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Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)

DigiTrad:
ANDY'S GONE WITH CATTLE
DO YOU THINK THAT I DO NOT KNOW
FREEDOM'S ON THE WALLABY
IRELAND SHALL REBEL
REEDY RIVER


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ADD: When the Children Come Home (Henry Lawson) (31)
Lyr Add: Good Old Concertina (Lawson) (7)
Lyr Req: Ballad of Henry Lawson (Slim Dusty) (6)
Lyr Add: Past Caring / Past Carin' (Henry Lawson) (26)
Tune Add: Reedy River (Chris Kempster) (2)
Tune Req: Do You Think That I Do Not Know (Lawson) (10)
Chord Req: Past Carin' - Bushwackers version (8)
(origins) Origins: Outside Track (15)
Lyr Req: Faces in the Street (Henry Lawson) (22)
Lyr Req: Outside Track (Henry Lawson) (120)
Review: The Songs of Henry Lawson: new edition (3)
Lyr Req: Outside Track (Henry Lawson) (13) (closed)
Attribution: Aussie song (7)
LyrTune Add: Shame of Going Back (Lawson, Herdman (1)
Henry Lawson at Kmart (17)
Lyr Req: Second Class Wait Here (Henry Lawson) (8)
Tune Req: Outside Track (Henry Lawson) (15)
Lyr Req: The Water Lily (Henry Lawson) (11)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Outside Track (Henry Lawson) (6)
Lyr/Tune Req: The Bush Girl (Henry Lawson) (20)


Winters Wages 18 Jul 99 - 11:28 PM
bbc 18 Jul 99 - 11:48 PM
Frank of Toledo 18 Jul 99 - 11:49 PM
alison 19 Jul 99 - 01:57 AM
Bob Bolton 19 Jul 99 - 02:54 AM
Winters Wages 19 Jul 99 - 12:07 PM
Winters Wages 19 Jul 99 - 08:52 PM
alison 20 Jul 99 - 04:18 AM
Alan of Australia 20 Jul 99 - 07:45 AM
Winters Wages 20 Jul 99 - 11:08 AM
Bob Bolton 20 Jul 99 - 06:54 PM
alison 20 Jul 99 - 08:39 PM
Winters Wages 20 Jul 99 - 09:54 PM
alison 24 Feb 00 - 12:23 AM
Willie-O 24 Feb 00 - 06:28 AM
Willie-O 24 Feb 00 - 07:05 AM
Clinton Hammond2 24 Feb 00 - 01:19 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Feb 00 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,lamarca 27 Feb 00 - 12:46 PM
Willie-O 27 Feb 00 - 01:57 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Feb 00 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,David Coffin 31 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM
Jeri 31 Dec 09 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,David Coffin 31 Dec 09 - 09:18 PM
Charley Noble 01 Jan 10 - 12:20 PM
stallion 01 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM
Charley Noble 01 Jan 10 - 03:03 PM
GUEST 01 Jan 10 - 03:26 PM
bfdk 02 Jan 10 - 05:12 AM
Charley Noble 27 Feb 10 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Gerry 27 Feb 10 - 05:09 PM
Charley Noble 27 Feb 10 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Gerry 28 Feb 10 - 03:00 AM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 10 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Gerry 28 Feb 10 - 07:36 PM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 10 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Onny 06 Mar 10 - 07:11 AM
Charley Noble 06 Mar 10 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Gerry 06 Mar 10 - 05:23 PM
Charley Noble 06 Mar 10 - 08:46 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Mar 10 - 11:11 PM
Charley Noble 07 Mar 10 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Gerry 07 Mar 10 - 05:17 PM
Charley Noble 07 Mar 10 - 06:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 10 - 02:42 PM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Mar 10 - 05:14 PM
stallion 27 Jun 12 - 01:01 PM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 12 - 01:32 PM
stallion 27 Jun 12 - 06:26 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 12 - 08:08 PM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 12 - 10:23 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 12 - 10:40 PM
stallion 28 Jun 12 - 02:57 AM
stallion 28 Jun 12 - 03:34 AM
Charley Noble 28 Jun 12 - 09:24 AM
stallion 28 Jun 12 - 11:45 AM
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Subject: The Outside Track
From: Winters Wages
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:28 PM

