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Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia

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NOT IN THE BOOK


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Sandra in Sydney 28 Sep 20 - 06:47 AM
rich-joy 28 Sep 20 - 06:36 AM
Stewie 28 Sep 20 - 12:26 AM
Stewie 27 Sep 20 - 11:51 PM
Stewie 27 Sep 20 - 10:18 PM
Stewie 27 Sep 20 - 08:54 PM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Sep 20 - 06:24 AM
Stewie 26 Sep 20 - 11:39 PM
Stewie 26 Sep 20 - 10:43 PM
Stewie 26 Sep 20 - 10:18 PM
Sandra in Sydney 26 Sep 20 - 06:53 AM
Stewie 25 Sep 20 - 09:49 PM
rich-joy 25 Sep 20 - 09:37 PM
Stewie 25 Sep 20 - 09:19 PM
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rich-joy 25 Sep 20 - 01:10 AM
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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Sep 20 - 06:47 AM

THE WITCHES AND THE WHALES, John Warner © 18/10/2010      
 
A friend loaned John a Scottish heritage magazine in which he read a story of bay whalers being outwitted by a trio of women who mysteriously disappeared …
 
The whaleboat came when the mist was thin,
And drifted up the bay.
Upon the tide she ghosted in,
Where the whales all feeding lay x 2
 
They’ll trap the whales on the falling tide,
Upon the shingle beach,
And slay each one for the oil and bone,
When the sea is out of reach x 2
 
So softly then they drove the whales,
Up from the heaving sea,
But down the wind came a small, small craft,
And aboard were women three,
 
One was a fair and shapely maid,
The older nursed a child, oh,
The oldest grinned a gap-toothed grin,
And they all sang drunken wild, oh.
 
Swift did she go, though none did row,
Her gaps and splits gaped wide,
And as she rolled such a music came,
A drifting up the tide x 2
 
For those on board sang drunken songs,
That echoed round the bay,
And no man nigh dared raise a cry,
For fear he start the prey x 2
 
The angry whalers waved their hands,
To bid the three be still,
But louder yet they clashed their cups
And aye they sang more shrill x 2
 
One was a fair and shapely maid,
The older nursed a child, oh,
The oldest grinned a gap-toothed grin,
And they all sang drunken wild, oh.
 
The youngest seized on an iron pot,
And beat it without rest,
The older chanted ribaldry,
As the child nursed at her breast x 2
 
The oldest blew on a great bagpipe,
A reel to rouse the dead,
And at that sound, the boat turned round,
And towards the whales it sped x 2
 
The frightened whales turned up their tails,
And dived beneath the swell,
And from the three in the reeling tub,
Came a fierce triumphant yell,
 
One was a fair and shapely maid,
The older nursed a child oh,
The oldest grinned a gap-toothed grin,
And they all sang drunken wild oh.
 
And in that moment a burst of spray,
Hid all the three from sight,
But aye what mocking laughter rose,
To fade in the gathering night x 2
 
The whaling men cried out in rage,
And brandished stave and fist,
But the night was still, for the boat and all,
Had vanished like the mist x 2
 
And down that steep and rocky coast,
They say, who hear such tales,
The threefold Goddess rides that boat,
And thus she guards the whales.
 
One was a fair and shapely maid,
The older nursed a child oh,
The oldest grinned a gap-toothed grin,
And they all sang drunken wild oh


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 28 Sep 20 - 06:36 AM

When Stewie posted “The Catalpa”, it reminded me that I’d never seen or heard a song about Sam Isaacs and Grace Bussell’s gallant rescues via horseback, in December 1876 (think West Aussie’s own “Grace Darling”).

So I was pleased to come across this recent piece by WA’s current 11-man Shanty group, “The Lost Quays”.

Their song, “The Georgette”, was apparently a product of The Great Covid Scare of 2020, as can be seen here :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPXYvmpQzs4

“Heave Away, Haul away, the Georgette’s going down, me boys
Heave Away, Haul away, the Georgette’s going down”


It tells of Aboriginal stockman, Sam Isaacs, sighting the distressed SS Georgette (built 1872, 211 tons, steam/sail), from the clifftops around Calgardup Bay (her cargo of mainly jarrah timber had shifted and holed the vessel and the incoming water stuffed the boilers). Sam ran the 20 Kms to Wallcliffe House where 16 year old Grace Bussell then joined him and together they rode their horses back and forth from ship to shore for around 4 hours (and remember, West Aussie does rather a good line in sharks!), and rescued many of the 50 or so remaining passengers (some had drowned, but some had already made it to shore). I sure hope the horses were okay. Grace was naturally and rightly claimed a heroine (Australia’s youngest) and plaques and citations followed.   
As can be expected, recognition for Sam, took somewhat longer…………..

WA’s generally inhospitable coastline, with its tricky winds, strong surf and currents, chilling water and unusual underwater topography, is (literally) littered with shipwrecks and “lost vessels” that will probably never be found. However, the Georgette’s final resting place is at Redgate Beach, near Margaret River, in about 5metres of water.

https://www.tracesmagazine.com.au/2013/11/saving-grace-western-australias-shipwreck-rescuer-grace-bussell/


The Lost Quays, formed in 2015, can currently be found here, on Shore Leave :
https://www.facebook.com/TheLostQuays/
http://www.thelostquays.com/

Also, they have been known to perform, on occasion, with those ballsy Ladies of the Sea : SHE SHANTS :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZaHkorfvK0

The LQ’s also have a (more country-sounding) song which commemorates Dutchman, Dirk Hartog, in the Eendracht, and his visit to West Aussie over 400 years ago, in 1616; the second recorded European landing on the continent, but the first on the Western coastline (he left an inscribed pewter plaque as proof - the Hartog Plate - in the Shark Bay region). He also mapped much of the northern WA coastline :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN4_82y1lzA&t=116s

The Lost Quays have written too, of the grisly Batavia shipwreck story (if and when I find the Batavia number, I’ll post the links), and the City of York, wrecked off Rottnest : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAoARak1IjA&list=PLIogTlAtxC8F2h-mqxJGS0yL4VqYylUqA&index=6

Here is their 2017 song “Holes in the Nets” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojiNjXvoXWQ
and about which they say :
“Our new song "Holes in the Nets" is a whimsical take on the seriously scary subject of ocean fish depletion. It makes reference to the classic dystopian film "Soylent Green" (1973) in which the population subsist on an allegedly algae-based protein ... which is of course made from people!”


I also found reference amongst Lost Quays, to another West Aussie duo Tingley Turner (Jennifer Tingley & Nick Turner) and in particular his song “Shackleton” about the explorer Ernest Shackleton and his Antarctic expeditions :
https://www.reverbnation.com/tingleyturner
They had a 2012 CD called “Heroes & Dreamers”, but I’m yet to locate more info on that.        
                
        
Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Sep 20 - 12:26 AM

SIXTEEN MILLION PEOPLE
(Don Henderson)

Have you ever had the feeling, being introduced to someone
You think that you’ve already met
But you really can’t be certain, 'cause the names aren't familiar
But there’s something about the face you can’t forget
And it turns out that really, after quite a bit of talking
You went to kindergarten and such
And the people that surround you, there’s only sixteen million
And sixteen million people isn’t much

Well you walk into a bar and a bloke says, 'G’day Charlie'
And you tell him that Charlie’s not yer name
And he says that he is sorry but he thought yer name was Charlie
But he reckons that he knows yer just the same
And it turns out that his sister’s married to your uncle’s second cousin
Yes, of course now he remembers you
You were seated four rows down at the table in a grey suit
At the wedding in nineteen fifty-two

Well, you’re at the country-dance and you’re dancin’ with a stranger
To tell the truth you wouldn’t know from Eve
But with faint heart and all that stuff you say, 'aven’t we met somewhere?'
And she says, 'Why yes! I do believe'
And it turned out that once you were on a train to Brisbane
And it didn’t have a dining car, don’t cry
And she was the waitress at South Grafton Station
And you ordered black coffee and a pie.

Well, you are in the one horse town and the horse has long since bolted
There’s nothing but a hotel and a jail
And a copper and a publican and a liver-coloured kelpie
And the dog comes up to you and wags his tail
Now it turns out that really the dog’s never met yer
Just thought that he’d come over and say hi!
But the copper and the publican, they reckon they both know yer
But they didn’t want to say so, they were shy

Another one that Danny recorded on his 'Emerging Tradition' CD. Danny's note:

I remember falling about myself when I first heard Don Henderson sing this at the Troubadour in Sydney when Australia only had sixteen million population. The experience of being mistaken for someone else might be common enough, but Don's exquisite sense of humour and imagination suggests endless possibilities.

This is the only rendition I could find on the Net:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Sep 20 - 11:51 PM

RED FOX
(Lynne Muir)

Where the red fox runs, we will hunt him down
We will chase him o’er the mountains ‘till the sun goes down,
Poor old fox, we mean no harm
But the fire’s in our blood and so we must follow far from the lights of home

Chorus
For we’re men of the bush
And we’re part of the land
And we do not kill for pleasure
That we’d have you understand.
With the sun on our brow or the moonlight on our path
We will follow the tracks of our fathers gone before

We roam the plains and we’ll set a rout
Be it fair or stormy weather, we will seek and hunt him out
Where the rabbit runs, we will set our snare
But you must not think us heartless men or men who do not care

For we do not thrill to the blood and the kill
But we live from the land and so we will eat from it when we can,
We’re tired old men on a worn-out trail
When the tables are turned, maybe the fox will be hunting for the man

Danny Spooner recorded this on his 'Emerging Traditions' and 'The Fox, the Hare and the Poacher's Fate' CDs. There is also a live recording on the 'Guilford Tapes' CD that I referred to above.

