The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4070039
Posted By: Stewie
29-Aug-20 - 01:35 AM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Gerry Hallom put a tune to Paterson's beaut poem 'With the cattle'. He makes some minor changes and omissions: here is how he sings it:


The drought is down on field and flock
The riverbed is dry
And we must shift the starving stock
Before the cattle die
So we muster up with weary hearts
At breaking of the day
And turn our heads to foreign parts
And take the stock away
By the stock routes bare and eaten
On dusty roads and beaten
In heat and drought and hopeless pain, we take the stock away

We cannot use the whips for shame
On beasts that crawl along
We have to drop the weak and lame
And try to save the strong
For the wrath of God is on the track
The drought fiend holds his sway
With blows and cries and stock whip crack
We take the stock away
As they fall we leave them lying,
With the crows to watch them dying
With half a chance to save their lives we take the stock away

So in dull despair the days go by
With never hope of change
But every stage we draw more nigh
The distant mountain range
And some may live to climb the pass
And reach the great plateau
And revel in the mountain grass
By streamlets fed with snow
As the mountain wind is blowing
It starts the cattle lowing
The creatures smell the mountain grass that's twenty miles away

They press towards the mountain grass
They look with eager eyes
Along the rugged stony pass
That slopes towards the skies
Though their feet may bleed from rocks and stones
And though the blood-drop starts
They struggle on with stifled groans
For hope is in their hearts
As the mountain wind is blowing
And the mountain grass is growing
They break in to a kind of run – pull up, and let them go!

The days are done of heat and drought
Upon the stricken plain
The wind has shifted right about
And brought the welcome rain
The river runs with sullen roar
All flecked with yellow foam
And we must take the road once more
And bring the cattle home
And it's `Lads! we'll raise a chorus
There's a pleasant trip before us
Towards the far-off mountain-land, to bring the cattle back'

We have to watch them close at night
For fear they'll make a rush
And break away in headlong flight
Across the open bush
And by the campfire's cheery blaze
With mellow voice and strong
We hear the lonely watchman raise
The overlander's song
While the stars shine out above us
Like the eyes of those who love us
The eyes of those who watch and wait to greet the cattle home

The plains are all awave with grass
The skies are deepest blue
And leisurely the cattle pass
And feed the long day through
But when we sight the station gate
We make the stockwhips crack
A welcome sound to those who wait
To greet the cattle back
And through the twilight falling
We hear their voices calling,
As the cattle splash across he ford and churn it into foam
And the children run to meet us
Our wives and sweethearts greet us
Their heroes from the overland who brought the cattle home

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