The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18502   Message #183557
Posted By: GUEST,Willie-O
23-Feb-00 - 02:10 PM
Thread Name: Lyr/Chords Req: The Outside Track (Henry Lawson)
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Outside Track
Enh, what happened there--it dropped the text and left the commentary. (maybe an html thing) trying again

Clinton beat me to the punch, mostly, but here's more verses!

Not in the DT! Here's the complete text of the poem , I think. Most singers do not include the first verse and final chorus, which were not sung by Garnet Rogers on his recording (album also called The Outside Track) which most of us learned it from. Garnet made the interesting observation once that Lawson's poems were generally regarded as cliched sentimental doggerel when they appeared--and they are!--but that they make great songs. (He's converted several more of them).

The Outside Track by Henry Lawson

 There were ten of us there on the moonlit quay,
 And one on the forward hatch.
 No straighter mate to his mates than he
 Ever said, "Old Len's a match!
 'Twill be long, old man, ere our glasses clink,
 "Twill be long, ere we grip your hand,"
 So we dragged him ashore for a final drink
 And the whole wide world looked grand

      For they marry and go,
      And the world rolls back,
      They marry, and vanish and die,
      But their spirits shall live on the outside track
      As long as the years go by.

 The port lights glowed in the morning mist
 As it rolled on the waters green,
 And over the railing we grasped his fist
 As the dark tide came between.
 We cheered the captain, we cheered the crew
 And our mate, times out of mind.
 We cheered the land he was going to
 And the land he had left behind.

 We roared "Lang Syne" in a last farewell
 But my heart felt out of joint.
 I well remember the hush that fell.
 As the steamer passed the point.
 We drifted home through the public bars,
 We were ten times less by one
 Who sailed out under the morning stars
 And under the rising sun.

 Then one by one, and two by two
 They've sailed from the wharf since then.
 I've said goodbye to the last I knew,
 The last of the careless men.
 And I can't but think that the times we had
 Were the best times after all,
 As I turn aside with my lonely glass
 And drink to the barroom wall.

 Final Chorus:

      So I'll try my luck
      For a check Outback
      And a last farewell to the bush
      For my heart's away on the Outside Track
      At the back of the steerage push.