Danny's note:

Lynne Muir wrote this great hunting song about her grandfather in 1986. Geoff Muir had spent most of his life in the shadow of Hanging Rock in Victoria and like most country-bred men he knew the best places in the area to fish, shoot and trap. These skills often helped keep families fed, especially during times of Depression. Lynne's song is her tribute to her grandfather and his values.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Sep 20 - 10:18 PM

THE CATALPA

A noble whale ship the Catalpa
Set out from New Bedford one day
She sailed off to Western Australia
And took six poor Fenians away

Chorus
So come all you screw warders and jailers
Remember Perth regatta day
Take care of the rest of your Fenians
Or the yankees will steal them away

Seven long years they had served here
And seven long more had to stay
For defending their country old Ireland
They were ta’en and transported away

You kept them in Western Australia
Till their hair had begun to turn grey
When a brave whaling ship and commander
Came out here and stole them away

Now all the Perth boats were a-racing
And making short tacks for the spot
But the yankee tacked into Fremantle
And took the best prize of the lot

The Georgette she sailed out with guns ready
Intending the yankee to take
But they hoisted their star-spangled banner
And left the Georgette in their wake

So remember those six Fenians heroes
Who escaped o’er to Amerikay
And join in a toast the bravery
of the yankees who stole them away

Now they've landed safe in New York harbour
And the crowd there to greet them did cry
’So we’ll hoist up the green flag and shamrock
For old Ireland we’ll fight or we’ll die

There are many versions of 'The Catalpa'. I reckon the above is a good'un.

Youtube clip

For info on publications, check out Mark Gregory's site:

Click

Mudcat thread

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Sep 20 - 08:54 PM

Here is Martyn Wyndham-Read's version of Sally Sloane's 'The banks of Claudy'. There are minor changes to the text as printed in Meredith & Anderson 'Folk Songs of Australia'.

THE BANKS OF CLAUDY

It was on a summer's morning all in the month of May
Down by the banks of Claudy I carelessly did stray
I overheard a fair maid in sorrow did complain
All for her absent lover who ploughed the raging main

I stepped up unto her and gave her a big surprise
I hoped she would not know me, I being in such disguise
I said, ‘My pretty fair maid, my joy and heart's delight
How far do you mean to wander this dark and dreary night?’

‘It's to the banks of Claudy, if you'll be kind to show
Take pity on a fair maid who knows not where to go.
I'm searching for a young man, and Johnnyis his name
And on the banks of Claudy I'm told he does remain’

‘These are the banks of Claudy, fair maid, you’re standing on
But don’t depend on Johnny for he's a false young man
But don’t depend on Johnny for he'll not meet you here
But tarry with me in yon green woods, no danger need you fear’

‘If Johnny he was here this night, he’d keep me from all harm
He's in the field of battle, all in his uniform
He's in the field of battle and his foes he does destroy
Like the loyal king of honour all on the walls of Troy’

‘It's six long weeks and better since Johnny left this shore
A-crossing the main ocean where thundering billows roar
A-crossing the main ocean for honour and for fame,
But I'm told his ship was wrecked nigh to the coast of Spain’

Now when she heard this dreadful news, she flew in deep despair
A-wringing of her hands and a-tearing of her hair
Saying, ‘If my Johnny’s drowned, no man alive I'll take
Through lonesome shades and valleys I'll wander for his sake’

When he saw her loyalty, he could no longer stand
He flew into her arms, crying, ‘Betsy, I'm your man’
Crying, ‘Betsy, I'm the young man, the cause of all your pain
Now since we've met on Claudy banks, we'll never part again’

Youtube clip

For a discussion of the song's provenance, see this Mudcat thread:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Sep 20 - 06:24 AM

Among The Refugees by Pat Drummond dateline: Port Headland, W.A. 16/01/02

Matthew, 1 - 28
The angel came to Joseph late one night
And said, "You must be gone
gather up your wife and infant son
for you must leave this place
Herod seeks you, death awaits
through Israel's dark and bloodstained gates
to Egypt you must flee"
Jesus was a child when he became a refugee

Chorus:   
At The Mercy of the stranger
Seeking shelter from the fates
Fleeing certain death and danger
uncertainty awaits
Speak to me, my country
Tell me what you see
Underneath the razor wire
In those same dark and frightened eyes
Tell me do you recognize
Who is that refugee?

The Bible tells us Herod slew
each child below the age of two years old
to save his dynasty
political expediency
really isn't something new
politicians always do
what their ambitions tell them to
and truth is sacrificed
but shame is all a nation buys
when children pay the price

Bridge:
They didn't speak the language
but they prayed God would provide
through the kindness of the stranger
until the day the tyrant king had died
Perhaps sold all they that owned
to pay for their escape
look at your children,
And if you love them
tell me then
which of you would hesitate?

600 children, heaven sent
living in imprisonment for years
for the crime of being poor
fleeing famine, poverty and war
I hear you say to me
"It's not our responsibility
They came unasked across the sea"
Yes, and so did we.
And if you lived back in Egypt when
that family fled from Herod's men
Would we have imprisoned them
among the refugees?

Chorus:
At The Mercy of the stranger
Seeking shelter from the fates
Fleeing certain death and danger
uncertainty awaits
Speak to me, my country
Tell me what you see
Underneath the razor wire
In those same dark and frightened eyes
Tell me do you recognize
Who is that refugee?


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Sep 20 - 11:39 PM

I first came across 'The New Road' on a limited edition CD titled 'The Guilford Tapes' given to me yonks ago by Keryn Randall, a fine singer. The recording was of its author, John Beavis, performing at the Guilford Folk Club in Victoria. The song has been recorded by Danny Spooner on his 'Emerging Tradition' CD and by Martyn Wyndham-Read on his 'Oceans in the Sky' CD. Martyn calls it a 'gypsy hymn' and reflects that it is about 'the redemptive pattern of human nature'. Even us non-believers can recognise it as a good'un.

THE NEW ROAD
(John Beavis)

You who puzzle on the saviour’s deeds
Won't you stop and listen where the new road leads
First born child of the refugees
He was raised in Nazareth, schooled in charity
And found salvation on His knees.

Manhood brought him to the Jordan shore
Where the baptist shivered in the rags he wore
Plunged his cousin in the pilgrim stream
And the dove descended and the old oad ended
And the new road wakened from a dream

Red sun sinking over Galilee
Saw the stranger walking by an inland sea
Four young fishermen around entwine
For the new road heading to a Canaan wedding
Where he turned the water into wine

Thousands listened on the mountain slope
As they dined on miracles and breathed in hope
Blind men followed with the light restored
As the sightless Pharisees condemned as heresies
The wide-eyed workings of the lord

Alleluja, how the people cheer
The palm leaves rustle as the king draws near
Woe, Jerusalem, the truth you shun
And your sins ensuing are your own undoing
Till your stones lie broken in the sun

Thirteen gathered in an upstairs room
As the high priest plotted for the saviour’s doom
Blood and body in the wine and bread
Then he kissed his enemy in sweet Gethsemane
Twelve hours later he was dead.

Mary wondered at the stone flung wide
And the tomb rang hollow as she stepped inside
Angels seated where the christ had lain
Bid her quit the prison for the son had risen
And would speak in Galilee again

Show by living what the lord had done
In the selfless giving of his only son
Chart this passage to the last amen
For the climb is steady if the pilgrim’s ready
The new road reaches out again

Here's a live recording of Martyn Wyndham-Read. He omits the final stanza.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Sep 20 - 10:43 PM

THE OTHER OLDER NATION
(Louisa Wise)

In Australia towns have an avenue of trees
Each poplar planted for a young man fallen
In a whiteman's war faraway
There's just such a town
Near here where we stand
And there's a marsh hard by the avenue of trees
Where men and women and children were killed one day
In a one-sided war that was very much here to stay

And where are the trees for these dark-skinned fallen
Do they merit a tear or a tree?
If we planted a tree for each dark one fallen
The wetland would give way to woodland

The killings avenged a killing before
A white landowner died by the spear
Of a black man who had come to take back his wife
Take her on back from the whiteman's service
The service of flesh - if she would give it or no

And for this the people died
They were all chased down
To the marsh by the road
That would be planted with trees
Some time in the next generation
Trees for the boys of the nation
But what of the other nation?
The other older nation?

And where are the trees for these dark-skinned fallen
Do they merit a tear or a tree?
If we planted a tree for each dark one fallen
The wetland would give way to woodland

I got the song from Bob Rummery's 'The Man with the Concertina'. I reproduced the line structure as printed in the booklet for that CD. I presume Bob got it directly from Louisa. As Bob points out, this one incident in WA was replicated across the country.

Lest we forget.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Sep 20 - 10:18 PM

I first heard this Kiwi classic on Declan Affley's LP of the same name.

THE DAY THE PUB BURNED DOWN
(Bob Edwards/Anon)

Pull up a stump and lend an ear and a story I'll relate
About a sinful waste of beer I will elucidate
I'll tell of how calamity struck Wapakiwi town
And caused a gruesome tragedy, the day the pub burned down


The boys had gathered in the bar upon that fateful day.
By horse and foot and motor-car they all had made their way
While listening to Manuka Jones, New Zealand's finest liar
They heard a cry that chilled the bones: ‘The flamin' pub's on fire!’

