The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4069404
Posted By: Stewie
23-Aug-20 - 10:17 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Here's another fine Ogilvie poem that has been put to music. At this very moment, due to covid-19, there are challengers to bringing in the NZ shearers needed to do the job in Oz.

NORTHWARD TO THE SHEDS
(Will Ogilvie)

There's a whisper from the regions out beyond the Barwon banks
There's a gathering of the legions and a forming of the ranks
There's a murmur coming nearer with the signs that never fail
And it's time for every shearer to be out upon the trail

Chorus:
For the western creeks are calling,
And the idle days are done
With the snowy fleeces falling,
And the Queensland sheds begun

They must leave their girls behind them and their empty glasses too,
For there's plenty left to mind them when they cross the dry Barcoo
There'll be kissing, there'll be sorrow much as only sweethearts know
But before the noon tomorrow they'll be singing as they go

Chorus

There is shortening of the bridle, there is tightening of the girth
There is fondling of the idol that they love the best on earth
Northward from the Lachlan River and the sun-dried Castlereagh
Outward to the Never-Never ride the ringers on their way

Chorus

From the green bends of the Murray they have run their horses in
For there's haste and there is hurry when the Queensland sheds begin
On the Bogan they are bridling, they are saddling on the Bland,
There is plunging and there's sidling -- for the colts don't understand
      
Chorus

They will camp below the station, they'll be cutting peg and pole
Rearing tents for occupation till the calling of the roll
And it's time the nags were driven, and it's time to strap the pack
For there's never licence given to the laggards on the track

Chorus

Hark the music of the battle: it in time to bare our swords!
Do you hear the rush and rattle as they tramp along the boards?
They are past the pen-doors picking light-wooled weaners one by one
I can hear the shear-blades clicking, and I know the fight's begun!

Ted Egan printed the complete Ogilvie poem in his 'The Shearers: Songbook', but the clip on Youtube for 'Northward to the sheds' has 3 stanzas only - the song begins at the 2 minute mark.

Gerry Hallom also messes with and shortens the Ogilvie text, but it's worth a listen:



--Stewie.