Juan’s a jolly swagman: the Spanish Waltzing Matilda
DON’T be surprised as you walk down a street in Spain to hear someone humming or even singing the words to Waltzing Matilda.
The catchy unofficial Aussie national anthem has become somewhat of a sensation in Spain since it was chosen by a mobile telephone company to promote its new summer tariff plan, then featured in their advertisement in the break of the televised Champions League soccer grand final watched by millions across Europe recently.
The accents on the advertisement are strange and the video clip is downright wacky but online chat rooms and talk back radio in Spain has been inundated with debates about “Billy-bongs” and “Kooly-bar trees” and speculation about what it was that a man put into a “ta-ka” bag.
Executives from Orange telephone network in Spain said the song – sung by school children from Disney World in Florida known as the Countdown Kids - was chosen because it summed up the mood of fun and sun and summer.
“We listened to quite a variety of songs both from Spain and abroad to accompany this spot,” an Orange spokeswoman in Madrid said yesterday.
“From the moment we heard the song “Waltzing Matilda” and this version by the Countdown Kids we knew it would fit perfectly with the visuals. We liked the tune very much since it is fresh, happy, and very catchy. This music accompanies the images very well from beginning to end.”
The advertisement was shot in Barcelona and features character Alvaro using the 6pm to 8am mobile phone plan to call friends from across the city to throw an impromptu roof top party.
His friends are then seen carrying Australian-style summer gear from beach umbrellas and surf boards to a rubber swimming pool and blow up rings.
The original lyrics to the bush balled were written in 1887 by Banjo Patterson.
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