There'd been a drought for weeks and weeks, the wells and tanks were dry
No water flowed along the creeks, we had no town   supply
The blazing sun, without relent, turned all the green to brown
Imagine our predicament, the day the pub burned down

Through smoke and flame, we dragged the booze to safety out the door
Then thought of what we stood to lose and rushed back in for more
‘Stand by - the fire brigade is here!’ (those men of high renown)
‘Oh, fireman, fireman, save the beer and let the Pub burn down!'

They bashed the tops of barrels in while strong men knelt to pray,
Shoved their flippin' hoses in and shouted ‘Pumps away!’
They fought with beer and lemonade, that raging fire to drown
And we fought and cursed the fire brigade, the day the pub burned down

Now moreporks haunt the old pub site 'round Wapakiwi town
And shikkers roam the hills at night to hunt the firemen down
They curse the cash they cannot spend, their raging thirst to drown
Dry horrors drove them 'round the bend, the day the pub burned down

Youtube clip

Neil Colquhoun included it at p53 of his 'Song of a young country'. He also included this delightful excerpt from a poem by James K. Baxter, the author of 'By the dry Cardrona'. The poem is 'Lament for Barney Flanagan: Licensee of the Hespeus Hotel'.

Flanagan got up on a Saturday morning
Pulled on his pants while the coffee was warming
Didn't remember the doctor's warning:
'Your heart's too big, Mr Flanagan ...'

Barney Flanagan ripe for the coffin
Eighteen stone and brandy rotten
Patted the house-maid's velvet bottom
'Oh, is it you, Mr Flanagan ...'

While publicans drink their profits still
While lawyers flock to be in at the kill
While Aussie barmen milk the till
We will remember him, Flanagan


Colquhoun also references James McNeish's 'Tavern in the town' as well worth reading in respect of country pubs. There is no such town as Wapakiwi.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 26 Sep 20 - 06:53 AM

egads, I come back after 24 hours of no internet to 22 new songs - now we have 239, one of which was a song I wanted to post (after the writer sent me the lyrics, which he hasn't done yet)

well done OzCatters!


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 09:49 PM

TIMELESS LAND
(Phyl Lobl)

Once she was a timeless land
Where time ran on forever
To the dreaming people there
She was land of never-never
Fish and fowl she had in plenty
And her stones were given worth
In their hearts they held her holy
And they thought of her as earth

Once she was an open land
Where few would bow to bosses
And the working people there
Thought they called or barred the tosses
Where the convict and the settler
Earned their freedom by their toil
In their hearts they freely thanked her
And they thought of her as the soil

Once she was a lucky land
Where living easy came
And the clever people there
Learned to play the power game
Soon they sold her stony hillsides
Then she lost her very heart
In the greed of their intentions
They thought of her as dirt

Now she is a changing land
Upon the point of turning
Where she'll go it's hard to say
Are we wise or lost in learning?
For the ones who are to follow
She's the land we hold in trust
Will she be to them the earth
Will they call her only dust?

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 09:37 PM

A hugely popular song for many years - and one of the earliest Australian folksongs that I loved and learnt.


Springtime Brings on the Shearing

EJ Overbury / trad

Oh the springtime it brings on the shearing
And it's then you will see them in droves
To the west country stations all steering
A seeking a job off the coves.

Ch.
With a ragged old swag on my shoulder
And a billy quart pot in my hand
I tell you we'll astonish the new chums
To see how we travel the land.

You may talk of your mighty exploring
Of Landsborough McKinley and King
But I feel I should only be boring
On such frivolous subjects to sing.

For discovering mountains and rivers
There's one for a gallon I'd back
Who'd beat all your Stuart's to shivers
It's the men on the Wallaby Track.

From Billabone Murray and Loddon
To the far Tartiara and back
The hills and the plains are well trodden
By the men on the Wallaby Track.

And after the shearing is over
And the wool season's all at an end
It is then that you will see those flash shearers
Making johnny cakes round in the bend.


This clip of Tina Lawton & Marian Henderson singing, is taken from the ABC-TV production "The Restless Years" in 1967, (which is available online…..) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcBGopVHd7g

and as the YT channel says : “You can call it dated, you could possibly call it twee - but it's also a rare duo performance by two of Australia's most respected female folk singers of the 1960s. Both were also quite under recorded, and certainly film of either artist is very rare nowadays.”

But the version that was dearest to my teenage heart was this one by Gary Shearston from 1965 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXpNx2bWjnI&list=OLAK5uy_nZIa73rGV7M3pNuDYzwsv37qbQS1e_jXg

Consequently, I think I learnt just about every lyric from his LP “The Springtime it Brings on the Shearing” :)


John Thompson, on his Oz Folksong a Day website, says : “The following notes are from the liner notes for this song from Gary Shearston's CD re-release of earlier recordings "Here and There: Now and Then".

"One of the best known of all Australian folk songs, this was collected in Victoria by Dr. Percy Jones. John Meredith found a rather different version in New South Wales, and most of Dr. Jones' words turn up in some verses called The Wallaby Track, which were published by a bush poet called E.J. Overbury in 1865. Maybe some bush singer read Overbury's words and set some of them to a tune; that was a common habit with bush singers. Maybe Overbury heard a bush song, and took some of the words into one of his own poems; that was a common habit with bush poets.

coves: station managers or owners.

billy quart pot: an indispensable item of the bush nomads' gear; a can, here of quart capacity, in which water could be boiled and food cooked.

new-chums: newly arrived immigrants.

Flash shearers making johnny-cakes round in the bend: a contrast in the lot of the shearer at different seasons of the year is implied; during the shearing season he is fl ash (shows an exaggerated sense of his own importance), because he is earning good wages and respect for his skill; when the shearing season is over, and he is unemployed, he is reduced to camping out in the open by some river bend, and living on a diet consisting mainly of camp-made bread (a johnny cake is, roughly speaking, a kind of small damper).

Note: from the original album notes by Edgar Waters, supplemented by Stuart Heather.”




Now the springtime Down Under means I must get off the 'puter and go and werk!!
Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 09:19 PM

BELLS AND BULLOCKS
(M.Gilmore/R.Rummery)

Ben the bullocky sits by the fire
On the long slow hours adrift
Bowed is the back that could never could tire
Whatever the hoist or lift.
Ask him stories of the teams, only get him talking
He will waken from his dreams, on the roads go walking.

There, though the body sags to the knees
His mind is out on the road
Watching the play of the axle-trees
Marking the swing of the load
'Bullocks, ay I knowed them then - no one knowed ‘em better
Spelt them just the same as men, letter after letter'

Once in a while we ask if he hears
The sound of Mennecke’s bells
Deep in the pits of his ancient ears
Repeating their olden spells
'Mennecke’s bells', then he'll say, 'never heard none like ‘em
Mennecke, he had the way, no one else could strike ‘em'

Bred to the yoke, old Bullocky Ben
Bullock-boy, that was his start
Says with a laugh, remembering men
'Them were the days- they were smart'
Written in his own queer way, bullock-whip the scriber
He made history in his day – Ben the bullock driver

Chloe and Jason Roweth sing this poem by Mary Gilmore on their tribute to Bob Rummery concert - go to 10:55 mark.

Yutube clip

Menneke bell

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 08:14 PM

FAREWELL TO ANZAC
(C.F Smith/M.Wyndham-Read)

Oh, hump your swag and leave, me lads, the ships are in the bay
We've got our marching orders now, it's time to come away
And a long goodbye to Anzac Beach where blood has flowed in vain
And we're leaving, leaving, leaving it and game to fight again

But some there are who will not leave that bleak and bloody shore
And some that marched and fought with us will fight and march no more
Their blood has bought 'til judgment day the slopes they stormed so well
And we're leaving, leaving, leaving them lying where they fell

Australia's sons are lying there, the bravest and the best
We're leaving them behind us now, their days have come to rest
We've done our best with yesterday, tomorrow's still our own
And we're leaving, leaving, leaving them lying all alone

Oh they are gone beyond it all, the praising and the blame
And many a man will win renown, but none more fair a fame;
They showed the world Australia's sons knew well the way to die
And we're leaving, leaving, leaving them quiet where they lie

We will leave these lads behind us now lying where they died
They are in our hearts and in our minds, their glory and their pride.
Round them the sea and barren land, over them the sky
Oh we're leaving, leaving, leaving them quiet where they lie
We are leaving, leaving, leaving them quiet where they lie

Martyn Wyndham-Read put a tune to this poem by English poet, Cicely Fox Smith. He made some alterations to the original text. His studio version on his album 'Back to you':

Click

A live rendition with lengthy, but interesting, introduction:

Click

Mudcatter, Charley Noble, also put a tune to the poem. You can find it here:

Mudcat thread

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 01:10 AM

Mention of Colin Dryden reminded me of the VERY prolific songwriter and YT poster, Daniel Kelly, down in Yass.

I can't keep up with all he does, but I did rather like his song "The Frederick" about which he says :
"I caught a bit of this interview with Peter Grose about the book he has written called Ten Rogues, covering the story of 10 convicts that stole a ship from the camp on Sarah Island in 1834 and sailed to Chile: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/..."

Listen here :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7BAeyTKAM

Check out his other vidclips here : https://www.youtube.com/c/DanielKellyFolkMusic/videos


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 12:54 AM

okay, so we've made 300 posts - who'da thunkit!
R-J :)


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 11:05 PM

R-J, thanks for posting the songs by Ryder and Flanagan - they are definitely old favourites. I am always amazed by Mick Flanagan's memory - he sings Irish ballads that rival Icelandic sagas.

