The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4076401
Posted By: Sandra in Sydney
22-Oct-20 - 12:33 AM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
WILLIAM CONQUEST TURLAND another excellent song from John Warner (1995)

William Turland was a magnificent character who made his place in the history of Lambing Flat by pick and shovel: the first to pave the streets in front of his business, to plant shade-trees on the street, a baker, blacksmith, farrier, horsecoper and hotel owner, with a subtle touch at the sly grog still. The impression we gained of Hannah was of an equal and powerful influence. This story, from early in their lives, was told to John by Pat Emmett who was particularly moved by it. The town of Lambing Flat is now known as Young. The tune is a version of the Scarborough Settler's Laments.


I'm William Conquest Turland, and when I was young and bold,
I left old Market Harborough to mine Australian gold.
I saw the rebel banner hoist, the fight at Ballarat,
And I loved and married Hannah in the town of Lambing Flat.

I forged the picks, I shoed the hacks, I laboured in the heat,
My Hannah bore two children, we thought our joy complete,
Then gold was found at Grenfell, the Lachlan side nor'west,
And so, like fools drawn to a snare, we followed with the rest.

But fever took the children, their skins were clammy wet.
It turned like iron in the heart to hear them moan and fret.
We washed them, cooled them, prayed for them, and ached to hear their cries;
At length a sullen silence fell and the bitter drone of flies.

I dug two graves beside the creek where old Dick's bridge now stands,
And I can still feel Hannah's grasp a-trembling in my hands,
The road ahead holds children, home and labour, land and friend,
But I held Hannah, sobbing hard, where one road found its end.

So let the Lachlan keep its gold or others make their pile.
We'll go no further down this track, but tend their graves the while,
For earth can yield no fairer prize, however rich the lode
Than the wealth we gave back to the soil along the Grenfell road.


mudcatter Daniel Kelly singing William Conquest Turland