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Lyr Req: Recitations - Fed up of the same old

DigiTrad:
DECK OF CARDS
JIM
RINDERCELLA
STORY OF PETEY, THE SNAKE
THE PEE LITTLE THRIGS


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GUEST,beachcomber 28 Aug 08 - 05:40 PM
JeffB 28 Aug 08 - 06:08 PM
Susan of DT 28 Aug 08 - 06:13 PM
Georgiansilver 28 Aug 08 - 06:21 PM
Rowan 28 Aug 08 - 06:56 PM
Rowan 28 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM
Rowan 28 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM
ClaireBear 28 Aug 08 - 08:55 PM
Rowan 29 Aug 08 - 12:10 AM
Rowan 29 Aug 08 - 12:18 AM
Joe Offer 29 Aug 08 - 02:37 AM
Joe Offer 29 Aug 08 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 29 Aug 08 - 09:59 AM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Aug 08 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Patmike 29 Aug 08 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,beachcomber 29 Aug 08 - 01:25 PM
kendall 29 Aug 08 - 01:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Aug 08 - 02:42 PM
Arkie 29 Aug 08 - 04:11 PM
Arkie 29 Aug 08 - 04:16 PM
Arkie 29 Aug 08 - 04:21 PM
catspaw49 29 Aug 08 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,beachcomber 29 Aug 08 - 07:32 PM
Gurney 29 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM
katlaughing 29 Aug 08 - 10:53 PM
katlaughing 29 Aug 08 - 10:57 PM
Rowan 30 Aug 08 - 02:39 AM
Rowan 30 Aug 08 - 03:10 AM
Joe Offer 30 Aug 08 - 04:33 AM
eddie1 30 Aug 08 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,beachcomber 30 Aug 08 - 06:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 08 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,beachcomber 30 Aug 08 - 07:54 PM
katlaughing 30 Aug 08 - 08:02 PM
Maryrrf 31 Aug 08 - 07:54 AM
Maryrrf 31 Aug 08 - 07:56 AM
Rowan 31 Aug 08 - 06:50 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Aug 08 - 07:29 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 05:40 PM

At my age and considering the distance at which I am removed from my favourite watering hole, I confine my excursions to the Village to once weekly. As luck would have it Tuesday night is one night of just two that this pub opens nowadays, and that coincides with my night out. That is also the night that the last remaining "session" in our village takes place. The music is never great anymore but always enjoyable, naturally enough, after a few pints, when friends get together for a sing-song.

Occasionally, very occasionally, some young puppy will break into a song, perhaps a currently "charting number". We regulars never are sure, but, although generally good naturedly received, we tend not to encourage this type of thing.

One of my favourite offerings of the night was always "The Recitation". It has always been performed by the same bloke, a good friend, and often "brings the house down" (though this could depend on the overall composition of the clientele). He has been doing one or other of his repertoire of two poems, weekly, for more years than any of us care to admit but, because of the ever changing spectrum of customers it is nearly always "new" to someone.

It has been observed, of late however, that some restlessness is manifest among the Semi-regulars and tourists, and rude shouts for a range of new material have, several times, been heard. I have been nominated to seek out some new material and, of course, I thought to turn, once again, to the Mudcat people.

Liam's repertoire? (I thought you'd never ask)

His A side is "Chantilly Du Champignon", his encore, one that is known to us as "The Lodger" but may have other titles.

This is a serious matter and the "honour of the little Village" is at stake. I seek dramatic, humourous and quirky recitations and, I am confident that you, the Mudcat "Reciters", will answer the call.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: JeffB
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 06:08 PM

Anything by Les Barker.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same o
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 06:13 PM

There are 48 entries in the Digital Tradition with the keyword of recitation. Go to the sitemap, select Digital Tradition keywords, and check recitation


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same o
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 06:21 PM

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/michaelanthony.keating/Stanley_Holloway/stanley_holloway.html

Could try some of these... Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: ADD: The Oath of Bad Brown Bill (recitation)
From: Rowan
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 06:56 PM

These three have been posted at Mudcat but don't appear in my searches of the Digitrad; they didn't appear in my searches of the Forum, either. Sorry for the Oz bias but that's where the first two were written and where I learned the third.

The Oath of Bad Brown Bill (As recited by Mark Noak)
"Why there are no more bushrangers"
Stephen Axelson

One hundred years ago or more,
a bloke named Bad Brown Bill
ranged the bush from Binnaway
and Bourke to Castle Hill.

Gruff and tough, rude and shrewd,
a scoundrel to the core,
he plundered, stole, he robbed and thieved
and still went out for more.

A mare named Mudpie was his mount;
an old but nimble nag
as hard as nails, as bold as brass,
but something of a wag.

They bailed up every bank and pub
from Broome to Cooper's Creek
and bundled up the Mudgee mail;
not once, but every week.

They boldly stole the Queensland Mint;
just took it, right or wrong.
Then down the eastern coast they sailed
and stuck up Wollongong.

One day they caught the Governor;
they took his splendid hat
and made him dance a jig on it
until he squashed it flat.

When now and then the mounted troops
rode out to track them down,
Brown Bill would yell and whoop and cheer
and chase them back to town.

Our hero was quite sure he was
the bravest of the brave;
he bragged so much he nearly drove
poor Mudpie to her grave.

In desperation, Mudpie found
the power of speech and said,
"You brag, but are you bold enough
to rob the ghostly dead?"

This struck and stunned and sorely stung
Brown Bill's enormous pride;
he flew into a crimson rage.
"My oath I am!" he cried.

He knelt upon the stony ground
And bound his fat brown head.
He slowly swore an awful Oath
and solemnly he said....

The Oath
"Pure and simple, straight and neat,
I vow I'll rob the folks I meet.
Be they live, or dead and dry,
I swear I'll rob the folks I spy.
And, if I ever break this Oath,
I'll eat my boots; I'll eat them both!"


Right then and there he galloped off
to find himself a ghost
and that same night he saw a sight
that turned his teeth to toast.

He'd come across a hideous ghoul
astride a rotten log;
it grinned a slimy, slippery grin
and breathed a damp green fog.

Brown Bill stood fast beside his Oath;
fair dinkum and true blue,
He'd bound himself to rob this fiend,
this dread, pale, jackaroo.

He bit his tongue and grit his teeth
and yelled courageously,
"You'll stand and you'll deliver, sir;
your wealth belongs to me!"

Then with a whine and hiss it spoke,
"Brown Bill, you've caught me fair,
so come up to my camp with me;
my treasure's hidden there."

And, like a flash, the ghost was off
away into the night.
Brown Bill stood still, upon his horse,
three quarters dead from fright.

He hummed a hymn and shook himself
and rode in hot pursuit
until he reached the billabong,
malodorous and mute.

Gross and gruesome monster ghosts,
loathesome and befouled,
begrimed, beslimed and horrible,
they howled and scowled and growled.

They lumbered out and heaved about,
a moaning, groaning throng;
with dead and tuneless tongues they sang
a monster welcome song.

"G'day and welcome, Bad Brown Bill!
Where's your smile? You're looking ill.
We've got a nice surprise for you;
we thought we'd make Bushranger Stew!

"We'll chop and break , we'll bend and squeeze,
we'll mince your nose and grind your knees.
We'll boil your bones in Merry Hell.
We'll eat you up! Your horse as well!"

Brown Bill and Mudpie stood like stone,
their faces long and grey.
Their arteries were full of lead;
their bones were turned to clay.

Then something like a rusty spring
gave way in Brown Bill's head.
He ate his boots and kicked his horse
and like a gale they fled.

They wandered in the wilderness
for forty days or so;
Brown Bill just shook his head and moaned
and wallowed in his woe.

So Mudpie said her second line,
the last she ever spoke,
"You've had your day as 'Bad Brown Bill';
you're now a better bloke."

They bought a schoolhouse, by and by,
where bushrangers were told
the story of the Oath he made
and every heart turned cold.

Yes, everyone who heard the tale
went grey and shook with dread;
they swore they'd change their wicked ways
and settle down instead.

So that's the reason why, they say,
from Perth to Kimberley,
there's not a single bushranger
that's left alive to see.

But, sometimes, in the dead of night
perhaps you'll see them still;
the ghostly shapes of Mudpie
and a bloke named Bad Brown Bill.


Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: ADD: McArthur's Fart (recitation)
From: Rowan
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM

McArthur's Fart (As recited by Jim Smith)
Rob Bath and Andrew Bleby

Back in Donga country
there's a tale the old folks tell
'Bout a bloke whose name is famous
in the town of Bungadell

An' if youse like I'll tell ya
bit about this little town
It's a dry and dusty place to be
until the rains come down

In nineteen twenty seven
when it hadn't rained for weeks
There was bulldust in the billabongs
and dead sheep in the creeks

But the hero of our story
was soon to help them out
On the day McArthur farted
and saved the town from drought

Now no one knew too much
about this joker from the scrub
but they'd heard some yarns about him
from some drovers in the pub

Some said he came from Bunker's Run
and some from Beulah Park
But one thing that they agreed on—
he sure knew how to fart

And this was proved one day
beyond a shadder of a doubt
the day McArthur farted
and saved the town from drought

Well Bungadell was hard and dry
as a three-week stale old crust
The sheep was drinking whisky
and their piss was turned to dust

They had a dam up in the hills
a mile outside of town
which shoulda filled the water tanks
but not a drop come down

They sent a deputation up
to see what could be wrong
And found they had a problem
they hadn't counted on

Old Bert's dead horse was blocking up
the channel from the dam
You'd reckon they could shift it
but the bloody thing was jammed

Fifty blokes with crowbars
bashed it fifty days and nights
But they couldn't shift the bastard
it was stuck there good and tight

They had a stack of water
but they couldn't get it out
till the day McArthur farted
and saved the town from drought

They blasted it with dynamite
but couldn't get it loose
And even Murphy's bullock team
just wasn't any use

"There's only one hope left for us"
said Clancy's brother, Blue
"We'll have to get McArthur
and see what he can do"

The cry went up "McArthur!!
He's the bloke who knows the art
He could send that horse there flyin'
with a well-constructed fart!"

And so the townsfolk waited
for the day to come about—
for the day McArthur farted
and saved the town from drought

At last McArthur came
and all the people gathered 'round
To see the man whose fart
was gonna send the waters down

He came on two big horses
with half his bum on each
A bum so big a man could drive
a tram between the cheeks

McArthur was a quiet bloke
but thorough, through and through
He said "I'll need some food and drink
so see what youse can do."

They started preparations
and laid out a mighty spread
with forty tons of onions
and a pile of prunes and bread

They had fifty tons of blue vein cheese
and fifty kegs of stout
On the day McArthur farted
and saved the town from drought

He sat down with a knife and fork
and really knocked it back
Then finished off the kegs of stout
in thirty seconds flat

McArthur got up slowly
and he turned his bum around
The people all took cover
as they heard a dreadful sound

Like the roaring of a lion
and a chill ran through their hearts
McArthur's body trembled
and let go a mighty fart!

He farted and he farted
till the earth began to shake
The hills they started shaking
and the dam began to break

But still McArthur farted
till it made the thunder crack!
The winds they howled, the lightning flared
the sky was turning black!

They heard it up in China
where the upside-downers dwell
They heard it up in Heaven
and they heard it down in hell!

I hardly need to tell ya
it was really on the snout
On the day McArthur farted
and saved the town from drought

That was how McArthur
saved the town of Bungadell
His memory there still lingers on
and so too does the smell

And even down in Adelaide
they've heard about his Art
And every other year
they hold a Festival of Farts!



Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: ADD: The Ballad of Idwal Slabs (recitation)
From: Rowan
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 07:47 PM

The Ballad of Idwal Slabs (As recited by self)
by Showell Styles

I'll tell you the tale of a climber, a drama of love on the crags;
a story to pluck at your heart strings, and tear your emotions to rags.
He was tall, he was fair, he was handsome; John Christopher Brown was his name.
The Very Severes merely him bored him to tears and he felt about girls much the same.

'Til one day, while climbing at Ogwen, he fell (just a figure of speech)
for the president's beautiful daughter, named Mary Jane Smith. What a peach!
Her waist was as slim as Napes Needle, her lips were as red as Red Wall;
a regular tiger, she'd been up the Eiger North Wall, with no pitons at all!

Now Mary had several suitors, but never a one would she take,
though it seemed that she favoured one fellow, a villain named Reginald Hake.
This Hake was a cad who used pitons and wore a long silken moustache,
which he used, so they say, as an extra belay - but perhaps we're being too harsh.

John took Mary climbing on Lliwedd, and proposed while on Mallory's Slab;
it took him three pitches to do it, for he hadn't much gift of the gab.
He said: "Just belay for a moment - there's a little spike close by your knee -
and tell me, fair maid, when you're properly belayed, would you care to hitch up with me?"

Said Mary, "It's only a toss-up between you and Reginald Hake,
and the man I am going to marry must perform some great deed for my sake.
I will marry whichever bold climber shall excel at the following feat;
climb headfirst down Hope, without rubbers or rope, at our very next climbing club meet!"

Now when Mary told the committee, she had little occasion to plead;
she was as fair to behold as a jug-handle hold at the top of a hundred foot lead.
The club ratified her proposal; the President had to agree.
He was fond of his daughter, but felt that she oughter get married, between you and me.

Quite a big crowd turned up for the contest, lined up at the foot of the slabs;
the mobs came from Bangor in buses, and the nobs came from Capel in cabs.
There were Fell and Rock climbers by dozens, the Rucksackand Pinnacle Club (in new hats)
And a sight to remember!... an Alpine Club member in very large crampons and spats.

The weather was fine for a wonder; the rocks were as dry as a bone.
Hake arrived with a crowd of his backers, while John Brown strode up quite alone.
A rousing cheer greeted the rivals; a coin was produced, and they tossed.
"Have I won?" cried John Brown as the penny came down. "No!" hissed his rival, "You've lost!"

So Hake had first go at the contest; he went up by the Ordinary Route
and only the closest observer would have noticed a bulge in each boot.
Head first he came down the top pitches, applying his moustache as a brake;
he didn't relax till he'd passed the twin cracks, and the crowd shouted "Attaboy Hake!"

At the foot of the Slabs Hake stood sneering, and draining a bottle of Scotch.
" Your time was ten seconds," the President said, consulting the Treasurer's watch.
Now Brown. if you'd win, you must beat that." Our hero's sang froid was sublime;
he took one look at Mary and, light as a fairy, ran up to the top of the climb.

Now though Hake had made such good going, John wasn't discouraged a bit;
that he was the speedier climber even Hake would have had to admit.
So, smiling as though for a snapshot, not a hair of his head out of place,
our hero John Brown started wriggling down. But Look! What a change on his face!

Prepare for a shock, gentle ladies; gentlemen, check the blasphemous word.
For the villainy I am to speak of is such as you never have heard!
Reg Hake had cut holes in the toes of his boots and filled up each boot with soft soap!
As he slid down the climb he had covered with slime every handhold and foothold on Hope!

Conceive (if you can) the tense horror that gripped the vast concourse below,
when they saw Mary's lover slip downwards, like an arrow that's shot from a bow!
"He's done for!" gasped twenty score voices. "Stand from under!" roared John from above.
As he shot down the slope, he was steering down Hope, still fighting for life and for love!

Like lightning he flew past the traverse... in a flash he had reached the Twin Cracks.
The friction was something terrific---there was smoke coming out of his Daks.
He bounced off the shelf at the top of pitch two, and bounded clean over its edge!
A shout of "He's gone!" came from all except one and that one of course, was our Reg.

But it's not the expected that happens, in this sort of story at least,
'cause just as John thought he was finished, he found that his motion had ceased!
His braces (pre war and elastic) had caught on a small rocky knob,
and so, safe and sound, he came gently to ground, 'mid the deafening cheers of the mob!

"Your time was five seconds!" the President cried. "She's yours, my boy; take her, you win!"
" My hero!" breathed Mary, and kissed him; while Hake gulped a bottle of gin.
He tugged at his moustache and he whispered, "Aha! My advances you spurn!
"Curse a chap who wins races by using his braces!" And slunk away ne'er to return.

They were wed at the Church of St. Gabbro, where the Vicar, quite carried away,
did a hand-traverse into the pulpit, and cried out "Let us belay!"
John put the ring on Mary's finger (a snap-link it was, made of steel)
and they marched to their taxis 'neath an arch of ice axes, while all the bells started to peal.