Dermott Ryder wrote a piece on Colin Dryden which should be of interest to some Mudcatters. It took me a while to re-find a copy on the Net. It was titled 'North Country Gentleman'.

Ryder on Dryden

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 10:32 PM

I DON’T GO SHEARING NOW
(Woods/Wyndham-Read)

So you're off to Riverina where the sun is shining clear
The ewes and lambs are bleating calling shearers far and near
The musterers are busy where the grass is always high
And the July fogs are climbing up the sunbeams to the sky
And the carpenters are busy fixing gates and pens and bins
While the pressers just to kill time press in bales the winter's skins
I have been there in the past and I know exactly how
The shearing sheds'll get you—though I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

Three clear days if you are lucky you'll be there before the roll
And the splendour of the springtime will suffice your youthful soul
And you'll pay an early visit to your working pen I'll bet
Perhaps upon your own old rig the oil rag's lying yet
And you'll wander up and down the silent boards with heart quite full
As you smell old recollections when you sniff the greasy wool
Ah my lad you needn't smile for I know exactly how
These little things affect you—though I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

Each man his neighbour watching noting well the other's pace
As you move a little faster feeling fitter for the race
And the pace begins to quicken and the sweat soon starts to drop
Each man has found his pacer and is going at his top
But ere many days are over weak ones fall down one by one
Hit by chips and flying bullets from the boss's little gun
I've been there in the past and I know exactly how
The fight gets fairly started—though I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

How I'd love to travel with you where the Murrumbidgee flows
Where the days are always sunny and the noisy quirking crows
Are flying round the washpen and the sweating pens are full
And to have some tea and damper and be all among the wool
Every year I get this longing when the shearing time draws nigh
But to saddle up and slipper and to have another try
But these days are now behind me for I know exactly how
The rheumatism gets me so I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

Martyn Wyndham-Read took this poem by Walter William Woods (aka John Drayman) from Stewart and Keesing's Australian bush ballads collection. He noted that he 'penned it in and clipped it short' to make it more singable.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 09:42 PM

MOUNT OUSLEY BREAKDOWN
(Robin Connaughton)

I drove from Austral’s in my little Commer knocker
Two coils of reject copper going back to ERS
She was slightly overloaded and the brakes needed relining
But I didn’t think it mattered, only one trip more or less
I detoured through the suburbs, missed the mermaids down at Sutherland
Hammered on past Helensburgh, then out through Maddens plains
Screaming sixty down the hills, like the one past Appin turn-off
And chugging back to twenty going up the slope again

Chorus:
Nearer my God, nearer my God, nearer my God to thee
I was going down Mount Ousley doing eighty miles an hour
Singing, ’Nearer my God to thee’

I changed to third at Ousley, but when I went in for second
The preselector gearbox locked out any cog but top
I pulled left and hit the anchors, but the front brakes stripped their linings
Four miles of hill, ten tons of coil, no bloody way to stop
I scraped the kink at fifty, missed the safety ramp at sixty
The Commer’s engine knocking like a demolition drill
Then it’s through the shute and down the straight, there’s nothing left but houses
And the traffic light T-junction at the bottom of the hill

Chorus

You can lose speed through the cutting if you scape the truck against the side
They’ve never bloody tried it doing eighty miles an hour
You hit the edge too hard, the load just keeps on going
Ten tons of copper coil would press me flatter than a flower
I went through the intersection like an angel with its arse on fire
Cannoned off a Morris and a Holden lost its back
When the front wheels hit the gutter, the cabin left the chassis
I could hear the chain links breaking as the coils took up the slack

Chorus

Suddenly it’s silent, I am sitting in a paddock
Crying like a baby, ‘cos I’m still alive to cry
Sitting in the wreckage of the cabin of me Commer
Between two copper carpets, stretching pink towards the sky
And thanking God almighty for that canny little loader
Who’d chocked the coils off-centre when he’d chained them down, you see
So that when I hit the gutter and the coils came smashing forwards
Well, one went right and one went left and both of them missed me

Chorus (x2)

From The Roaring Forties 'We Made the Steel'. The tune is 'Wreck of the Old '97'.

Mt Ousley descent

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 06:07 AM

Well, after that, reckon we could all do with a nice Cup of Tea, eh!


Billy of Tea

From The Native Companion Songster, c.1889

You can talk of your whiskey, talk of your beer,
There's something much nicer that's waiting us here.
It sits on the fire beneath the gum tree:
There's nothing much nicer than a billy of tea.

Ch.
So fill up your tumbler as high as you can,
And don't you dare tell me it's not the best blend.
You can let all your beer and your spirits go free,
I'll stick to my darling old billy of tea.

I rise in the morning as soon as it's light
And go to the nosebag to see it's alright,
That the ants on the sugar no mortgage have got
And straight away sling my old black billy pot.

And while it is boiling the horses I seek,
And follow them down as far as the creek.
I take off their hobbles and let them run free,
Then haste to tuck into my billy of tea.

And at night when I camp, if the day has been warm,
I give to my horses their tucker of corn.
From the two in the pole, to the one in the lead,
A billy for each holds a comfortable feed.

Then the fire I make and the water I get,
And corned beef and damper in order I set.
But I don't touch the grub – though so hungry I be –
I wait 'til it's ready; the billy of tea.


This version by Bruised Knees : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHwYolLLuIc


Cheers! (and it's Time for Tea), R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 05:33 AM

Darn! I forgot to say that on the Ovarian Sisters recording, GO TO 03:20 for the song, coz the whole LP is there.
R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 05:22 AM

Well, the way things are heading in Americal with Roe Vs Wade, someone had better crank this little device into production, pronto!


THE I.P.D. Song

By Sue Edmonds

I'll sing you all a song about a wondorous new device
The nation's latest contraceptive plan
That funny little object they call the I.U.D
Has recently been changed to fit a man.

Ch.
The I.P.D., the I.P.D.
It may not feel too good to you, But it's not hurting me
So every time the pain begins to fill your eyes with tears
Remember I put up with it for years.

They tested it on whales and tried it out on mice
They used it in the poorer parts of town
It's the cleverest invention since the automatic lift
Guaranteed to never let you down.

It was proven to be safe for the average human male
Though testing showed some minor side affects
There were two died from infection and six were sterilized
But only ten percent were too depressed.

Ah, but you know some people are never satisfied
So scientists are working once again
They've got something even better than the good old IPD
It’s called the morning-after pill for men.

It's the pill – it’s better than the IPD
It may not be too safe but we'll just have to wait and see
So put away your worries and put away your fears
And remember I put up with it for years!


Here is Sue Edmonds singing with her Ovarian Sisters in Tasmania, from their 1980 LP “Beat Your Breasts” :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otJ-SUmWCdI

And another version by Judy Small : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDRrTFxVs60


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 04:36 AM

FOUR LITTLE JOHNNY CAKES

Hurrah for the Lachlan, boys, and join me in a cheer
That's the place to go to make an easy cheque each year
With a toad-skin in my pocket I borrowed from a friend
Oh, isn't it nice and cosy to be camping in the bend?

Ch.
With my little round flour-bag sitting on a stump
My little tea-and-sugar bag looking nice and plump
A little fat cod-fish just off the hook
And four little johnny-cakes, a credit to the cook

I've a loaf or two of bread and some "murphies" that I shook
Perhaps a loaf of brownie that I snaffled from a cook
A nice leg of mutton ... just a bit cut off the end
Oh, isn't it nice and jolly to be whaling in the bend?

I have a little book and some papers for to read
Plenty of matches and a good supply of weed
I wouldn't be a squatter as beside my fire I sit
With a paper in my hand and my old clay lit

When shearing-time comes, I'm in all my glory then
I saddle up my moke and I soon secure a pen
I canter through the valley and gallop o'er the plain
I shoot a turkey, stick a pig, and off to camp again

Last Chorus
With my little round flour-bag sitting on a stump
My little tea-and-sugar bag looking nice and plump
A little fat cod-fish just off the hook
And four little johnny-cakes, I'm proud to be the cook!


“collected by” Banjo Paterson .
There are a couple of Mudcat threads that discuss this song and the meanings/derivation of the lyrics.

Mark Gregory’s book notes : “Printed in Paterson's Old Bush Songs, Johnny Cakes are small dampers or scones cooked in a pan rather than in the ashes of a camp fire.
Recipe : Mix 250 g of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a little salt.   Slowly mix enough water to make a dough.    Divide the dough into small cakes and fry for about 10 minutes each side.   
Serve cold with jam, honey or cockies' joy (golden syrup)”

I was after Dave de Hugard’s singing of it, but sadly,found very little of his online :(
However, here is the late Bill Berry, one-time Queenslander, and sounding of course, very authentic!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiAVO0ZDs8Q



Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 03:59 AM

THE CONSERVATIONISTS

by Mick Flanagan, c.1970s?

The year was 1964 when Morgan found the nickel ore
And the miners headed westward with a will
From Rum Jungle, Broken Hill, Leigh Creek and Collinsville
The western lands they soon began to fill, began to fill
The western lands they soon began to fill.

First the Durkin Shaft went down, and up sprang Kambalda town
With employment for a thousand mining men
Be you Aussie, Scot or Turk, you were well-paid for your work
Whether underground or working in the mill, in the mill
Whether underground or working in the mill.

Next Poseidon made a find, the stock market it went wild
As the trading reached a fever on the floor
Soon the brokers' knees grew weak as Poseidon hit its peak
For the like of it they'd never seen before, seen before
The like of it they'd never seen before.

