The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113151   Message #2402305
Posted By: quokka
31-Jul-08 - 11:40 AM
Thread Name: Songs about Horses
Subject: Lyr Add: DROVING WOMAN (Kev Carmody)
I've found another one that most of you won't have heard of by indigenous Australian singer-songwriter Kev Carmody, called 'Droving Woman' from the album CANNOT BUY MY SOUL. This is a very powerful song about the death of a much-loved man while trying to break in a horse. (The horse bit is near the end,sends a chill down my spine when I hear it)


She buried him down on the edge of the town
Where the brigalow suckers on the cemetery creep
She stood with them children in a heavy brown gown
What you want you just can't always keep

"I'm sorry", I says, "I knew him so well,
Though your body is young you just never can tell
When the hand of fate rings the final death knell"
She just turned with the slightest of smiles

She says, "At the start well we knew it so hard
We were always dealt the severest of cards
Honeymoon spent droving Jamieson's stock
Through the wildest winter you've seen

Romantic notions of horses and land
They were soon dispelled as a fantasised dream
Watching cattle at night in the mid-winter cold
Turns a person both wiry and old

The flame of the breakast fire'd be dead
As the sun rose up he'd be miles up ahead
I'd be breaking the camp there and rolling the beds
While he fanned the stock wider for feed

When the weather turned sour with the onset of rain
And the truck bogged down to the axle mains
He'd move ahead with pack saddles and chains
And I'd wait in the mud by the road

With the blankets and canvas there hung out to dry
With nothing for heat 'cause you couldn't light a fire
With no stock permit for the forthcoming shire
The dog'd whimper in the winter wind rain

Cattle don't camp where they're sloshing in rain
They keep walking all night like a dog on a chain
He'd be red-eyed and weary with a pack horse gone lame
I'd sit miles behind in the mud

It was down through Charleville up to Julia Creek
Living on syrup and damper and salted corned meat
We had nothing but the 'roos and the mailman to meet
We'd move up and down with the rains

But them inland skies have the starriest of nights
With the dance of the fire throwing flickering lights
The beauty of its sunsets were a constant delight
I felt nature had let me intrude

The enormous vastness of them inland plains
Gives you a lonely contentment to which
you can't put a name
Its satisfied glow city folks seldom attain
They spend life on a right rigid rail

The kids got their schooling from the government mail
We posted their work at each cattle sale
They considered their learning a self-imposed jail
They'd rather help their father and fail

Early last month at the end of the dry
He was given a horse nobody could ride
Alert were his ears with a fire in his stride
He was young and his spirit was wild

To catch him each morning was an hour-long battle
We had to collar rope his near side to throw on the saddle
He'd bite and he'd strike, oh he made my nerves rattle
Pandemonium reigned with each ride

It was a hot summer's morning at the government bore
There was a stillness around that I'd never felt before
How could he know it was fate at his door
That was stealthily watchin' his moves

He mounted up quick taking slack from the reins
Grasped a full hand of hair from the horse's long mane
He'd just hit the saddle when the horse went insane
Churning dust in a frenzy of fear

The girth on the saddle let go at the ring
The surcingle slipped, it was impossible to cling
The horse felt it go, made a desperate fling
He was thrown to the length of the reins

I heard his spine snap like a 'roo shooter's shot
He'd busted his back on the concreted tough
Sickness and fear were the feelings I got
For the doctor was a six-hour drive

I looked at his face and his colour turned white
He turned slowly and said "I can't make it 'til night,"
My body is broken, I'm bleeding inside"
And the life slowly drained from his eyes

I'll sell up the plant and move here to town
Before the winter returns with a chill on the ground
For what I've just lost can seldom be found
I was blessed with the gentlest of men

Eventually the children will move to the East
But I couldn't stand the bustle of even a quiet city street
I'll stay in the scrub here where my heart really beats
For some dogs grow too old for change."