Im, trying to find information on a song called the Outside tyrack sung by Garnett Rodgers..It goes "Well they marry and go as the world rolls by, they marry vanish and die, but their spirits shall live on the outside track as long as the world goes by" It is not in the data base....at least as I can see....Any info would be great...WW


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: bbc
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:48 PM

The song is on Garnet Rogers' recording of the same name. The liner notes say it is "a poem by Henry Lawson, set to music by Gerry Hallom. Gerry recorded this one himself, on a fine album called 'A Run a Minute.'" Hope that's a start. Nice song!

bbc


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 11:49 PM

A truly wonderful version can be heard on Timberhead CD "Harbors of Home", with Gordon Bok . Ed Trickett and Ann Mayo Muir. The song was written by Henry Lawson, words and Gerry Hallom music..... This is a poem from the great Australian bush poet Henry Lawson. Gerry Hallom, a British songmaker, set it to music and sang it at the Eisteddfod Festival, where Gordon Bok heard it and eventually recorded it. The story of a swagman's wandering life is told and shown that the life was not conducive to family-making, so if the swagman wanted to marry, he would have to give up his life style, the bad and the good together.


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: alison
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 01:57 AM

Hi

Here you go...

Outside track + tune

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 02:54 AM

G'day all,

I have a terrible suspicion that Gerry may have read in aspects that Henry Lawson was not writing. The poem was written on the occasion of the departure of a fellow poet for the greener fields (spelt 'money') and culture of England ... "home" to so many colonial Australians and, unfortunately, often the only place they could aspire to making a living from their poetry.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Winters Wages
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 12:07 PM

Thanks all. Alison, bbc, everyone...this has been a hard one to find. I have a recording by Garnet Rogers doing the piece...It has very moving words to me. Slainte WW


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Winters Wages
Date: 19 Jul 99 - 08:52 PM

Alison..If you still copy...something is wrong with mi MIDI...all I get is CGI error...Also I did not get the guitar chords..Would you happen to have those?? Also the words to the tune.....Thanks a lot...Slainte Lloyd (WW)


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: alison
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 04:18 AM

Hi,

I have sent you a GIF of the dots and chords, don't know why the MIDI doesn't work. I don't have the words.. but I know someone who does..... I'll leave Alan of Oz a message....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 07:45 AM

G'day,
I seem to have been volunteered by the person who has my Lawson book!!!

However I do have a file so I suppose that's why. Cut&paste follows:-

THE OUTSIDE TRACK

Words: Henry Lawson
Tune: Gerry Hallom

(First verse usually omitted

There were ten of us there on the moonlit quay,
And one on the for'ard hatch;
No straighter mate to his mates than he
Had ever said: "Len's a match!"
'Twill be long, old man, ere our glasses clink,
'Twill be long ere we grip your hand!-
And we dragged him ashore for a final drink
Till the whole wide world seemed grand.)

The (D)port-lights (Em)glowed in the (D)morning mist
That (G)rolled from the waters (D)green;
(A7)And (D)over the (Em)railing we (D)grasped his fist
As the dark tide came be(A)tween.
We (G)cheered the captain and (D)cheered the crew
And our mate times out of (A7)mind;
We (D)cheered the (Em)land he was (D)going (G)to
And the (D)land he had (A7)left be(D)hind. (G D)

For they (D)marry and go as the world rolls back,
They marry and vanish and (A7)die;
But their (D)spirit shall (Em)live on the (D)outside (G)track,
As (D)long as the (A7)years go (D)by. (G D)

We roared Lang Syne as a last farewell
But my heart seemed out of joint;
I well remember the hush that fell
When the steamer passed the point.
We drifted home through the public bars,
We were ten times less by one,
Who had sailed out under the morning stars
And under the rising sun.

And one by one, and two by two,
They have sailed from the wharf since then;
I have said good-bye to the last I knew,
The last of the careless men.
And I can't but think that the times we had
Were the best times after all,
As I turn aside with a lonely glass
And drink to the bar-room wall.