The morals we draw from this story, are several, I'm happy to say:
It's virtue that wins in the long run; long silken moustaches don't pay.
Keep your head uppermost when you're climbing (if you must slither, be on a rope)
And steer clear of the places that sell you cheap braces, and the fellow that uses soft soap!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: ADD: Etiquette (W.S. Gilbert)
From: ClaireBear
Date: 28 Aug 08 - 08:55 PM

If this is already on Mudcat somewhere, I apologize...I looked, and couldn't find it.

That said, my favorite recitation is one of W.S. Gilbert's Bab Ballads, one called...

Etiquette
(W.S. Gilbert)

The BALLYSHANNON foundered off the coast of Cariboo,
And down in fathoms many went the captain and the crew;
Down went the owners - greedy men whom hope of gain allured:
Oh, dry the starting tear, for they were heavily insured.

Besides the captain and the mate, the owners and the crew,
The passengers were also drowned excepting only two:
Young PETER GRAY, who tasted teas for BAKER, CROOP, AND CO.,
And SOMERS, who from Eastern shores imported indigo.

These passengers, by reason of their clinging to a mast,
Upon a desert island were eventually cast.
They hunted for their meals, as ALEXANDER SELKIRK used,
But they couldn't chat together - they had not been introduced.

For PETER GRAY, and SOMERS too, though certainly in trade,
Were properly particular about the friends they made;
And somehow thus they settled it without a word of mouth -
That GRAY should take the northern half, while SOMERS took the south.

On PETER'S portion oysters grew - a delicacy rare,
But oysters were a delicacy PETER couldn't bear.
On SOMERS' side was turtle, on the shingle lying thick,
Which SOMERS couldn't eat, because it always made him sick.

GRAY gnashed his teeth with envy as he saw a mighty store
Of turtle unmolested on his fellow-creature's shore.
The oysters at his feet aside impatiently he shoved,
For turtle and his mother were the only things he loved.

And SOMERS sighed in sorrow as he settled in the south,
For the thought of PETER'S oysters brought the water to his mouth.
He longed to lay him down upon the shelly bed, and stuff:
He had often eaten oysters, but had never had enough.

How they wished an introduction to each other they had had
When on board the BALLYSHANNON! And it drove them nearly mad
To think how very friendly with each other they might get,
If it wasn't for the arbitrary rule of etiquette!

One day, when out a-hunting for the MUS RIDICULUS,
GRAY overheard his fellow-man soliloquizing thus:
"I wonder how the playmates of my youth are getting on,
M'CONNELL, S. B. WALTERS, PADDY BYLES, and ROBINSON?"

These simple words made PETER as delighted as could be,
Old chummies at the Charterhouse were ROBINSON and he!
He walked straight up to SOMERS, then he turned extremely red,
Hesitated, hummed and hawed a bit, then cleared his throat, and said:

I beg your pardon - pray forgive me if I seem too bold,
But you have breathed a name I knew familiarly of old.
You spoke aloud of ROBINSON - I happened to be by.
You know him?" "Yes, extremely well." "Allow me, so do I."

It was enough: they felt they could more pleasantly get on,
For (ah, the magic of the fact!) they each knew ROBINSON!
And Mr. SOMERS' turtle was at PETER'S service quite,
And Mr. SOMERS punished PETER'S oyster-beds all night.

They soon became like brothers from community of wrongs:
They wrote each other little odes and sang each other songs;
They told each other anecdotes disparaging their wives;
On several occasions, too, they saved each other's lives.

They felt quite melancholy when they parted for the night,
And got up in the morning soon as ever it was light;
Each other's pleasant company they reckoned so upon,
And all because it happened that they both knew ROBINSON!

They lived for many years on that inhospitable shore,
And day by day they learned to love each other more and more.
At last, to their astonishment, on getting up one day,
They saw a frigate anchored in the offing of the bay.

To PETER an idea occurred. "Suppose we cross the main?
So good an opportunity may not be found again."
And SOMERS thought a minute, then ejaculated, "Done!
I wonder how my business in the City's getting on?"

"But stay," said Mr. PETER: "when in England, as you know,
I earned a living tasting teas for BAKER, CROOP, AND CO.,
I may be superseded - my employers think me dead!"
"Then come with me," said SOMERS, "and taste indigo instead."

But all their plans were scattered in a moment when they found
The vessel was a convict ship from Portland, outward bound;
When a boat came off to fetch them, though they felt it very kind,
To go on board they firmly but respectfully declined.

As both the happy settlers roared with laughter at the joke,
They recognized a gentlemanly fellow pulling stroke:
'Twas ROBINSON - a convict, in an unbecoming frock!
Condemned to seven years for misappropriating stock!!!

They laughed no more, for SOMERS thought he had been rather rash
In knowing one whose friend had misappropriated cash;
And PETER thought a foolish tack he must have gone upon
In making the acquaintance of a friend of ROBINSON.

At first they didn't quarrel very openly, I've heard;
They nodded when they met, and now and then exchanged a word:
The word grew rare, and rarer still the nodding of the head,
And when they meet each other now, they cut each other dead.

To allocate the island they agreed by word of mouth,
And PETER takes the north again, and SOMERS takes the south;
And PETER has the oysters, which he hates, in layers thick,
And SOMERS has the turtle - turtle always makes him sick.


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Subject: ADD: MULGA BILL'S BICYCLE (A.B. Paterson)
From: Rowan
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 12:10 AM

Here's another that was not found with the search routine but which I know was posted on Mudcat.

MULGA BILL'S BICYCLE
by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson, 1864-1941
First published in The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.

But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver streak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."


Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: ADD: The Man from Ironbark (A.B. Paterson)
From: Rowan
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 12:18 AM

I don't think this has yet appeared on Mudcat but I know it lends itself well to audience engagement.

THE MAN FROM IRONBARK
by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here, he loitered there, till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber's shop.
"'Ere! shave my beard and whiskers off, I'll be a man of mark,
I'll go and do the Sydney toff up home in Ironbark."

The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are,
He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he smoked a huge cigar;
He was a humorist of note and keen at repartee,
He laid the odds and kept a "tote", whatever that may be,
And when he saw our friend arrive, he whispered, "Here's a lark!
Just watch me catch him all alive, this man from Ironbark."

There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber's wall.
Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;
To them the barber passed the wink, his dexter eyelid shut,
"I'll make this bloomin' yokel think his bloomin' throat is cut."
And as he soaped and rubbed it in he made a rude remark:
"I s'pose the flats is pretty green up there in Ironbark."

A grunt was all reply he got; he shaved the bushman's chin,
Then made the water boiling hot and dipped the razor in.
He raised his hand, his brow grew black, he paused awhile to gloat,
Then slashed the red-hot razor-back across his victim's throat:
Upon the newly-shaven skin it made a livid mark -
No doubt it fairly took him in - the man from Ironbark.

He fetched a wild up-country yell might wake the dead to hear,
And though his throat, he knew full well, was cut from ear to ear,
He struggled gamely to his feet, and faced the murd'rous foe:
"You've done for me! you dog, I'm beat! one hit before I go!
I only wish I had a knife, you blessed murdering shark!
But you'll remember all your life the man from Ironbark."

He lifted up his hairy paw, with one tremendous clout
He landed on the barber's jaw, and knocked the barber out.
He set to work with nail and tooth, he made the place a wreck;
He grabbed the nearest gilded youth, and tried to break his neck.
And all the while his throat he held to save his vital spark,
And "Murder! Bloody murder!" yelled the man from Ironbark.

A peeler man who heard the din came in to see the show;
He tried to run the bushman in, but he refused to go.
And when at last the barber spoke, and said "'Twas all in fun—
'Twas just a little harmless joke, a trifle overdone."
"A joke!" he cried, "By George, that's fine; a lively sort of lark;
I'd like to catch that murdering swine some night in Ironbark."

And now while round the shearing floor the list'ning shearers gape,
He tells the story o'er and o'er, and brags of his escape.
"Them barber chaps what keeps a tote, By George, I've had enough,
One tried to cut my bloomin' throat, but thank the Lord it's tough."
And whether he's believed or no, there's one thing to remark,
That flowing beards are all the go way up in Ironbark.


