Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Stavanger Bill The Saddest Song of All--Part II (78* d) Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF MONGREL GREY 23 Jan 02

Dave Bryant's post mentioned "HOME LADS, HOME," a song I've heard a few times when I've travelled back to the UK.

The version I have heard starts with, "Overseas in Flanders..."

And further on in the song,
"For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the gun
On that red road to glory a mile or two from Munn."

Is sung
"For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the guns
On that blood red road to glory a mile or two from Mons."

"For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the guns
Blown to pieces in the traces a mile or two from Mons."

In Part I of this thread there were numerous posts about "OLD SHEP." One on a similar theme about a horse is "THE BALLAD OF MONGREL GREY," an adaptation of a poem by A. B. Patterson.


I'll tell you a story an old stockman told
By the camp-fire when stars were bright
And the moon it rose up like a great globe of gold
And flooded the plain with it's light
As we watched the cattle 'til dawning of day
We spun yarns to while hours away
And as we were listening the tale he did tell
Was the story of old Mongrel Grey

Just a no-account Brumby bred out on the Never
On the station hard used as a hack
Spurred, walloped and beaten shown no kindness ever
Ridden all day with sores on his back
He'd then be left all night with nothing to eat
To be saddled and cursed all next day
Such treatment as this was common occurrence
It was normal to old Mongrel Grey

We well may have sold him but someone had said
On the flood plains he'd run as a colt
Where he'd learned to swim like a damn water bird
With an instinct for finding the shoals
Be it midnight or midday it meant nothing to him
Over flooded ground he'd find his way
And tho' channel and billabong twisted about
Nothing puzzled old Mongrel Grey

Down in a cabin on our lower run
Located close by Conroy's creek
I was there camping with my youngest boy
Just a nipper he barely could speak
We were scouting out grazing, we hunted and fished
The youngster and I spent our days
Alone in the Bush with our string of horses
And among 'em was old Mongrel Grey

One night quite sudden a flash flood came down
From the hills lashed with summer rain
Roaring, rank smelling and eddying brown
It spread o'er the flat and the plain
The thunder and lightning brought on driving rain
As torrents of water came down
To move seemed hopeless but we had to try
To make it for high ground or drown

Out to the stock pen I ran and I found
All our horses there shaking with fright
All bunched together stamping the ground
Silhouetted in electric blue light
As best as was able I led them all out
In the dark as the water raced by
They reared and they snorted and all turned away
None would face it but old Mongrel Grey

With my stock whip I tied the child to his back
We set off in the flood and the rain
If he struck deep water, swift flowing and black
He would swim with me clutching his mane
He turned and he twisted across flooded ground
Choosing places to wade or to swim
How he found the crossings by sight or by smell
Only God and that old horse could tell

Now he dodged the timber wherever he could
But the timber brought us grieve at last
I was struck and half stunned by a big baulk of wood
That snagged me as it drifted passed
Loosing my grip of the old horse's mane
I was instantly swept clean away
Fighting for breath in that hell of a night
I was parted from old Mongrel Grey

I climbed into a tree and there had to sit
While the flood waters round me did run
To the Lord of creation I earnestly prayed
To save the life of my son
When the station hands found me I dreaded the news
As homeward I raced down the track
But that dawn Mongrel Grey had pitched up at the homestead
With the child safe and sound on his back

Now he's kept for the wife on the homestead to ride
Nothing too good for him now of course
She'll ensure that no whip will touch his hide
For the debt that we owe the old horse
That he'll want for nothing's a promise I've made
Binds my kin till old Mongrel's last day
And not old man Tyson for all of his money
Could purchase old Mongrel Grey

Now you've all heard the story that old stockman told
By that cattle drive campfire that night
Where the moon it rose up like a great globe of gold
And flooded the plain with it's light
The words of the story I heard long ago
Remain in my head to this day
And tho' I oft quote it, it was Patterson wrote it
The story of old Mongrel Grey.

Eric Bogle's SING THE SPIRIT HOME takes a bit of effort to get through.



HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.