The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4069113
Posted By: Stewie
21-Aug-20 - 11:52 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
The late Danny Spooner recorded this little gem on his final album 'Home'. Danny noted that a 1935 article identified the author as Jimmy Connors. If that is correct, it passed into oral tradition. The version below was collected here in the Northern Territory by Geoff and Nancy Wills. The song was published in the Stewart & Keesing, John Manifold (Penguin) and Ron Edwards books of Australian folk songs.

THE REEDY LAGOON

The sweet-scented wattle sheds perfume around,
Enticing the bird and the bee;
As I lie at my rest in a fern-covered nest
In the shade of a currajong tree;
High up in the air I can hear the refrain
Of a butcher-bird piping its tune,
For the spring, in her glory, has come back again
To the banks of the Reedy Lagoon.

I've carried my bluey for many a mile,
My boots they are worn out at the toe;
And I'm dressing, this season, in a far different style,
To that of last season, God knows!
My cooking utensils, I'm sorry to say,
Consist of a knife and a spoon.
And I've dry bread and tea, in my battered jack-shay
On the banks of the Reedy Lagoon.

Where is old Frankie, man how could he ride,
And Johnny, the kind-hearted boy;
They tell me that lately he's taken a bride,
A benedict's life to enjoy.
And Big Mac, the Scotchman; I once heard him say,
That he wrestled the famous Muldoon:
But they're all far away, and I'm lonely today
On the bank of the Reedy Lagoon.

Now where is that lassie I oft-times caressed,
The girl with the sad dreamy eyes?
She pillows her head on another man's breast,
While he tells her the very same lies.
My bed she would hardly be willing to share,
Where I camp by the light of the moon.
But it's little I care, cos I couldn't keep square
On the bank of the Reedy Lagoon.

Martyn Wyndham-Read recorded on his 'A rose from the bush' LP and noted: 'I would take this song with me to a desert island, as it brings home so much of Australia and the smell of the bush to me'. I first heard it recorded by Gordon Bok on his 'Seal Djiril's Hymn' album. He sticks pretty close to the Wills text.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.