Now the shafts are sinking fast and they're spreading through the West
The beasts of nature don't know what to do
Soon the emu and the ‘roo, there will be no room for you
Your extinction seems to be so close at hand, close at hand
Your extinction seems to be so close at hand.

Conservationists they say, if we carry on this way
There's no doubt that we are headed for our doom
For the big companies don't mind if the minerals they find
For the Dollar God, it rules them every day, every day
The Dollar God, it rules them every day.

So stand up while you can, think of your fellow man
And the children that will follow after you
For I'm sure they'd like to see all the animals that we
Are killing every day throughout the land, throughout the land
Are killing every day throughout the land.                                                                                          


Though born in Galway, Mick Flanagan now resides in Georgetown, Tasmania.

Click this link for a recording by John Thompson :
http://ozfolksongaday.blogspot.com/2011/01/conservationists-song.html


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 01:52 AM

RIGHT OF THE LINE ~ Dermott Ryder


Where are you going me fine young blade,
With your bright blue jacket and your red cockade,
Hauling the gun in the sun and the shade,
For to fight 'for the right' in the morning.

Sold your soul for the shilling of the king.
To follow the gun in the winter & the spring
And fight for the crown the sceptre and the ring
And the 'right of the line' in the morning.

Fired the gun in Germany and France
On the wild raw veldt where the Zulu dance
They buried your body with hardly a glance
Where you died 'for the right' in the morning.

Stable belt hangin' on a wagon wheel
Red for the blood and blue for the steel
Gold the gunners who made the bastards reel,
For 'the right' and the glory in the morning

The guns stand silent as you march away
to the Jungle green, at the break of day.
'Everywhere', I can hear you say,
for the right and glory in the morning.

Battle honours wove in steel and gold
Fought for the youth of a nation sold
In the snow and the rain & the heat and the cold
For the 'right of the line' in the morning.

The pastures are green where the guns once stood
The trees grow tall on nations blood,
Spilled and mixed with tears and the mud,
Where 'the right' was won in the morning.

Remember the battles you fought and won,
for God and for Country, and for duty done.
In freedom's cause your time will come,
when you fight for the right in the morning.

Where are you going my fine young blade,
with your bright blue jacket and your red cockade?
Hauling the gun in the sun and the shade,
for to fight for the right in the morning.



Click for recording by Andy Saunders & Phyl Lobl :
https://phyllobl.net/songs/on-my-selection-album/right-of-the-line/

Phyl writes : “In the British Army the Royal Artillary had the first right to movement of guns and troops in the battle line. Dermott Ryder who wrote the song served in the British Army and informed me that 'red cockade' refers to a bloodstain on a head bandage.”

(the late) Dermott Ryder “says he wrote “Right of the Line” not as an anti-war song, as some singers assert, but rather as a pro-peace song because I believe that the secondary role of the military of a Christian Nation is to justly gain and humanely maintain the democratic peace……”

See also “Dermott’s Last Ride” by Paul Hemphill : https://howlinginfinite.com/2015/03/05/dermotts-last-ride/



Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 12:34 AM

THE YOBBO’S REQUEST ~ Jean Memery

Ch.
Sing us a song please, Mr Folksinger
Sing us the one we forgot
You know the one, it’s a bloody humdinger
And better than hit parade rot.

Sing us a song about life in the bush
Make us all proud to be Aussies
You know the one, you sang it last week
It’s all about blowflies and mozzies.

Sing us an Irish one, all full of tears
All about torture and pain
And drunkards and rebels and famine and fears
And then sing it all over again.

Sing us a protest song, lay it on thick
Tell us what bastards we are
Thoughtless and greedy and selfish and sick
It was guilt that made Bogle a star.

When there’s a chorus, we’ll all sing along
It must drive you stark-staring mad
Though we can’t hold a tune and the words are all wrong
Our intentions are not wholly bad.


Jean Memery is a Beechworth (Victoria) resident – poet and retired English teacher – who taught all over, including the NT, which I presume, is how this song became popular up there!   
It is sung to the tune of the traditional old timey (or even earlier) song “All the Good Times (are past and gone)”, but rather more using the Bob & Carolanne Pegg (aka Mr Fox) variations (though a bit faster than this rendition!)   
I recall it was good for late, end-of-night harmonies!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_IYnKhgdGw


Was it a Bloodwood number, Stew?? I just can’t recall. Also, why are there practically no Bloodwood tracks on YT?? (pretty tragic)

Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 11:45 PM

LIFT #4 :
NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/index.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!


WHALING WIFE

Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

(As performed by Marian Henderson on Harry’s 1971 LP “WHALE CHASING MEN”)

Aye! I’m waiting here at hame and I always feel the same
Whenever my guid man goes tae the whaling,
Seven months he’ll be awa’ doon amongst the ice and snow
And there’s times my lonely heart is nearly breaking.

Now it’s time the kids were fed, and I’ll put them into bed,
And to them a story then I might be telling,
That their Daddy’s gone tae sea, to buy food for them and me,
And it’s many whales we hope he will be catching.

If the whaling catch is fine, we will have an easy time,
New clothes and food we ought to have in plenty,
But if the blubber’s thin on the Blue Whale and the Fin,
Then for us between the seasons could be scanty.

So it’s waiting that I am, and I’m thinking of my man,
And the pleasure when I know that he’s returning,
But in case ye should forget — he hasna’ come hame yet,
And wi’ tears my eyes at times are fairly burning.

© Harry Robertson
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the track by [the late and great] Marian Henderson
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_Whaling_Wife.mp3


WHALING WIFE
"I often thought as I watched whaling men working, what brought most of them down south year after year. Some knew little else — others had backgrounds of a professional nature and yet all of them seemed to have one thing in common — an attraction to the bleak wilderness of Antarctica. The financial motive existed in all and a keen eye was kept on the production figures — yet one suspected that money was the secondary motive — it could perhaps be explained that without being ‘Shackeltons’ or ‘Scotts’ they still sought new frontiers — or rather — the avoidance of existing ones in cities, towns, etc. Whatever the reason, there they were, and probably would be back the following year. Such a pattern often led me to wonder, not only about the whalers, but about the other people in their lives.
A great number of people connected with the Whaling Industry never go whaling. In 1950-51 some twelve thousand men of various nationalities operated in the Antarctic season. Surely they each left at least one friend behind. So we find, scattered throughout the world, thousands of people who know of, and depend upon, the return of whaling men and the result of a good catch — such is the — ‘Whaling Wife’."
HR

Click to play the introduction
http://www.harryrobertson.net/WhalingWife.html



Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 11:37 PM

LIFT #3 :
NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/index.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!


QUEENSLAND WHALERS

Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

I’ve sailed the North Atlantic, where ice blows in the breeze,
And roamed the Dutch West Indies in the calm blue sunny seas.
When I think of ships and seamen, my thoughts return again,
To a season spent in Moreton Bay with Queensland Whaling Men.

Chorus
Sing Ho! You Queensland whalers, who have cut the sugar cane,
And drove the herds of cattle o’er the dry and dusty plain,
You’ve dug the ore at Isa, laid countless miles of rail,
And now you’ve come to Moreton Bay, to catch the Humpback whale.

For men who’ve chased the brumbies, caught bullocks by the tail,
It really is no problem to catch a Humpback whale.
Just spur your iron seahorse, put the gun through rigging struts,
And when he runs from the coral scrub, you belt him in the guts.

Chorus

The man up in the crows nest, as whaling legend goes,
Looks out across the water and then cries, “Thar she blows!”
But here in sunny Queensland you’ll sometimes hear them shout,
“There goes a bloody beauty, mate, so get your finger out!”

Chorus

From Moreton to Caloundra, bronze whaler sharks abound,
They wait like dingoes in the scrub for a wounded beast that’s down.
But their taste for blood and savagery, it never could compare
With the bite that Inland Revenue took from our bonus share.

Chorus

When fuel tanks were running low, we’d sail to Brisbane town
And at the nearest boozer our sorrows we would drown,
With beer and fiery whiskey and plonk of vintage rare
We’d steer a steady zigzag course without a blasted care.

Chorus

Hooray, the season’s over and we can all return,
To greet our wives and sweethearts and have a little fun,
We’ll rant like cattle drovers, we’ll roar like whaling men,
But when the season starts next year you’ll find us back again.

Chorus

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the track
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_Queensland_Whalers.mp3

QUEENSLAND WHALERS
"I listened to the words of the song,
“And Captain Logan he had us mangled,
At the triangles of Moreton Bay”.
That such a placid sunlit place was once the scene of inhuman brutality, was hard to believe.
Later I walked along Logan Road named after the bloody Captain and I have since wondered just how many historical and present-day bastards are immortalised in such a manner.
Perhaps debasement is easier to remember than achievement.
Personally I prefer achievement.
Consequently, in the following song ‘Queensland Whalers’, I once again refer to the adaptability of men who had indeed worked at everything prior to stepping on board the whale ships.
The early fires of struggle in Australia surely forged a metal of its own. I found the temper of this metal in the character of the ‘Have-a-go, Aussies!’ when I whaled at Moreton Bay."
HR

Click to play the introduction
http://www.harryrobertson.net/QueenslandWhalers.html


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 11:29 PM

LIFT #2 :
NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/index.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!



THE ANTARCTIC FLEET

Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

I went down south a-whaling, to the land of ice and snow,
And eight-and-twenty pounds a month, was all I had to show,
For being on a little ship like a sardine in a can,
And eating salty pork and beef, they stewed up in a pan.