The Bulletin, 17 December 1892.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: ADD: Mooses Come Walking (Arlo Guthrie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 02:37 AM

Gee, I'm enjoying these. This one is a bit shorter, but certainly profound:

MOOSES COME WALKING
(Arlo Guthrie)

Mooses come walking over the hill
Mooses come walking, they rarely stand still
When mooses come walking they go where they will
When mooses come walking over the hill

Mooses look into your window at night
They look to the left and they look to the right
The mooses are smiling, they think it's a zoo
And that's why the mooses like looking at you

So, if you see mooses while lying in bed
It's best to just stay there pretending you're dead
The mooses will leave and you'll get the thrill
Of seeing the mooses go over the hill

©1993 Arloco Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
source: http://arlo.net/


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Subject: ADD: Adventures of Isabel (Ogden Nash) -recitation
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 03:23 AM

Now, I suppose you ought to realize that my audiences tend to be on the young side. Here's another one I like to do:

Adventures Of Isabel
(Ogden Nash)

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I'll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry.
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
The witch's face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch's gums with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho, ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I'll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.

Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forhead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I'll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She nibled the zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant's head off.

Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor's talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor's satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OILY RIG (Bob Roberts)
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 09:59 AM

From Bob Roberts. Don't know if he wrote it. An East Anglian accent helps, but may not be mandatory.

THE OILY RIG

The fishing was bad and the boats laid up,
But me and the boy weren't shirkers,
And a bloke came into our pub one night
And said he wanted workers.

Well he talked like a bit of a Yank I thought,
But he stood us a drink or three,
And said he was building a hoily rig
In the middle of the old North Sea.

He said there was work for all out there
With gas as well as oil
And all he needed was us local lads
Just to do the actual toil.

"How much'd we get?" I ventured to ask,
Cos I've heard those tales before.
He said "A thousand quid." "Is that a month?"
"No - a week: and maybe more."

So I went back home and I told the wife;
But I've heard those tales before;
And I couldn't see no good would come
Of drilling holes offshore.

I'd rather go out on the boat with the boy;
But the old girl started to fret.
She said, "You'll get more in a month out there
Than a whole bloody year with your nets."

So we went along and took the job -
Me and the boy and the tug:
I thought we might get something
If only some beer in the mug.

We worked on a duzzy great platform thing
With a drill that went WEE WEE WEE
And we drilled a duzzy great big hole
In the middle of the old North Sea.

But there weren't no gas, there weren't no oil;
Not a single drop we found.
Then one day the boy he says to me
"Dad, the boat's aground!"

Well, I had a look and the boy was right.
The water was leaving the tug
And going down that hole we made
Like down a bathroom plug.

That looked just like a desert, boy!
It would make a man afraid -
The last of the sea going GLUG GLUG GLUG
Down that duzzy great hole we made.

Just then a hiss and a cloud of steam
Right out of that hole it came
And up there came the Devil himself
Saying "Hoi! What's the bloody game?

You've buggered all my furnaces
And put my fires out,
And Hell's all cold and sodden wet
You pudding headed lout!

Damn you and your hoily rig -
It'd make an angel sob -
If I don't get my fire alight
I'll lose my bloody job!"

So we did some good with our hoily rig -
We doused Hell in a hurry.
And now when you die there's only Heaven
So there ain't no need to worry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestion
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 10:30 AM

Try "Jabberwocky"! I've had a good time reciting it, with incidental acting, on several occasions.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestion
From: GUEST,Patmike
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 11:16 AM

There is a new book, just published, by Fintan Vallely and Tim Lyons. It is called,"Sing Up" and contains dozens of humourous songa and recitations including 3 by Brian O'Rourke who wrote "Chantal de Champignon". It is published in Ireland by The Dedalus Press. All the material may be found at www.singup.eu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 01:25 PM

Oh Jeeez, great stuff lads, thanks all.
Sorry about the 2nd thread , due to some mishap I couldn't find this one this morning? thought it had "passed on"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: kendall
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 01:36 PM

Recitation is about all I can do these days, and, John Masefield's LOCH ARCRAY is my favorite.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 02:42 PM

Here's one I wrote that often goes down well, which I posted on the Mudcat a few years back - Young Colin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestions.
From: Arkie
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 04:11 PM

The link below will take you to monologues by Marriott Edgar. It includes Albert and the Lion and quite a few others. These are mostly of a humorous nature.

Marriott Edgar

Robert Service wrote a number of poems or recitations many of which can be found at the link below. Some of his works such as the Cremation of Sam McGee are fairly well known. I particularly like The Ballad of Hardluck Henry.

Robert Service

The growing interest in cowboy poetry and recitations has opened up a vast, amusing, interesting, and pithy field or works that may be specifically or loosely associated with cowboy culture.   A little searching should turn up some rewarding pieces. I will post a couple in succeeding threads.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUYING A BRA (Bill Hirschi)
From: Arkie
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 04:16 PM

Here is one of the poems that might be heard at a cowboy gathering.

BUYING A BRA
By Bill Hirschi

You know, I've never been much for shopping
In fact I try to stay away from town -
Except when shipping time comes,
I ain't easily found.

But the day came when I had to go
And I left the kids with Ma.
But before I left, she asked me,
"Would you pick me up a bra?"

Without thinkin' I said "sure,"
How tough could that job be?
I bent down and kissed her
and said, "I'll be back by three."

Well, when I done the things I needed
I started to regret
Ever offering to buy that thing,
I was working up a sweat.

I crossed the street to the ladies shop
With my hat pulled over my eyes,
I wasn't takin' any chances
On bein' recognized.

I walked right up to the sales clerk
I didn't hem or haw.
I told the lady right straight out,
"Ma'am, I'm here to buy a bra."

From behind I heard some snickers
So I turned around to see
At least fifteen women in the store,
And they's all gawkin' at me!

"What kind would you be looking for?"
"Well," I just scratched my head.
I'd only seen one kind before
"Thought bras was bras," I said.

She gives me a disgusted look
"Well sir, that's where you're wrong.
Come with me," I heard her say,
And like a dog, I tagged along.

She took me down this alley
Where bras was on display.
Well I thought my jaw'd hit the floor
When I seen that lingerie.

They had all these different styles
That I'd not seen before -
I thought that I'd go crazy
'fore I left that women's store.

They had bras you wear for eighteen hours,
And bras that cross your heart.
There was bras that lift and separate,
And that was just the start.

They had bras that made you feel
Like you weren't wearing one at all.
And bras that you can train in
When you start off when you're small.

Well, I finally made my mind up
Picked a black and lacy one.
I told the lady,
"Bag it up," And figured I was done.

But then she asked me for the size.
I didn't hesitate.
I knew them measurements by heart,
"Six and seven eighths."

"Six and seven eighths, well sir,
That really isn't right."
"Oh yes ma'am, I'm positive,
I just measured them last night."

I thought that she'd go into shock,
Musta took her by surprise.
When I told her that my wife's bust
Was the same as my hat size.

"That's what I use to measure with,
I figured it was fair;
But If I'm wrong I'm sorry ma'am."
This drew another stare.

By now a crowd had gathered
And they's all crackin' up.
When the lady asked to see my hat,
To measure for the cup.

When she finally had it figured
I gave the gal her pay
I turned to leave the store,
Tipped my hat and said, "Good day."

My wife heard the whole story
'fore I ever made it home.
She'd talked to fifteen women
Who'd called her on the phone.

She was still a-laughin'
But by then I didn't care.
Now she don't ask and I don't shop
For no more women's underwear.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BRONCHO TWISTER'S PRAYER (B Kiskaddon
From: Arkie
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 04:21 PM

One more:

THE BRONCHO TWISTER'S PRAYER (sometimes called the Broncho Twister)

   Bruce Kiskaddon

It was a little grave yard
   on the rolling foot hill plains:
That was bleached by the sun in summer,
   swept by winter's snows and rains;
There a little bunch of settlers
   gathered on an autumn day
'Round a home made lumber coffin,
   with their last respects to pay.

Weary men that wrung their living
   from that hard and arid land,
And beside them stood their women;
   faded wives with toil worn hands.
But among us stood one figure
   that was wiry, straight and trim.
Every one among us know him.
   'Twas the broncho twister, Jim.

