Biography of Andrew Barton Paterson (1864 – 1941)
Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson was a famous Australian poet. He was born at Narambla, near Orange, New South Wales on February 17, 1864 and died on April 5, 1941. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas.
One of his most famous poems is “Waltzing Matilda”, which was set to music and became one of Australia’s most famous songs. Others include “The Man From Snowy River”, which (loosely) inspired a movie in 1980 and (even more loosely) inspired a TV series in the 1990s, and “Clancy of the Overflow”, the tale of a Queensland “drover” (cattle handler responsible for herding large mobs of cattle long distances to market), amongst several others.
Paterson’s poems mostly presented a highly romantic view of rural Australia. Paterson himself, like a majority of Australians even then and even more so since, was city-based and indeed was a practising lawyer. One may contrast his work with the (almost as famous) prose of Henry Lawson, a contemporary of Paterson’s, including his work “The Drover’s Wife”, which presented a considerably less sugar-coated view of the harshness of rural existence of the late 19th century.
Banjo Paterson’s image appears on the (AUS – Australian Dollar) $10 note, along with an illustration inspired by “The Man From Snowy River” and, as part of the copy-protection microprint, the text of the poem itself.
Biography By: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Andrew Barton Paterson.