Chorus
Heigh-ho! Whale-oh! Wi’ the Antarctic fleet,
I’ve got a drip upon me nose and I’m frozen in the feet.

South Georgia is an island, it is a Whaling Base,
And only men in search of whales, would go to such a place,
No entertainment does exist unless you make home brew,
Then we would have some singing and, we’d have some fighting too.

Chorus

Our gunner came from Norway, like many of the crew,
And others spoke wi’ Scottish tongues, as whalers often do,
But when the ship was closing in to make the bloody kill,
The Scotsmen and Norwegians worked, together with a will.

Chorus

We sailed down to the Weddell Sea, where the big Blues can be found,
We chased between the icebergs and, we chased them round and round,
And when they couldn’t run no more, and fought to draw their breath,
Our gunner shot harpoons in them, ’til they floated still in death.

Chorus

For months we sailed the ocean, and wearied with the toil,
Of slaughter and of killing just to get that smelly oil,
And when the savage storms blew and snow kept falling down,
I often wished that I was back, in dear old Glasgow town.

Chorus

It’s twenty years since I’ve been there, and I won’t go there again,
I didn’t like the climate but, I liked the whaling men,
And even in the sunshine now when I walk along the street,
I’ve got a drip upon me nose, and I’ve still got frozen feet.

Chorus

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA-AMCOS   www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the song :
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_The_Antarctic_Fleet.mp3




THE ANTARCTIC FLEET
"I finished taking the slack out of a bottom end bearing on the main engine at St Vincents, Cape Verde Islands, just off the west coast of Africa, our first stop since leaving Britain and our last before we reached Leith Harbour Whaling Base on the island of South Georgia. While fuel and stores were being taken on board, I joined my shipmates in buying, begging, bartering, or stealing, flagons of ‘alco pura’ (gutrot booze) from the ‘Bumboat’ men. Otherwise it would be a dry trip through the ‘Roaring Forties’ degrees south where the weather is worse than any government’s policy — though not consistently so — to the grog-dry Whaling Station and even drier Whaling Men who had spent the winter there. They knew we were coming, we knew they were there and the traditional obligation of bringing supplies must be honoured.
Stand your watch, oil the engines, retell old incidents — for news is scarce now.
Quite suddenly, out of the mist one morning, appeared the ice-cragged peaks of South Georgia — conversation sparkled once more as we threaded our way towards Leith Harbour and all its majestic squalor."
HR

http://www.harryrobertson.net/TheAntarcticFleet.html


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 10:23 PM

Great stuff, R-J. Lawls was a very fine singer.

PO ATA RAU
(Anon/tune based on Swiss Cradle Song}

Pö atarau
E moea iho nei
E haere ana
Koe ki pämamao

Haere rä
Ka hoki mai anö
Ki i te tau
E tangi atu nei

Now is the hour
When we must say goodbye
Soon you'll be sailing
Far across the sea
While you're away
Oh please remember me
When you return
You'll find me waiting here

In New Zealand, the opening theme of a piano piece, 'Swiss Cradle Song', composed in Australia by Clement Scott was modified for the singing of Po Atarua to farewell WWI Maori soldiers. In 1920, 'This Is the Hour' verse was added. On a visit to NZ in 1945, Gracie Fields learned the song and her version, known as 'Now Is the Hour', became a world-wide hit in 1948.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 10:10 PM

NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/NorfolkWhalers.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!


NORFOLK WHALERS
Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

(As performed by Marian Henderson on Harry’s 1971 LP “WHALE CHASING MEN”)

High on the cliffs of Norfolk’s green isle,
Women and children are waiting the while,
Far down below the whale boatmen row,
As after the Humpback the Norfolk men go.

Each man in the boat strains hard at his oar,
They head for the whale, and away from the shore,
Up at the bow the harpoon man stands,
A steel-shafted harpoon clutched tight in his hands.

Chorus
Row, my love row, and bring back to me,
The king of the ocean, the prize of the sea.

Ship the oars lads, and quiet as we go,
The harpoon strikes deep, and the blood starts to flow,
Then hell’s violent furies break out on the waves,
One blow from its tail could mean watery graves.

For hours the whale drags the boat through the sea,
And tires from its effort to break the rope free,
Exhausted at last, it floats in the sun,
Sharp lances complete what the harpoon begun.

Chorus

Back to the island, ’twill be a long row,
If darkness comes down, the lantern will glow,
For high on the cliffs the Islanders stand,
And wait for their men to return to the land.

With backs nearly broken, and blistered hands sore,
The boatmen at last reach the isle’s rocky shore,
The joy on friends’ faces, what pleasure to see,
Their loved ones return with the prize of the sea.

Chorus

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the track by [the late and great] Marian Henderson
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_Norfolk_Whalers.mp3


NORFOLK WHALERS
"The first thing I noticed on my arrival at Norfolk Island was the number of people who lined the cliff tops, some three hundred feet high at Cascade Bay, to watch our arrival. As a penal settlement, Norfolk Island had been the scene of brutal floggings and inhumane treatment of desperate prisoners condemned for stealing a loaf of bread, or poaching a rabbit ? capital crimes no doubt! Eventually the scene of the crime was changed by removing the prisoners to be ill-treated elsewhere, and the island was granted to the descendants of the Mutineers of the fine ship ‘Bounty‘, who had, by this time, begun to overpopulate Pitcairn Island. Like most migrants, some settled there, and some returned to Pitcairn Island.
During my visits ashore to the homes of various people on Norfolk Island, I learned that we were not the first whaling company to operate there. Later, on a visit to Ball Bay, I saw the remnants of what had been large cooking pots and various other debris. Apparently this whaling venture terminated suddenly one night when the plant caught fire and burned down. Cause of the fire ? unknown.
One night while in conversation with one of the older inhabitants, I learned of whaling expeditions by the Islanders themselves ? using rowboats and hand harpoon. He described how the whale, once harpooned, would sometimes drag the boat so far away that by the time the whale was killed and towed back to land ? the sharks had almost eaten the lot! Were they fortunate enough to get a whale to the shore in good condition, then the Islanders would descend from the cliff tops, where they had watched their men chase and kill the whale, and each person would carry pieces of blubber, meat etc to the top of the cliff where it was cooked.
To me, the cliff top vigil was a repeat of history.
You will find the story as it was told to me, in my song ‘Norfolk Whalers’.
HR

http://www.harryrobertson.net/NorfolkWhalers.html


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 09:57 PM

SON OF ROME ~ © Paul Lawler, 1984

Born and bred, reared and rutted
The Parish Priest, over me he muttered
Water on the head, salt on the tongue
For ensuing pain, this song is sung.

      Five years old, can’t understand schism
      Catechism, cataclysm
      Peter, Judas, rise up Zach
      Days of religion, minutes of math ...

Seven years of age, church seasoned
Can you beat the Jesuits’ reason
Hymns and bells, indoctrination
Another name, confirmation.

        Through the skin and through the bone
        You are now a Son of Rome
        Square one starts at sixty four
        Other views – close the door …

Hindu, Protestant, Muslim, Jew
Can’t you see it’s the same for you
Steeped in doctrine, day and night
Have you really seen the Light?

        Heretics, skeptics, sages, witches
        Burned and scorned, so history teaches
        Dared to question Life above
        Murdered by a mythical dove …

Don’t look behind your stained glass window
Your gods are here, they’re all around you
Love your neighbour, love him fair
Love him just because he’s there.        


Here is an early folkclub recording of Paul’s “semi-autobiographical” composition “Son of Rome”, before a couple of lyric adjustments! GO TO 20:47 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7PsCsWL6Pk&t=3s



Stewie has previously posted Dorothy Hewitt’s lovely poem “Sailor Home from the Sea”. Known as “Cock of the North” in the Top End, where folks used Martyn Wyndham-Read’s tune, down here in Queensland around Briso, they use Chris Kempster’s tune. But here is a Darwin folkclub recording from Paul, slightly folk-processed :) GO TO 03:54 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZVIJ3zc-M4                 

Helen (via Sandra) has also already posted “One of the Has-Beens” (Robert Stewart/Trad) and here is a Darwin folkclub recording of Paul singing it (similarly folk-processed :) GO TO 28:20 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZVIJ3zc-M4


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 08:16 PM

BLUE SMOKE
(Ruru Karaitiana)

Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
And when I think of home, I sadly sigh
Oh I can see you there, with loving tears in your eyes
As we fondly said our last goodbyes
And as I sailed away with a longing to stay
I promised I'd be true and to love only you

Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
My memories of home will never die

Spoken [Women’s part]
Smoke drifts away high into the sky
And the memories come flooding back. ‘Aue!’
Those overwhelming feelings, and the tears
" ... You are going, you are going ...
I travel with you on the wings of my love
Oh Tama, my love is all for you."
Smoke drifts away high into the sky
I will never forget you.
I will never never forget you.

And as I sailed away with a longing to stay
I promised I'd be true and to love only you
Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
My memories of home will never die

Ruru Karaitiana served in the Middle East in WW2 with the 28th New Zealand (Maori) Battalion. He wrote 'Blue Smoke' on a troop ship in 1940 when a friend drew his attention to some passing smoke. In 1947, he formed an Hawaiian-style quintet and recorded it with singer, Pixi Williams. It was the first song written by a New Zealander to be recorded and released on a New Zealand record label. It was a massive hit locally and was later recorded by Dean Martin and other overseas luminaries. It is a tad sentimental but as G.K Chesterton wisely pointed out ‘sentimentality is simply having feelings and not troubling to invent a new way of expressing them’.

