Waltzing My Tilde

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Unable to find a tilde, this ASCII fetishist is making do with a tick symbol. One can be assured of their sexual frustration, as the symbol isn’t an ASCII character

“Waltzing My Tilde” is a popular Australian folk song that tells the tale of a man and a character used in languages and vector algebra, the tilde (~). Since the mid 1990s, the song has also become popular with ASCII fetishists, who have applied various sexual connotations to the song’s lyrics.

History[edit | edit source]

Writing[edit | edit source]

The song was written in 1895 by A. B. “Banjo” Paterson, and the music was written (based on a folk tune) by Christina Macpherson, who wrote that she “was no musician, but would try her best to adapt a traditional song to suit lyrics that ambiguously allude to either mathematical notation or character fetishism”. Macpherson’s comments explain the music’s confused feel, which brings to mind an indecisive muskrat, or an eccentric, dirty mathematician.

“Waltzing My Tilde” is slang for “sloppily misusing mathematical notation”, “overusing mathematical notation to the point of redundancy” or “whackin’ my junk around with a tilde-shaped object” (depending on the context).

Australian mathematician Alfred Tildeman, rumoured to be the subject of Waltzing My Tilde

Subject[edit | edit source]

It is rumoured that the song is a jibe directed towards Australian mathematician Alfred Tildeman (pictured), who tended to fluctuate in the use of mathematical notation in his proofs. Historians speculate that Tildeman was a tilde fetishist before such a thing was commonplace (in much the same way that John Lennon is regarded as a proto-hipster; look at Abbey Road’s liner pictures). The reason for this is that Tildeman employed various types of mathematical notation in what appears to be an attempt to use the tilde symbol as frequently as possible. In his proofs, the type of notation used changes often and abruptly, the result of which is a body of work that incorporates as much as five times the amount of tildes as the work of other Australian mathematicians at the time. Also, historians have noted after perusing his works (having been granted permission by the State Library of Queensland) that Tildeman applied a substantially greater amount of pressure when writing tildes as compared with other characters, such that tilde shaped ridges created when tildes were written on previous pages are abundant in his works. Additionally, historians noted that Tildeman never returned letters until he learned to write in Spanish. Historian James Fairbanks is quoted as saying “Everything fits together. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that tildes gave old Alfred the peeny-tingles, and it was this that Paterson was writing about in the song.”

Reception[edit | edit source]

Critics were quick to note that the song, or ditty, rather, as it was still the 19th Century, bore Paterson’s trademarks: it focused on an uninteresting aspect of culture, while avoiding distinctly Australian themes that would, if explored, perhaps allow the piece to transcend its existence as ramblings from an obscure Australian poet and become regarded as a cornerstone of Australian literature. Oh well. Australians are happy with “We’re happy little Vegemites” printed in tiny letters on the ten dollar note, so it’s too late now.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Swedish actress and model Tilde Froling. You know what? Maybe those weird fetishists are onto something

As the song’s original lyrics include jargon associated with either mathematics or tilde fetishism (I’m still not sure), the lyrics’ meanings in less esoteric terms have been provided.

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
A man once camped by a dam
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
Under the shade of a tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
And he sang as he waited for his kettle to boil (watching it all the while):
"Who'll come a-waltzing my tilde, with me?"
“Who’ll join in me in rogering themselves with these tilde-shaped objects I fashioned out of pine?”

Waltzing my tilde, waltzing my tilde
Yeah, that’s it...
You'll come a-waltzing my tilde, with me
Please join me in the misuse of mathematical notation
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
And during the process of biding time until the water in his kettle boiled he sang the following (to no apparent person):
"You'll come a-waltzing my tilde, with me."
“It appears that you will be the one to join me in my tilde-related sexual exploits, Mr. Mystery Man That Only I Can See.”

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong.
A sheep, under the presumption that the man was on the bong due to the nonsensical things he was saying, approached, wishing to take a hit from said bong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee.
The man stood upright, thus completing his transition to fully upright (other parts of his body had already been standing upright for some time now, particularly so after seeing the sheep)
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag:
The man decided the moment he stuffed the sheep away was as good a moment as any to again sing the phrase:

"You'll come a-waltzing my tilde, with me."
“Tildeath do us part.”

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred.
Noticing the first man’s pine tildes, a second man, who took pleasure in squatting on various oblong shaped objects, approached on his horse
Down came the troopers, one, two, and three.
He evacuated his bowels before squatting on the first man’s wooden tildes
"Whose is that jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?
Steady on- I believe that’s my sheep you have in your bag
You'll come a-waltzing my tilde, with me."
Despite this, I am still willing to put this minor transgression aside and engage in sexual acts involving your pine tildes

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong.
“Sweet!”, thought the man, and hurriedly got his bong ready
Drowning himself by the coolibah tree
Then, he took a particularly deep hit by the tree
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong:
It was so deep that his spirit briefly left his body, and he began asking passers-by:
"Who'll come a-waltzing my tilde, with me?"
“Is anyone else interested in incorrectly utilising mathematical notation, namely tildes, while in my company?”

Waltzing my tilde, waltzing my tilde
Waltzing my tilde, waltzing my tilde
Waltzing my tilde, waltzing my tilde
Waltzing my tilde, waltzing my tilde...

(By this stage, ASCII fetishists are invariably aroused to an incredible degree, and repeat the above phrase until they climax)

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Regardless of what Paterson intended, the song has become synonymous with those who rustle their jimmies to pictures of obscure ASCII characters. This strange subculture is noted as one of the only groups of fetishists who don’t even need to use the internet on their computer to get off. They just open Word. It is a widely held belief that members of the subculture thrive on the deviant website Uncyclopedia, the existence of which is an affront to Mother Wikipedia. Why? Well, let’s just say that if Alfred Tildeman were alive today, he’d probably use Uncyclopedia...

See also[edit | edit source]