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Bob Bolton Info & stories about John Greenway (30) RE: Info & stories about John Greenway 15 Nov 12

G'day again,

I see that my portable hard drive has the words of the "Bush Music Club" - revised Texas Jack (and I note that the DT has an entirely different American song of the same title).

These are the words I remember being sung at old Bush Music Club meetings ... ~ 1963 - 1965:

Texas Jack, you are amusin'. Great Lord Harry how I laughed
When I seen your rig and saddle with its bulwarks fore-and-aft;
Holy smoke! From such a saddle how the dickens can you fall?
Why, I've seen a gal ride bareback with no bridle on at all!

What? You've come to learn the natives how to sit a horse's back!
Learn the bloomin' cornstalk ridin'? What yer givin' us, Texas Jack?
Learn the cornstalk! Flamin' jumptup! Now where has my country gone?
Why the cornstalk's mother often rides the day afore he's born'.

No, before you teach the native you must ride without a fall
Up a gum, or down a gully, nigh as steep as any wall -
You must swim the roarin' Darlin' when the flood is at its height
Bearin' down the stock an' stations to the great Australian Bight.

As poet and as Yankee I will greet you, Texas Jack,
For it isn't no ill-feelin' that is gettin' up my back,
But I won't see this land crowded with each Yank and British cuss
Who takes it in his head to come a-civilizin' us.

Though on your own great continent there's misery in the towns.
An' not a few untitled lords, and kings without their crowns,
I will admit your countrymen is busted big an' free,
An' great on ekal rites of men and great on liberty:

I will admit your fathers punched the gory tyrant's head -
But then we've got our heroes, too, the diggers that is dead,
The plucky men of Ballarat, who toed the scratch so well,
And broke the nose of Tyranny and make his peepers swell.

So when it comes to ridin' mokes, or yardin' up a cow,
Or stickin' up for labour's rights, we don't want showin' how.
They came to learn us cricket in the days of long ago,
An' Hanlan came from Canada to learn us how to row.

An' "doctors" come from Frisco just to learn us how to skite,
An' pugs from all the lands on earth to learn us how to fight,
An' when they go, as like as not, we find we're taken in,
They've left behind no learnin' - but they've carried off our tin.

A couple of 'Australianisms' probably need clarifying:

"your rig and saddle with its bulwarks fore-and-aft": Australian riding practi ce uses saddles derived from British prototypes ... not the massive Spanish-style saddles of the American 'Old west'.

"... ride without a fall
Up a gum, or down a gully, nigh as steep as any wall -"

A suggestion that our best riders could ride up the sheer, smooth side of a "gum tree" ... a stout, tall, smooth-barked eucalypt!

"... The plucky men of Ballarat," - the gold miners of Ballarat Diggings, who rebelled against swinging license fees for the right to prospect for gold ... and were suppressed by British soldiers.

"They came to learn us cricket in the days of long ago,
An' Hanlan came from Canada to learn us how to row..."

Various visiting sports men / ~ teams - English cricket teams / Canadian scullers did not do as well as they expected against Australian teams or individuals of the era ...

And, of course, this version has John Meredith's reaction to the rightward drift in Greenway's politics ... which I discard as no longer relevant!

I will dig out Henry's words ... as well as the MIDI file of John Meredith's version of a traditional (collected) tune - which I need to identify ... - and post those as well... some time later!



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