my hand boy,

Let’s head to Reno, drive to Tallahassee,
Hitch to Galveston, Gary or Green Bay.
Just get away, hey, hey. Just get away.

[bridge]
The destination ain’t the reason,
It’s the sights along the way, it’s the season,
Take your time on the journey,
Lose your sorrows and your worries,
Take it slow, never hurry,

Just get away, hey, hey, hey. Just get away.

Jettin’ on a plane over the ocean,
Busy people on the ground with no voice.
Never looking up, just going through the motion,
Freedom’s not a gift, freedom is a choice,

That’s what I say, hey, hey, hey

Just get away, hey, hey, hey.
Just get away, hey, hey, hey
Just walk to Kansas City,
ride to Tahoe pretty,
cruise to Phoenix, Albuquerque, 
roam to Lincoln, Okeechobee
get to Richmond, Bend or Monterey

But get away, hey, hey, hey.
Get away, hey, hey, hey

Lyrics – Just take my love

Don’t take my whiskey,
don’t take the air that I breathe.
Don’t take the things that I own,
don’t take the money that I need.

Just take my love,
I said take my love,
cuz’ that’s all I got.

Don’t take my car,
don’t take the hat that I wear.
Don’t take boots that I kick,
don’t take my lounge away chair.

Just take my love,
I said take my love,
cuz’ that’s all I got.

[bridge]
The things you want you don’t need,
the things you own but don’t feed,
the things you cut that don’t bleed,
all them things, now, don’t. you. see,
just take you down, down, down, down, down.

down, down, down, down, down

Don’t take my mind,
don’t take the schemes that I scheme.
Don’t take the songs that I sing,
don’t take the dreams that I dream.

Just take my love,
go on take my love,
cuz’ that’s all I got.

Cuz’ that’s all I got.
And that’s all you need.

So, just take my love,
I said take my love,
cuz’ that’s all you need.
[fade: repeat]

Lyrics – Away

Only clouds and smoke surround me.
The angry sun won’t look my way.
Blind, the people scream and tear free.
From the Earth, though children play.

And sing their songs of falling, falling, falling.
While I’m calling, calling, calling.

The winds will blow and shed no tears.
For lovers howling in the night.
Torn apart they drown in fears,
Of losing touch, of losing sight.

And all the children crying, crying, crying.
As I’m begging, begging, begging.

[bridge]
Will no one hear, will no one speak,
will no one seek to find?
The broken hearts, the broken dreams,
the broken, shattered minds.

When morning comes, the sun still hides.
As bed sheets flutter torn to ribbons.
At tender touch, all night she cried.
For battles lost and battles won.

And still the children lying, lying, lying.
While I’m flying, flying, flying
Away.

[repeat bridge]
Will no one hear, will no one speak,
will no one seek to find?
The broken hearts, the broken dreams,
the broken, shattered minds.