Just a bunch of hardened muscle
   tempered with a savage grit,
And he had the reputation
   of a man that never quit.
He had helped to build the coffin,
   he had helped to dig the grave;
And his instinct seemed to teach him
   how he really should behave.

Well, we didn't have a preacher,
   and the crowd was mighty slim.
Just two women with weak voices
   sang an old time funeral hymn.
That was all we had for service.
   The old wife was sobbing there.
For her husband of a life time,
   laid away without prayer.

She looked at the broncho twister,
   then she walked right up to him.
Put one trembling arm around him and said,
   "Pray. Please won't you Jim?"
You could see his figure straighten,
   and a look of quick surprise
Flashed across his swarthy features,
   and his hard dare devil eyes.

He could handle any broncho,
   and he never dodged a fight.
'Twas the first time any body ever saw
   his face turn white.
But he took his big sombrero
   off his rough and shaggy head,
How I wish I could remember what
   that broncho peeler said.

No, he wasn't educated.
   On the range his youth was spent.
But the maker of creation
   know exactly what he meant.
He looked over toward the mountains
   where the driftin' shadows played.
Silence must have reined in heaven
   when they heard the way Jim prayed.

Years have passed since that small funeral
   in that lonely grave yard lot.
But it gave us all a memory, and a lot
   of food for thought.
As we stood beside the coffin,
   and the freshly broken sod,
With that reckless broncho breaker
   talkin' heart to heart with God.

When the prayer at last was over,
   and the grave had all been filled,
On his rough, half broken pony,
   he rode off toward the hills.
Yes, we stood there in amazement
   as we watched him ride away,
For no words could ever thank him.
   There was nothing we could say.
Since we gathered in that grave yard,
   it's been nearly fifty years.
With their joys and with their sorrows,
   with their hopes and with their fears.
But I hope when I have finished,
   and they lay me with the dead,
Some one says a prayer above me,
   like that broncho twister said.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestions.
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 04:25 PM

I'd suggest "Row,Row,Row,Your Boat".......with great passion and feeling. Guaranteed to bring a tear and its not too long.   Ah, the sheer beauty and feeling of those words..............gives me a boner just thinking about it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestions.
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 07:32 PM

A Hundred Thousand Thanks to all who took the time to post. Apologies for initiating two threads but I started this one in the mistaken belief that the earlier one had been passed by.Quite embarassing.
Thanks again though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestions.
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM

'Monologues' on a search engine will find lots of sites. 'Make 'em Laugh' is my English favourite, run by Paul, a Mudcatter.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Need a few Good recitation suggestions.
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 10:53 PM

Arkie, thanks for those!!!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SPOTTED ASS (Stephanie Davis)
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Aug 08 - 10:57 PM

Helps if you do this one with w drawl:

THE SPOTTED ASS
Stephanie Davis

She was out, she explained, from Manhattan,
Had long wanted to visit the West.
"Well, ma'am, mighty glad you did make it,"
He said, pulling his Skoal from his vest.

They'd both chanced to sit at Gert's counter,
This chic, couth, and cultured young lass
And the old packer, Roy, who said, "I'm from Dubois.
I'm here to show my spotted ass!"

She patted her lips with her napkin.
No words came to mind apropos,
So she sniffed and she coughed, held her eyebrows aloft,
And ventured a tentative "Oh?"

"Well, I don't mean to sound like I'm braggin',"
He said as he pinched off a chew,
"But last year mine won Confirmation
And placed in Agility, too!

"'Course it takes time and trainin'," he added,
"That well-muscled look don't come free.
But for balance and workin' in tandem,
Mine's the pair, ma'am, that you oughta see."

"Really!" she managed to sputter
While smoothing her hair into place.
Her manicured nails drummed her Gucci—
If only she'd thought to pack Mace!

But just then, Gert came by with coffee
And said, "I'll be right with ya, hon."
And the New Yorker part of her rallied—
This little exchange was not done.

She inhaled and straightened her shoulders.
A street-hardened gleam filled her eyes,
Then forcing a smile, she leaned toward him
And said in a voice world-wise:

"We've clubs in New York for such...hobbies.
I went once with my friend, Elaine.
All sizes and shapes pranced before us
In black leather harness and chain.

"We ogled and cheered on our favorites,*
Mine being two twins, Chip and Dale.
Not many were what you'd call spotted.
In fact, most were really quite—pale."

"Albinos!" he gasped. "Weren't you lucky!
Why, I've only seen one in my life,
A cute little thing that could bray on command—
Belonged to the minister's wife!

"She was proud of it, too, let me tell ya;
And much as her husband allowed,
She showed it at fairs and conventions
And afterward posed for the crowd!"

"Uncanny!" she answered. "I just read
A story in Cosmo on this.
It was called 'The Bare Facts: An Intimate Look
At Today's Exhibitionist.'

"It interviewed novice and expert,
Showed scenes from the old Moulin Rouge,
Quoted a noted consultant
Who said they can grow to be huge!"

"Oh, they're popular all right," he nodded.
"I hear Oprah's got herself a pair,
And last year out on the campaign trail,
Our governor kissed his fair share!"

"I must say," she replied, "it's intriguing,
This subculture you belong to.
And I hate to admit, but those spots upon yours are, well,
Something I'd quite like to view!"

"Ma'am, I'd be honored," he answered.
"My trailer's parked just outside.
What say you and me postpone breakfast
And I show you one well-spotted hide?"

"Why not?" she said, after a short pause.
"There can't be much harm in one glance.
This could be one exciting vacation,
And to think poor Elaine went to France!"

And, so out the café they headed,
And though no one witnessed a thing,
Roy left town that day with a shiner
And his prize-winning ass—in a sling!

"Tourists!" he said to his packer friend Ted.
"That's one bunch it's best to let be.
But should you get tangled with one, for gosh sakes,
Don't breathe a word 'bout your stud fee!

"Think of 'em as a coiled rattler—
Don't be fooled by their manners and class.
And when one 'em starts in to swingin' her purse,
Duck first and then cover yer ass!"

[*or "We threw dollar bills at our favorites--"]


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOW McDOUGAL TOPPED THE SCORE (T Spencer)
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 02:39 AM

Another Australian one that, as recited by Richard ("Screech") Leitch, became a chorus poem in Melbourne.

"HOW McDOUGAL TOPPED THE SCORE"
Thomas E. Spencer (1845-1910)

A peaceful spot is Piper's Flat. The folk that live around,
They keep themselves by keeping sheep and turning up the ground;
But the climate is [erotic] erratic, and the consequences are
the struggle with the elements is everlasting war.

We plough, and sow, and harrow, then sit down and pray for rain,
And then we all get flooded out and have to start again.
But the folk are now rejoicing as they ne'er rejoiced before,
For we've played Molongo cricket, and McDougal topped the score!

Molongo had a head on it, and challenged us to play
A single innings match for lunch; the losing team to pay.
We were't great guns at cricket, but we couldn't well say, "No!"
So we all began to practise, and we let the reaping go.

We scoured the Flat for ten miles round to muster up our men,
But when the list was totalled we could only number ten.
Then up spoke big Tim Brady: he was always slow to speak,
And he said, "What price McDougal, who lives down at Cooper's Creek?"

So we sent for old McDougal, and he stated in reply
That he'd never played at cricket, but he'd half a mind to try.
He couldn't come to practice, he was getting in his hay,
But he guessed he'd show the beggars from Molongo how to play.

Now, McDougal was a Scotchman, and a canny one at that,
So he started in to practise with a paling for a bat.
He got Mrs Mac. to bowl him, but she couldn't run at all,
So he trained his sheep-dog, Pincher, how to scout and fetch the ball.

Now, Pincher was no puppy; he was old, and worn, and grey;
But he understood McDougal and, accustomed to obey,
When McDougal cried out "Fetch it!" he would fetch it in a trice,
But, until the word was "Drop it!" he would grip it like a vice.

And each succeeding night they played until the light grew dim;
Sometimes McDougal struck the ball; sometimes the ball stuck him!
Each time he struck, the ball would plough a furrow in the ground,
And when he missed, the impetus would turn him three times round.

The fatal day at length arrived; the day that was to see
Molongo bite the dust, or Piper's Flat knocked up a tree!
Molongo's captain won the toss, and sent his men to bat,
And they gave some leather-hunting to the men of Piper's Flat.

