Banjo Patterson Research

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Andrew Patterson
Andrew Barton Patterson; a poet, solicitor, journalist, war correspondent and soldier, was born at Narrambla near orange on the 17th of February 1864. Patterson was the eldest of seven children, under the guidance of his father who shared his own namesake and his mother Rose Isabella. When Andrew Patterson was seven, his family moved to illalong, it is in this area that Patterson developed his lifelong enthusiasm for horses and horsemanship, and in the future, the writing of his famous equestrian ballads. From the age of 10 after transferring from a bush school at Binalong, Patterson attended the Sydney grammar school, where he achieved the junior Knox prize at the age of 16. Patterson failed the University of Sydney’s scholarship exam and as a result he was admitted as a solicitor in 1886 and formed a legal partnership with John Street for 10 years up until 1889. Due to his grandmothers influence Patterson began publishing verses in the Bulletin under the alias ‘the banjo’. By 1895 such ballads as 'Clancy of the Overflow', 'The Geebung Polo Club', ' The Man from Ironbark', and ’ How the Favourite Beat Us and Saltbush Bill' were so popular with readers that Angus & Robertson published the collection, The Man from Snowy River, and Other Verses, in October. In 1895 at the age of 31 Andrew Barton also composed his now famous ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’ that would become one of Australia’s best known folk songs, and marked the declaration that Patterson was the second most popular poet in Australia. Patterson travelled to South Africa in 1899, as a special war correspondent to the Sydney morning Herald during the Boer war and during the Boxer rebellion in 1901. For nine months Patterson was in the thick of the fighting and his graphic accounts of the fighting include the surrender of Bloemfontein, the capture of Pretoria and the relief of Kimberly. He wrote twelve ballads from his war experiences, the best known of which are 'Johnny Boer' and 'With French to Kimberley'. After returning to Australia in the 1900, Patterson married Alice Emily in 1903, they settled in Woollahra, where their children grace and Hugh were born in the years 1904 and 1906. When World War 1 began Patterson immediately sailed for Europe, as a member of the AIF, in an unsuccessful attempt to cover the fighting in Flanders as a war correspondent. After returning from Europe he returned to journalism before retiring in 1930 when he was 66 years old. In 1939 he created CBE and he continued to write poetry until the time of his death on the 5th of February 1941. His works of poetry include seven volumes of poetry and proses composed in the collected verse of A.B Patterson (1923) and in a collection of Old bush songs (1905). Due to this reputation as the Principle folk poet of Australia Patterson is represented in Australian culture on the 10 dollar bill. Poem analysis

Clancy of the overflow
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago, He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him, Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'. And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,

(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar) 'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it: `Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.' In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy

Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go; As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing, For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know. And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,

And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.
I am sitting in my dingy little office, where...
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