This recording omits the spoken women's part:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 08:01 PM

THE SHEARING’S COMING ROUND
(Wright/Jessett)

There's a sound of many voices in the camp and on the track
And letters coming up in shoals to stations at the back
And every boat that crosses from the sunny other side
Is bringing waves of shearers for the swelling of the tide

(Chorus)
And the shearing's coming round, boys, the shearing's coming round
The stations of the mountains have begun to hear the sound

They'll be talking up at Laghmor of the tallies that were shore
And the bloke who broke the record is remembered at Benmore
And the yarns of strikes and barneys will be told till all is blue
And the ringers and the bosses will be passed in long review

Chorus.

The great Orari muster and the drafting of the men
Like a mob of ewes and wethers will be surely told again
And a lot of heathen places that will rhyme with kangaroo
Will be named along with ringers and the things that they can do

Chorus

At last the crowds have gathered for the morning of the start
And the slowest of the jokers will be trying to look smart
And a few will get the bullet, and high hopes will have a fall,
And the bloke that talks the loudest stands a show of looking small

Chorus

With the arrival of Australian shearers working under contract on high country stations during the 1890s, NZ locals were exposed to Australian songs and especially the verse of Lawson and Paterson. The latter inspired Kiwi balladeers such as David McKee Wright who has been described as New Zealand’s ‘outback laureate’. His fine poem, 'The Shearing’s Coming Round,' references 3 large Canterbury stations – Laghmore, Benmore and Orari Gorge. The tune is by Michael Jessett.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 07:40 PM

LEAVING THE LAND
(Eric Bogle)

It's time to go now, Jenny
No need to close the door
What if the dust gets in the house
It doesn't matter any more
You and the dust have been at war for far too many years
Now the war is over Jenny dear

(Chorus)
Leaving the land
Leaving the land
Leaving all I’ve ever been and everything I am
Leaving the land

Remember when I brought you here
Those long bright years ago
For all that time you've been my heart
But this land has been my soul
The long bright days are over now though still the heart beats on
But, Jenny dear, the soul is gone.

And all I see around me
Seems to me of the best
For generations loved this land
Never thought I’d be the last
All that toiling, all that dreaming, birth and death and joy and pain
It was all for nothing, all in vain

Chorus

It’s time to go now, Jenny
Drive quickly down the track
We'll never see what lies ahead if we keep on looking back
Behind is just an empty house
Old memories and ghosts
And our small dreams gathering dust

Chorus

Going far away, far away

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 04:44 AM

Some great songs here, thanks guys!

The Jim Haynes song reminded me of another favourite by Jim called "Mow Ya Lawn". Used to hear it on the 'Australia All Over' radio show, but I can't find it on youtube or elsewhere.

Has anyone got the lyrics?

cheers, Ian


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 10:56 PM

Well, that's an interesting theory, Jennie.

Here's one from my mate Dave Evans of Bloodwood fame. There was a YT clip of Bloodwood performing this, but it seems to have disappeared. It is always a favourite at Top End festivals.


PLAY SOMETHING WE KNOW MATE
(Dave Evans)
   
I've a fan who follows me everywhere I go
He's always there at the club waiting for me to show
If you want to know what I mean and how the hell I tell
I grab my guitar, move to the bar and this voice begins to yell

(Chorus)
Play something we know mate so we can sing along
None of your foreign rubbish mate just give us an Aussie song
Waltzing Matilda, Ryebuck Shearer, plenty of guts so we can hear yer
We'll sing the chorus - play something we know mate

It's Sunday night in Alice Springs, the folk club's on tonight
Guitar in hand I'm feeling grand, I think I'll do all right
But just as I begin to sing, a voice decides me fate
From across the floor, comes a terrible roar - play something we know mate

Chorus

This fellar's really getting me down, he follows me all day long
Waiting for that moment for me to sing me song
I took my wife out to tea for a little tête-à-tête
When across the room came a terrible boom - play something we know mate

Chorus

I summoned all my courage up late one Sunday night
Left my guitar and went to the bar, spoiling for a fight
But he floored me with his very first words, he left me all irate
"I don't like to boast but I'm deaf as a post & I can't sing a note, mate"

"No I can't sing a note, mate, or even hum along
As for your foreign rubbish, mate, well I'm a bloody Pom
Waltzing Matilda Ryebuck Shearer, loud as you like 'cos I can't hear yer
As for the chorus, it'll probably bore us - play something we know mate"

Repeat chorus

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 10:17 PM

Perhaps Cheryl is one of those women who talk with an upward inflection? Making every sentence into a question?

Well done, Stewie......I haven't heard that one for ages.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 09:44 PM

I don't know where in the hell all those question marks came from in my previous post.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 09:41 PM

Phil Beck and I have been known to recite a beaut poem by Jim Haynes titled 'Dipso Dan' which we got via Campbell the Swaggie whom many Oz folkies would know. Here is another splendid bit of nonsense from Haynes.

SINCE CHERYL WENT FERAL
?(Jim Haynes)??

Watching ’60 Minutes’ one night?
As soon as it was over we got into a fight?
Because Cheryl said alternative was the way to go?
And the very next day she bought a sarong?
A sheepskin jacket and a brand new bong?
And before I knew it we hit the road??

Since Cheryl went feral?
Everything's weird?
And all our friends have disappeared?
She shaved her head and I've grown a beard?
Since Cheryl went feral??

It took us ages to hitch our way?
From Pennant Hills up to Byron Bay?
If we’d left those kids at home, we'd have been all right?
Well living off the land is all very well?
But the mung bean diet was giving me hell?
And I had to put that wigwam up each night??

Since Cheryl went feral ?
Everything's crook?
And all our food is now uncooked?
I'd kill for a burger or a piece of chook?
Since Cheryl went feral??

Our little girl was called Narelle?
And we had a little boy called Bruce as well?
But now she's Crystal Flower and he's Leaf?
But Leaf's pretty happy since we left home?
Because he hasn't seen a bath or a shower or a comb?
And it's been three months since he brushed his teeth
?
Since Cheryl went feral
Everything's changed?
And I'm quite sure I've become deranged?
And I can't remember anyone's name?
Since Cheryl went feral??

Cheryl took a vow of celibacy?
She said she needed no input from me?
She got her navel pierced and stared at it all day long?
So I read the tarot with Leaf and Flower?
And dreamed about a nice cold shower?
While I waited for my turn on the bong??

Since Cheryl went feral?
Everything's pierced?
Rings through me nose and rings through me ears?
I haven't been this pierced for years?
Since Cheryl went feral??

I began to change me tune?
As soon as we joined that big commune?
And everyone took their clothes off straight away?
Their cosmic philosophy appealed to me?
It's multiple serial polygamy?
And I think the feral lifestyle's here to stay??

Since Cheryl went feral?
There's a real traffic jam?
Of naked women in our wigwam?
And I'm pretty happy right where I am?
Since Cheryl went feral

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 08:54 PM

Another little ripper from the pen of Kath Tait.

STEEL-HEARTED ANNIE
(Kath Tate)

Steel-hearted Annie came home from work
Through the park in the dark where the rapist lurked
Behind the bushes and about to attack
With the cold winds whistling across his back
He pounced on Annie 'cos she was slim
'Cos she looked so frail and feminine
But he wouldn't have done it if he only knew
That she was a master of kung fu

(Chorus)
Steel-hearted Annie with an iron will
Looks about as frail as a daffodil
But you don't take a chance on a small thin dame
With a punch like a piston on a steam train

Steel-hearted Annie don't like to pose
Like a trembling victim in a movie show
She gets mad when she's in distress
Like an animal in the wilderness
There's nothing that she wouldn't do to survive
She's got a strong desire to stay alive
And she looks cute in pink or blue
But she is a master of kung fu

Chorus

Steel-hearted Annie lived near a jail
Where a psycho killer was released on bail
He crept stealthily through the night
He broke into her house to give her a fright
And a cold wind whistled 'round the window frames
Made a sound like a ghost rattlin' chains
But the psycho killer ran for his life
When he saw Annie coming with a carving knife

Chorus

Steel-hearted Annie told all her friends,
'We've got to stand up to violence'
She went to classes and learned to fight
Now she's not afraid to walk around at night
She's a great big shark in a little tin can
A little fire-cracker with a great big bang
So just be careful what you do,
'Cos she is a master of kung fu

Kath Tait:

'Steel-hearted Annie' came from watching Doris Day in an Alfred Hitchcock movie behave in such a pathetic manner that it seemed out of character with the fact that she was quite a tall, well-built woman and at least as strong as the male character who was pursuing her.

We should remember that a hell of a lot of people live risky, adventurous lives and don't have lots of bad things happen to them. We don't want to let stories of victimisation scare us into leading excessively safe and boring lives. Therefore I try to make the characters in my songs survivors rather than victims.


Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 07:44 PM

THE BROKEN-HEARTED SHEARER

I'm a broken-hearted shearer and ashamed to show my face
For the way that I've been treated is a shame and a disgrace
Now I’ve got me cheque together and I thought that it would do
So I went down to Bendigo to spend a week or two
Now I knew I wasn’t flat so resolved to cut it fat
And I dressed meself from top to toe, put a pugg'ree round me hat
Then I went to get a nobbier at a certain house in town
Where the barmaid was a caution for to lamb a shearer down

She had all the slang and flash talk that was going round the town
And she'd sling it at me right and left while I was lambing down
Well me money being nearly spent, I resolved to know my fate
So I asked that pretty barmaid if she would be me mate
“Well the fact is this, young man, on my feelings don't encroach
I'm a decent married woman and my husband drives the coach"
So I’ve sold me good old horse and I'll get some work, I hope
I've a pipe and some tobaccy and half a bar of soap

So I’m leaving Sandhurst now with me billy and jackshay
And a pair of old torn leggings and a jar of Holloways
That’s why I’m a broken-hearted shearer and ashamed to show me face
For the way that I’ve been treated is a shame and a disgrace

This is the version sung by Martyn Wyndham-Read. Martyn noted that he got it from David Lumsden who learnt it from his grandmother who spent much of her childhood in the Riverina. The tune is 'The wearing of the green'. 'Lambed down' was the term given to a luckless shearer after the barmaid had prised the last drop out of his cheque. A 'pugg'ree' is a thin muslim cloth (from the word for a turban). 'Holloways' was a family ointment sold in a earthenware jar.

Youtube clip

The first publication of the song in 1886 here:

Click

On Thompson's blog, you can find a different version collected by Meredith.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 01:15 AM

Thank you for the Fergie tractor song, Stewie, I haven't heard it for ages! A small village half an hour north of here has a "Grey Fergie Muster" every three years - would have been due next March, but due to the covid plague has been put off to 2022.

Mind you, the Fergies at the Muster aren't all grey......I have seen bright pink, lurid purple......


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 10:29 PM

This piece of nonsense was popular.

FERGIE TRACTOR
(Peter Pentland)

Well I run a few acres, pays a few quids rent
And I overcome troubles when they be sent
Be they flood or drought or some other factor
I takes them in stride on me fergie tractor

(Chorus)
Oh me beaut little fergie tractor
Be dad she goes like the clappers
I can plough me fields and increase me yields
Even comes with a silage extractor
Me beaut little fergie tractor

The fergie she's a wondrous machine
I love to sniff her exhaust because she always runs clean
There's no other machine I e’er took a jack to
As fewer times as me fergie tractor

Chorus

Well the missus was naggin’ at me for years
Her mouth was always flapping’ around me ears
She’d nag about me, me dog and me farm
So I ran over her on me ferguson

Chorus

I once had this milk maid working for me
And the material in her blouse filled me with glee
I gave her a wink, but I then had to sack her
For although she liked me, she hated me tractor

Chorus

Now some folk say that I'd be an idiot
And if brains be lightbulbs that I'd burned out me filament
But people like that I just turn me back to
And I go in the shed and I sit on me tractor

Chorus

Recording of a live performance at the Dan O'Connell in Melbourne in 1979.

Youtube

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 09:39 PM

ON THE WALLABY
(Henry Lawson)

Now the tent poles are rotting, the camp fires are dead,
And the possums may gambol in trees overhead;
I am humping my bluey far out on the land,
And the prints of my bluchers sink deep in the sand:
I am out on the wallaby humping my drum,
And I came by the tracks where the sundowners come.

It is nor'-west and west o'er the ranges and far
To the plains where the cattle and sheep stations are,
With the sky for my roof and the grass for my bunk,
And a calico bag for my damper and junk;
And scarcely a comrade my memory reveals,
Save the spiritless dingo in tow of my heels.

But I think of the honest old light of my home
When the stars hang in clusters like lamps from the dome,
And I think of the hearth where the dark shadows fall,
When my camp fire is built on the widest of all;
But I'm following Fate, for I know she knows best,
I follow, she leads, and it's nor'-west by west.

When my tent is all torn and my blankets are damp,
And the rising flood waters flow fast by the camp,
When the cold water rises in jets from the floor,
I lie in my bunk and I list to the roar,
And I think how to-morrow my footsteps will lag
When I tramp 'neath the weight of a rain-sodden swag.

Though the way of the swagman is mostly up-hill,
There are joys to be found on the wallaby still.
When the day has gone by with its tramp or its toil,
And your camp-fire you light, and your billy you boil,
There is comfort and peace in the bowl of your clay
Or the yarn of a mate who is tramping that way.

But beware of the town—there is poison for years
In the pleasure you find in the depths of long beers;
For the bushman gets bushed in the streets of a town,
Where he loses his friends when his cheque is knocked down;
He is right till his pockets are empty, and then—
He can hump his old bluey up country again.

Above is the Lawson poem. As a song, the title is usually 'The tent poles are rotten' with a variety of changes to the text - eg the possums 'ramble' and the 'spiritless dingo' becomes 'the spirit it tingles in my toe ...'. In all the recordings that I have (de Hugard, Loaded Dog, Wyndham-Read, Spooner) the third stanza is omitted.

Danny Spooner's note in booklet to his 'Ard Tack' album:

This song by Henry Lawson appears in Chris Kempster's tribute to the poet, The Songs of Henry Lawson with Music (Viking O'Neil 1989). Chris cites three tunes and I probably sing a combination of the first two. The song was first collected by Stan Arthur, Bob Michell and Ken McGoldrick in the 1960s from the singing of E. and A. Nesbitt of Bundaberg, Queensland, and Dave de Hugard has adapted that tune. The words explore the toils and rewards of the itinerant life—so much a part of the Australia's nineteenth century culture and identity.

Here is a live rendition by Wyndham-Read

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 08:20 PM

MY MAN’S GONE NOW
(Anon)

My man’s gone now, he had to go
Couldn’t find no work around this town
Not for ages, used his wages
Got up this morning and he was gone

Monday morning, it starts to rain
Around the curve there comes a south-bound train
Under a tarpaulin rides a bum called John
He was a strange man, but now he’s gone

Morning sunshine, the rooster crows
Along the highway where, goodness knows
Where’s John sleeping, how’s he keeping?
When will he take the homeward road?

Repeat stanza 1.

A few months after the 1929 Wall Street crash, farm produce prices in New Zealand collapsed. Since the economy depended almost entirely on farm exports, the effects were disastrous. By 1931, over 50,000 New Zealand men were walking, looking for work. A sad effect of the upheaval was the break-up of family life. This little song was collected by Neil Colquhoun from May Simpson.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 08:12 PM

THE WOOL COMMANDEER
(George Meek w/Frank Fyfe t)

The commandeer is under way, and blimey what a fuss
The blinkin’ din and clatter sure would make a parson cuss
There's covees tearing up the floors and blokes in overalls
Slap-dapping cans of whitewash on the rafters and the walls

(Chorus)
Well it’s come from Haka Valley and it's come from Sunny Peak
It's come from up the river and down Waitaki Creek
She’s come from the back of nowhere up the wild McKenzie way
And a clip from Tipperary will get here any day

There's stackers swinging bale hooks and there's barrows shifting wool,
There's covees humping baskets, some half empty, some half full
There's classers squealing loudly for more bales of wool to class
And someone yelling,’Where do you want this wool from Dansey's Pass?’

Chorus

There's wool on every siding and there's wool on every street
There's wool on every lorry and every bus you meet
There's wool on every trailer and there's wool on every train
And the stock-and-station diggers have got it on the brain

Chorus

There's wool on every corner and there's wool on every floor
There's wool dumped in the basement and jammed behind the door
There's wool in the old dairy and there's wool down at the dump
There's wool in the old freezer and still more bales to hump

Chorus.

There's shaggy bales and baggy bales, there's fadges, sacks and bags
Thank heavens Wally Nash cut out the blinkin’, stinkin’ dags
There's belly wool and smelly wool and wool, well spare me days
And the old jumbuck that grew it, I'll swear's seen better days.

Chorus

In 1940, the New Zealand government decided to commandeer all available wool bales and store them for eventual use in the war effort. George Meek of Oamaru was amused by this huge stockpiling and subsequently wrote this ballad. It was set to music by Frank Fyfe.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 01:19 AM

here 'tis https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=105012 Date: 24 Sep 07 - 10:05 AM

& here's Bernard singing Basingstoke in 1981

BASINGSTOKE
© Bernard Bolan

I've got a cat called Basingstoke. he's a cat you must admire.
He's black and white, or he was, till the night that he jumped into the fire.
What a night! The tale it must be told,
So grip your seat, for you're in for a treat that will make your blood run cold.
Basingstoke, he used to be so furry
Till he tried to kung-fu the canary.
Up he jumped, soaring ever higher,
Then the soaring stopped and down he dropped in the middle of the fire.

In flames and smoke my Basingstoke went roaring round the room.
His fiery tum and his blackened bum appeared to spell his doom.
What a cat! Whoever would have guessed
He could stick his rear in a pint of beer while beating out his chest?
Basingstoke, he truly is a trier.
It takes guts to sing when you're on fire.
What a cat! You should have seen him strain,
Stuck like glue in the bottom of the loo and trying to pull the chain.

Now life's no joke for Basingstoke; so runs the ugly rumour
That the fiery hob did not just rob him of his sense of humour.
Poor old chap! The prospect it appals.
Just one jump and down with a bump and he's burnt off all his undergrowth.
Basingstoke, his tale is truly tragic.
Fire and smoke, they have robbed him of his magic.
The former spring-pawed terror of the tiles
Just sits and sighs with tears in his eyes 'cause he only raises smiles.

Basingstoke, he used to be a charmer.
Now ladies joke, they talk of fried banana.
Poor old chap! He was too young to retire.
Once he was happy, handsome and hairy,
Just a red-blooded pussy with a taste for canary.
Now he comes somewhere between a fritter and a fairy
Since he walked the fire.

Bernard & friends in the 2019 Bernard Bolan tribute concert


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 10:05 PM

How about "Basingstoke" by Bernard Bolan? Poor old Basingstoke......very funny.


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