When the ball sped where McDougal stood, firm planted in his track,
He shut his eyes, and turned him round, and stopped it - with his back!
The highest score was twenty-two, the total sixtysix,
When Brady sent a yorker down and scattered Johnson's sticks.

Then Piper's Flat went in to bat, for glory and renown,
But, like the grass before the scythe, our wickets tumbled down.
"Nine wickets down for seventeen, with fifty more to win!"
Our captain heaved a heavy sigh, and sent McDougal in.

"Ten pounds to one you'll lose it!" cried a barracker from town;
But McDougal said, "I'll tak' it mon!" and planted the money down.
Then he girded up his moleskins in a self-reliant style,
Threw off his hat and boots, and faced the bowler with a smile.

He held the bat the wrong side out and Johnson, with a grin,
Stepped lightly to the bowling crease, and sent a "wobbler" in;
McDougal spooned it softly back, and Johnson waited there,
But McDougal, crying "Fetch it!" started running like a hare.

Molongo shouted "Victory! He's out as sure as eggs!"
When Pincher darted through the crowd, and ran through Johnson's legs.
He seized the ball like lightning; then he ran behind a log,
And McDougal kept on running, while Molongo chased the dog!

They chased him up, they chased him down, they chased him round, and then
He darted through a slip-rail as the scorer shouted "Ten!"
McDougal puffed; Molongo swore; excitement was intense;
As the scorer marked down twenty, Pincher cleared a barbed-wire fence.

"Let us head him!" shrieked Molongo. "Brain the mongrel with a bat!"
"Run it out! Good ol' McDougal!" yelled the men of Piper's Flat.
And McDougal kept on jogging, and then Pincher doubled back,
And the scorer counted "Forty!" as they raced across the track.

McDougal's legs were going fast, Molongo's breath was gone,
But still Molongo chased the dog; McDougal struggled on.
When the scorer shouted 'Fifty!" then they knew the chase could cease;
And McDougal gasped out "Drop it!" as he dropped within his crease.

Then Pincher dropped the ball. As instinctively, he knew
Discretion was the wiser plan, he disappeared from view.
And as Molongo's beaten men, exhausted, lay around
We raised McDougal shoulder high, and bore him from the ground.

We bore him to McGinniss's,where lunch was ready laid,
And filled him up with whiskey punch, for which Molongo paid.
We drank his health in bumpers; we cheered him three times three,
And when Molongo got it's breath, Molongo joined the spree.

And the critics say they never saw a cricket match like that,
When McDougal broke the record in a game at Piper's Flat.
And the folk are jubilating as they never did before;
For we played Molongo cricket; and McDougal topped the score!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHAMPION BULLOCK DRIVER (Lance Skuthorpe)
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 03:10 AM

Almost as recited by Peter Auty but as written by Lance Skuthorpe;

THE CHAMPION BULLOCK DRIVER

We were sitting outside old Tallwood cattle-station, in our white moleskin trousers, elastic-side boots, and cabbage-tree hats, watching two stockmen shoe a very wild brumby mare. We were all slaves to the saddle and bridle, and there was nothing too heaving or hard. The boss squatted on a new four-rail fence. There were twenty panels of this fence, strong iron bark post-and-rails. The first rails were mortised into a big iron-bark tree, and there were four No. 8 wires twisted around the butt, passed through the posts and strained very tightly to the big strainer at the other end.

As though he had dropped out of the sky there appeared on the scene a very smart-looking man carrying a red-blanket swag, a water-bag, tucker-bag, and billycan. He put them down and said, "Is the boss about?"

We all pointed to the man on the fence. The new chap took his pipe out of his mouth and walked up, a bit shy-like, and said,

"Is there any chance of a job, boss?"

"What can you do?" asked the boss.

"Well, anything amongst stock. You can't put me wrong."

"Can you ride a buckjumper?"

"Pretty good," said the young man.

"Can you scrub-dash – I mean, can you catch cattle in timber on a good horse before they're knocked up?"

"Hold my own," said the young man.

"Have you got a good flow of language?"

The young man hesitated awhile before answering this question. So the boss said,

"I mean, can you drive a rowdy team of bullocks?"

"Just into my hand," said the young man.

The boss jumped down off the fence.

"Look here," he said, "It's no good you telling me you can drive a team of bullock if you can't."

And pointing to a little grave-yard he added,

"Do you see that little cemetery over there?"

The young man pulled his hat down over his eye, looked across, and said, "Yes."

"Well," continued the boss, " there are sixteen bullock-drivers lying there. They came here to drive this team of mine."

I watched the young man's face when the boss said that to see if he would flinch; but a little smile broke away from the corner of his mouth, curled around his cheek and disappeared in his ear hole, and as the effect died away he said,

"They won't put me there."

"I don't know so much about that," said the boss.

"I'll give you a trial," the young man suggested.

"It would take too long to muster the bullocks," said the boss. "But take that bullock-whip there" – it was standing near the big ironbark – "and say, for instance, eight panels of that fence are sixteen bullocks, show me how you would start up the team."

"Right," said the young man.

Walking over he picked up the big bullock-whip and very carefully examined it to see how it was fastened to the handle. Then he ran his hand down along the whip, examining it as though he were searching for a broken link in a chain. Then he looked closely to see how the fall was fastened to the whip. After that he stood back and swung it around and gave a cheer.

First he threw the whip up to the leaders, and then threw it back to the polers. He stepped in as though to dig the near-side pin-bullock under the arm with the handle of the whip, then stepped back and swung the big bullock around. He kept on talking, and the whip kept on cracking until a little flame ran right along the top of the fence.

And he kept on talking and the whip kept on cracking until the phantom forms of sixteen bullocks appeared along the fence – blues, black and brindles. And he kept on talking and the whip kept on cracking till the phantom forms of sixteen bullock-drivers appeared on the scene. And they kept on talking and their whips kept on cracking till the fence started to walk on, and pulled the big ironbark tree down.

"That will do," said the boss.

"Not a bit of it," said the young man, "where's your woodheap?"

We all pointed to the woodheap near the old bark kitchen.

And they kept on talking and their whips kept on cracking till they made the fence pull the tree right up to the woodheap.

We were all sitting round on the limbs of the tree, and the young man was talking to the boss, and we felt sure he would get the job, when the boss called out,

"Get the fencing gear lads, and put that fence up again."

"Excuse me for interrupting, boss," said the young man, "but would you like to see how I back a team of bullocks?"

"Yes I would," said the boss.

So the young man walked over and picked up the big bullock whip again. He swung it around and called out,

"Now then, boys, all together!"

And the phantom forms of the sixteen bullock-drivers appeared on the scene again; and they kept on talking and their whips kept on cracking, till every post and rail burst out into flame, and when the flame cleared away each post and rail backed into its place, and the phantom forms of the sixteen bullock-drivers saluted the young man, then bowed and backed, and bowed and backed right into their graves, recognising him as the champion bullock driver.

Skuthorpe, L., (1946), The Champion Bullock-Driver, in 'Twenty Great Australian Stories' (J.L Waten and V. G. O'Connor, eds), pp127-130. Dolphin Publications.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 04:33 AM

Beachcomber, I know neither "Chantilly Du Champignon", nor "The Lodger." They may be old and tired to you, but we might like them. Would you consider posting them?
-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KIRK DOUGLAS GHOULIE
From: eddie1
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 05:30 AM

With Halloween not too far away, this might be appropriate. It was posted in Mudcat way back on BS: The Hairy Ghoolie of Cleckie by JennyO

THE KIRK DOUGLAS GHOULIE

Gather round and I'll tell you a story, of a castle that fills men with fear
Though it might make you feel a bit queasy, and it might make you feel a bit queer
This castle stood high in Kirk Douglas, a wee Scottish town, aye it's true,
It was haunted by ghosties and goblins, and a slimy green bogey-man too

But deep in the bowels of this castle, lived the most evil thing that could be,
It put fear in the hearts of the mighty, the "Kirk Douglas Ghoulie" was he
He was big, he was black, he was hairy, and the veins bulged out of his face,
His skin was all warpled and crinkly, but with ghoulies that's often the case.

This ghoulie dined mainly on lassies, he'd gobble them up, have no fear,
His taste was for pretty young virgins, so he wouldn't last long around here.
One day he kidnapped a young lassie, called Kirsty MacDougall MacBlack
She was big, she was saucy and tasty, so everyone called her "Big Mac"!

