Mudcat Café message #731842 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48568   Message #731842
Posted By: Bob Bolton
17-Jun-02 - 08:56 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Happy immigration songs (discuss also)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRISHMAN'S SONG (from HPC Tritton)
G'day again,

Crazy Eddie: That's 'Duke' Tritton's version of Shores of Botany Bay. He wrote the final verse, to stretch out a good, but short, song that he busked with, around Sydney's streets in the late 1890s, when he was 13 or 14. He learned the song from a mate, who busked along with him, Danny Clements. I posted the words and MIDI back in 1999 (as mentioned, way above) but it is not yet in the DT.

Here's another of his songs that is more directly about success in the new country ... and I have given the story of this one in Duke's own words:


Source: H. P. C. 'Duke' Tritton

Sure it's just about ten years ago, as near as I can tell,
Since I packed up my traps and bade my friends farewell;
For I'm off to Australia to see my brother Jack,
And if there's anything out there, then I'll not be coming back.

All I possessed was ninepence and a dirty one pound note,
When I paid my fare and wrote to Jack to meet me at the boat;
And when I got there my brother Jack and half a dozen more
Were waving hats and handkerchieves before I got on shore.

Sure I got a hearty welcome from the moment I did land,
Saying 'God bless you Barney', with *outstretched hand,
And then to make me welcome, for the remainder of the day,
We sampled Irish whisky in a pub across the way.

We soon knocked all the stuffing out of my dirty one pound note,
And Sullivan, to keep it up, went out and pawned his coat.
We swallowed that and other things till ten o'clock that night,
And every mother's son of us got roaring blessed tight.

Next day I put the plug in, I went a job to seek,
I got work at the gasworks at thirty bob a week;
In a month they made me ganger, but now I'm overseer,
And I think I'll own the gasworks in about another year.

Now Jack and all the other boys are working under me,
So now it doesn't become me to go with them and spree;
So I go to private bars where I can quench my thirst,
But I'll never forget the fun we had, the day I landed first.

And now I've settled down, and taken myself a wife,
I have a little family, so I'll be here for life;
But when I think of that meeting, with pleasure I recall,
That Irish boys throughout the world, are brothers after all.

* I insert "... many an ..." to make the line scan better (for me).
Duke Tritton wrote (c. 1955?): 'I was droving sheep about 1910. There were five in the party, Billy McBeth, the Boss drover; Jim and Tiger Schurr; Joe Goodman and myself. All five were good mates and all could sing a fair song. Billy McBeth, who would be well into his sixties, used to sing the above song; said he learned it from his father, so it would seem to be fairly ancient. We all would beef it out round the campfire, but over the course of the years it had gone clean out of my mind. Then three years ago I met Joe Goodman again; he had not forgotten, and in memory of our three mates, who have all gone on, we bellowed it out again.'

'Duke' sang this song to much the same tune he used for a couple of others, including Shearing at Castlereagh and his version of Henry Lawson's The Lights of Cobb and Co ... a different setting of which I posted a week or two back in Alison's "Songs about Cobb and Co" thread.

I have the tune (more or less) in my music program at home. I will nudge it into the correct form for this song and post it from home ... when I get a chance.


Bob Bolton