The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6967   Message #491304
Posted By: Bob Bolton
25-Jun-01 - 09:27 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Mower
Subject: Origins: The Mower
G'day all,

I just came across this refreshed thread. This is a song in which I am interested, because there is a lost Australian version. John Manifold collected the first verse only in 1962 from Mrs Webb of Toowong, Queensland. Ron Edwards, who worked with Manifold from the early 1950s, collected a variant first verse a couple of years later (presumably, also in Queensland). Edwards subsequently found a broadside version in the National Library, Dublin (1987).

None of this finds the version I want - the one faintly recollected by Mrs webb, from her father, describing a convict released from servitude and sailing home - but being wrecked on the Victorian coast and ending up on the Ballarat(southern Australian) goldfields at the time of the Eureka Rebellion, 1854. As Mrs Webb could not remember any of the relevant words, Manifold used a British version (from Sussex?) in the Penguin Australian Song Book.

I greatly regret that this version has never surfaced. I have even written my own version of it (but don't perform it these days ... I might be muddying the waters!).


Bob Bolton