Now this Kirsty she had a boyfriend, young Jock Lochnavar was his name
He was famous for tossing his caber, but he went with the girls just the same.
On hearing his Kirsty'd been kidnapped, Jock formed a plan straight away
He picked up his trusty old bagpipes and mournfully started to play

The monster it grabbed the young hero and Jock he screamed out with surprise
If you've ever been grabbed by a ghoulie, you'll know it brings tears to your eyes
The monster it squeezed the young hero, till his life started ebbing away
But Jock he clung tight to his bagpipes and eerily continued to play

The ghoulie danced high in the turrets, hypnotised by the bagpipe's strange sound
Twas played in the key "A flat Monster" as the ghoulie fell straight to the ground
Ever since that great day in Kirk Douglas, young lassies all fear no mishap
For they know all great big hairy ghoulies will always fall into Jock's trap!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 06:40 AM

I've been laughing all morning at the "poems" you've all posted and many of the web sites'contents as well.
A shame that Rowan's offerings, hilarious though they be, have so many Australian references and, I think, would need to be recited with an Australian accent. This , unfortunately, would be a bridge too far for my loquatious friend in my "local", hailing as he does, from the far West....(of County Waterford, Ireland) Thanks nevertheless.
I now have enough material, thanks to Mudcat, to open my own little place , perhaps for Mon, Wed and Sat nights ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 05:48 PM

I don't know what Ned Kelly, or Jack Donohue, or any other wild colonial boy, would have made of the suggestion that a County Waterford accent wouldn't be good enough for Australian recitations...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 07:54 PM

McGrath of Harlow, sure that's the very reason why my buddy picked that "Chantal du Champignon" one. It was because of that French "Gurr" that we West Waterfordians have inherited.
Joe Offer, you're kidding, right ? doesn't everyone know that particular recitation ? I would need to transcribe them both from friend Liam so bear with me. The "Lodger" is as funny as any of those that have been recently posted, with a particularly funny "twist" in the ending.
Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Aug 08 - 08:02 PM

Rowan, that last one gave me chills. I truly wish my dad were still alive, my mom, too, so I could read them to them. Thanks.

beachcomber, I'd love to read them, too. Any chance they may be on the internet so you don't have to go to too much trouble?

thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: Maryrrf
Date: 31 Aug 08 - 07:54 AM

Here's a good one http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/roaring-baby.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: Maryrrf
Date: 31 Aug 08 - 07:56 AM

Sorry, meant to make a link! "The Roaring Baby"


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Subject: Lyr Add: INCOGNITO
From: Rowan
Date: 31 Aug 08 - 06:50 PM

Glad you appreciated it, kat; it's one of my favourites. Peter was very good at investing it with just the right mood.

And I've just realised I've inserted a typo leading the champion to swing a bullock around rather than a whip. The relevant passage should read;
First he threw the whip up to the leaders, and then threw it back to the polers. He stepped in as though to dig the near-side pin-bullock under the arm with the handle of the whip, then stepped back and swung the big bullock-whip around. He kept on talking, and the whip kept on cracking until a little flame ran right along the top of the fence.

Don't worry about the Oz references beachcomber, the sentiments cross all borders. And here's another on an old theme.

INCOGNITO
Anon.

Every station in the country keeps a pony that was sent
Late at night to fetch a doctor or a priest,
And has lived the life of Riley since that faraway event;
But the stories don't impress me in the least.

For I once owned Incognito – what a jewel of a horse!
He was vastly better bred than many men,
But they handicapped him so savagely on e very local course
I was forced to die him piebald now and then.

For I needed all the money that a sporting life entails,
Having found the cost of living rather dear,
And my wife, the very sweetest little girl in New South Wales,
Was presenting me with children every year.

We were spreading superphosphate one October afternoon
When the missus said she felt a little sick;
We were not expecting Septimus (or Septima) so soon,
But I thought I'd better fetch the doctor quick.

So I started for the homestead with the minimum delay
Where I changed and put pomade on my moustache,
But before I reached the sliprails Incognito was away
And was heading for the township like a flash.

First he swam a flooded river, then he climbed a craggy range,
And they tell me (tho' I haven't any proof)
That he galloped through the township to the telephone exchange
Where he dialled the doctor's number with his hoof.

Yes, he notified the doctor and the midwife and the vet,
And he led them up the mountains to my door,
Where he planted, panting, pondering, in a rivulet of sweat
Till he plainly recollected something more.

Then he stretched his muzzle forward, he had something in his teeth,
Which he dropped with circumspection in his hand,
And I recognised his offering as a contraceptive sheath,
So I shot him! It was more than I could stand.

But I've bitterly repented that rash act of injured pride –
It was not the way a sportsman should behave;
So I'm making my arrangements to be buried at his side,
And to share poor Incognito's lonely grave.


Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same o
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Aug 08 - 07:29 PM

This one is for Aussies asked unexpectedly to entertain...

This here is the wattle:
The symbol of our land.
You can stick it in a bottle,
You can hold it in your hand.
Australia! Australia! Australia!
We Love Ya!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: oldhippie
Date: 31 Aug 08 - 07:45 PM

Three favorites:

The Face On The Barroom Floor
Dangerous Dan McGrew
The Cremation of Sam McGee


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Subject: Lyr Add: SMELL! SMELL! HIS BREATH
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 02:00 AM

Rowan - 'Incognito' is superb, it's one of Bob Bolton's pieces & I've often asked him to recite it.

Joe started a thread on a song that could easily be a recitation SMELL! SMELL! HIS BREATH

& here 'tis

SMELL! SMELL! HIS BREATH

E'er the tea party it had begun,
I eat an onion—only one,
Folks held their noses seemed ill at ease.
Stirred to and fro, made remarks like these—

Just smell his breath, do smell his breath,
Just take one sniff, if you wish for sudden death,
Then in a rage, one big fellow cried,
Here's a cake, for heaven's sake, go outside,
And change your breath, and change your breath!

Fain would I linger yet must be gone,
Leaving those custards all alone,
Sadly I find my way to the door,
Loud beats my heart as the shoe-blacks roar.—

Just smell his breath, do smell his breath
One little sniff is enough to cause sudden death,
Folks made a rush for the other side,
Hurrying, scurrying, this they cried,
Do change your breath, oh! change your breath!


sandra


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOLY DAN
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:31 PM

Hell's teeth, Sandra! I hope I wasn't the inspiration for that one.

I did a search on Mudcat for Holy Dan but it didn't come up. It also became a chorus poem in Melbourne, so here 'tis.

HOLY DAN
Anon.

It was in the Queensland drought;
And over hill and dell,
No grass – the water far apart,
All dry and hot as hell.
The wretched bullock teams drew up
Beside a water-hole;
They'd struggled on through dust and drought
For days to reach this goal.
And though the water rendered forth
A rank, unholy stench,
The bullocks and the bullockies
Drank deep their thirst to quench.

Two of the drivers cursed and swore
As only drivers can.
The other one, named Daniel,
Best known as Holy Dan,
Admonished them and said it was
The Lord's all-wise decree;
And if they'd only watch and wait,
A change they'd quickly see.
'Twas strange that of Dan's bullocks
Not one had gone aloft,
But this, he said, was due to prayer
And supplication oft.

At last one died but Dan was calm,
He hardly seemed to care;
He knelt beside the bullock's corpse
And offered up a prayer.
"One bullock Thou has taken, Lord,
And so it seemeth best.
Thy will be done, but see my need
And spare to me the rest!"

A month went by. Dan's bullocks now
Were dying every day,
But still on each occasion would
The faithful fellow pray,
"Another Thou has taken, Lord,
And so it seemeth best.
Thy will be done, but see my need,
And spare to me the rest!"

And still they camped beside the hole,
And still it never rained,
And still Dan's bullocks died and died,
Till only one remained.
Then Dan broke down – good Holy Dan –
The man who never swore.
He knelt beside the latest corpse,
And here's the prayer he prore.

"That's nineteen Thou has taken, Lord,
And now You'll plainly see
You'd better take the bloody lot,
One's no damn good to me."
The other riders laughed so much
They shook the sky around;
The lightning flashed, the thunder roared,
And Holy Dan was drowned.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHOPSTICKS (Col Wilson)
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:37 PM

Beachcomber commented that the plethora of Oz references might be a bit daunting for an Irishman. Well, I think this could well deal with such reservations.

CHOPSTICKS
Col Wilson

There's a little Chinese café, down the road in my home town,
Where they serve the most exquisite Chinese food.
And I used to watch in envy as the patrons scoffed it down,
Using chopsticks, in the way I wished I could.

So I joined the 'Chopstick Users Club' to see if I could gain
The kind of chopstick expertise I'd need
To eat Chinese with chopsticks and, brother, how I trained
To use those sticks with grace, and style, and speed.

I learned the upward looping scoop, the backward twist and lunge;
The plain, the purl, the thrust, the follow-through
'Til I could manage anything, from rice to crumbs of sponge.
Then I knew the time was right for my debut.

There's a little Chinese café, down the road in my home town;
That's where I went to demonstrate my skill.
I ordered prawns and almonds and some wine to wash it down,
Quite determined not a single drop to spill.

Over-confidence, perhaps; luck wasn't on my side.
I admit, what happened wasn't nice;
About to take a mouthful, the 'sticks began their slide
And, 'spang' – the air was filled with prawns and rice.

A lady right across the room fell flat upon her back;
When asked if she was hurt, began to cry;
Accused me of delivering a cowardly attack,
For I'd hit her with an almond in the eye.

I helped her up, apologised, and then she screamed again,
And when I found why, I wished to die.
I looked where she was looking and there I saw, quite plain,
A braised king prawn stuck firmly in my fly.

Of course, she got the wrong idea and worked up to a state,
And, from the Chinese café, out she stormed,
Came back with a policeman and screamed in tones of hate,
"There's a maniac in there – and he's deformed!"

When I proved that I was normal things soon settled down,
And home I went, food-stained and battle-scarred.
There's a little Chinese café, down the road in my home town,
But I don't go there any more; I'm barred.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUTLERY (Jim Haynes)
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:40 PM

Which reminded me of another, with a musical reference.

CUTLERY
Jim Haynes

When Asian children learn 'pianner'
In the regimented Asian manner,
Conscientiously they play
At least an hour every day
(A soon as they can walk and talk!),
A little tune called 'Knife and fork.'


Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LIARS (Henry E Horne)
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:43 PM

And, if the word "outback" is replaced with "rural", I suspect this one might find acceptance in Ireland, too.

THE LIARS
Henry E Horne

Ten boys sat in a ring and played at telling lies,
An outback pastime, with a strayed young dog for prize.
The Parson they informed, who strolled to see their fun,
The pup was for the cove who told the biggest one.

The good old man looked upon that ring of boys and sighed.
"I'm sorry to hear such thing as this," he cried.
"I never dared to tell a lie, nor even knew
Such sinful sport, my lads, when I was young like you."

Ten faces fell, not from shame, but sheer defeat;
Ten little liars dropped the game, for they were beat.
Ten boys arose – a sullen band – quite broken up;
And Jim, the judge, said, "Billy, hand the bloke the pup."

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUPERSTITION (Grahame Watt)
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:44 PM

And I'm sure this has no particularly local references.

SUPERSTITION
Grahame Watt

I'm not superstitious by nature
And I'd never do things by half;
I always walk under a ladder,
And on Friday the thirteenth I laugh.

I've no time for black cats and gypsies;
I'm not ruled by omens and fear.
As I told you, I'm not superstitious;
Don't listen to warnings I hear.

There's only one thing I insist on,
When having a bath Sat'day night;
I always sit at the 'tap end',
But it's not superstition or spite.

You might think it's odd that I sit there;
You might even think I'm a mug.
But the reason I sit at the tap end
Is because we can't find the damn plug!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SPIDER FROM THE GWYDIR
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Sep 08 - 06:50 PM

And I'm gobsmacked that this hasn't yet turned up on Mudcat. DOn't be put off by the rumour that some bod has put a tune to it; it's much better as a recitation.

OK, I admit it's a bit local; the creek that runs through my place is a tributary of Rocky River (how original is that?) which, when joined with Booroolong Creek, becomes the Gwydir, just over the hill from the house.

THE SPIDER FROM THE GWYDIR
Anon.

By the sluggish River Gwydir
Lived a vicious redback spider;
He was just about as vicious as could be.
And the place that he was camped in
Was a rusty Jones's jam tin
In a paddock by the showground at Moree.

Near him lay a shearer snoozing;
He'd been on the grog and boozing
All the night and half the previous day,
And the 'kooking' of the kookas
And the spruiking of the spruikers
Failed to wake him from the trance in which he lay.

The a crafty looking spieler
With a dainty little sheila
Came along collecting wood to make a fire.
Said the spieler, "Here's a boozer,
And he's gonna be a loser;
If he isn't, you can christen me a liar."

"Stay here and keep nit, honey,
While I fan the mug for money,
And we'll have some little luxuries for tea."
Said the sheila, "Don't be silly!
You go home and boil the billy.
You can safely leave this mug to little me."

So she circled ever nearer
'til she reached the dopey shearer
With his pockets bulging, still asleep and snug.
But she never saw the spider
That was creepin' up beside her,
'Cos her mind was on the money and the mug.

Now the spider needed dinner,
He was daily growin' thinner;
He'd been fasting and was empty as an urn.
As she eyed the bulging pocket,
He darted like a rocket,
And he bit the spieler's sheila on the stern.

Well the sheila ran off squealin'
And her dress began unpeelin'.
As she sprinted she was feelin' quite forlorn.
On the bite one hand was pressin'
While the other was undressin'
And she reached the camp the same as she was born.

Now the shearer, pale and haggard,
Woke, and back to town he staggered,
Where he caught the train and gave the booze a rest.
And he never knew that spider,
That was camped there by the Gwydir,
Had saved him sixty smackers of the best!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same old
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 07:17 AM

Rowan, as we say here, You're some character!
Where do you get them ? I can hardly type for tears of laughter, I'm sure my mate will find a few good úns among your list not to mention those from all the others. Thanks very much, again, for all the posts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same o
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 08:07 AM

One of my favourites is "The Loaded Dog".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same o
From: Rowan
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 06:59 PM

G'day Foolestroupe.
I'm right with you, Robyn. Whenever I want to convey a sense of the Oz character to someone from outside Australia, I try sending them a copy of short stories that includes Lawson's "The Loaded Dog". But I've not heard anyone do it as a recitation. It's the sort of item Auty might have tackled; he hadn't done it in Melbourne and I've got no idea of his repertoire in Brisbane, where you probably had more exposure to him.

Greetings beachcomber,
You're most welcome and I hope Liam can use them. The folk scene in Oz is blessed with characters; I'm just part of the scenery, so to speak. But I've been around a while and have been exposed to a wide variety of contexts.

As you might have guessed, The Ballad of Idwal Slabs (which I've been careful not to insert into the current "Definition of a ballad" discussion) is at home among rock climbers and I was a bit of a tiger in the Melbourne uni mountaineering club; I even helped compile its songbook. That was one of my earliest recitations but the Melbourne scene had a few raconteurs and many of the items I've posted were picked up from them. I've still got a few more to trot out but they'll take a little time to digitise.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recitations......Fed up of the same o
From: Rowan
Date: 02 Sep 08 - 07:26 PM

I might also add that, when I contributed to a previous thread on recitations (now listed as part of the Related threads: grouped at the head of list of postings to this thread), I noticed that there was a dearth of DIGITRAD-related items listed. Currently there are only four (none distinctively Australian, although the genre seems to be extremely well developed in Oz) and I knew there must be more, as I had posted the Oath, McArthur's Fart and Idwal Slabs on Mudcat myself.

I wanted to make sure that some of these "treasures" got a guernsey (so to speak; if you deal in popular recitations you're bound to infected with a dose of cliches) and this seemed to be a start. As Susan of DT says, there are 48 entries in the Digital Tradition (I hesitated about writing "in the DT" as "the DTs" are a frequent motif in Oz recitations) and it would be nice if some of the more famous of these were also listed.

"No pressure!" guys; I'm well aware of life's impositions on volunteers (as well as the stated origins of Mudcat and its relationship to the Digital Tradition) and am happy to wait my turn. But if I could help out in any way I would certainly try.

Cheers, Rowan


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