But I'll try my luck for a cheque Out Back,
Then a last good-bye to the bush;
For my heart's away on the Outside Track,
On the track of the steerage push.

For they marry and go as the world rolls back,
They marry and vanish and die;
But their spirit shall live on the outside track,
As long as the years go by.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Winters Wages
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 11:08 AM

Alison, Alan, you guys a great...Thank you so very much..It is a wonderful piece...Must be the Irish in me that makes me get so misty eyed on this song. I have problems performing some of these..if you know what I mean. Alison..I did get your mail with the song. I will download it when I get home..right now I am just into work on another system without plug-ins etc. Thanks so much guys..Slainte Lloyd (Winters Wages)


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 06:54 PM

G'day Al, Alison et al,

For the benefit of Winters Wages, I should mention that Gerry's version of the song (same as sung by Gordon Bok) leaves out the first stanza. Alan's posting has the full 1896 version of the Henry Lawson poem.

I was surprised that Gordon's liner notes (In his CD Harbors of Home) don't pick up on the ships and sailing theme - so close to his heart. Ships (and marriage)were were definitely on Henry Lawson's mind at the time of this poem. He had married Bertha Bredt earlier that year in Sydney and they sailed off to make a new life in Perth, in Western Australia ... over 5,000 kilometres (~ 3,100 miles)by sea, most of it in the teeth of the Roaring Forties.

When they got there, they found a boom town, fueled by recent gold discoveries in Kalgoorlie, and prices skyrocketing. After some months living in a makeshift hessian hut, they gave up and sailed back to Melbourne, then on back to Sydney (probably by train). The poem looks at one more of Lawson's poet friends leaving Australia to find fortune in England and ends on the though that, if he came make one good cheque in Australia, he can afford to do the same. Of course things didn't work out quite that well.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: alison
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 08:39 PM

Subtle Alan, (or maybe not).... you WILL get your book back.......

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Winters Wages
Date: 20 Jul 99 - 09:54 PM

I love the history...I like to give a brief story before I do a song. I do these types of songs down at the Maritime Park here in San Francisco...I wonder...I cannot find any copyright info on it...Because it is a poem...I wonder who set the melody to it. I am doing a recording now and one of my songs was Donegal Danny...after a lot of research I found it was copyright..I did get clearance to do it (I feel good about that) I have a song also on the album that I wrote...so now...looks like I have to do what others have done. thanks again guys..I love Australia..have a friend down there in Sydney (over looking that famous bay.."It ain't leaving ol England we cares about..." You know what I mean.....Take care God bless Lloyd WW (not to be confused with WW in Wyo smile) 73's


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: alison
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 12:23 AM

Refresh.... for some reason the present thread won't load far enough to put in a response....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Willie-O
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 06:28 AM

Thanks Alison--I apparently crashed the thread when I pasted a whole html document including header into it. No idea why this would happen except for once in my life I was using Internet Explorer...

Willie-O
Embarrassed-O


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Willie-O
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 07:05 AM

FWIW here's the first verse of the poem, usually not sung, as Alan says. I think it gives credence to the idea that the departing fellow--who has the unromantic name of Len as it turns out--is a poet not a bushwhacker. (Thread will not crash)aye W-O

 There were ten of us there on the moonlit quay,
 And one on the forward hatch.
 No straighter mate to his mates than he
 Ever said, "Old Len's a match!
 'Twill be long, old man, ere our glasses clink,
 "Twill be long, ere we grip your hand,"
 So we dragged him ashore for a final drink
 And the whole wide world looked grand


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 01:19 PM

So I typed up lyrics and chords in that other crshed thread for nothing!?! Sheesh...

Gotta like the poem though!

{~`


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Feb 00 - 07:24 AM

G'day WillieO,

The lines:
No straighter mate to his mates than he
Ever said, "Old Len's a match!

are Lawson transcribing of a typical Australian clipped phrase - correctly:
No straighter mate to his mates than he ever said, "Len's a match! ("Lend us a match!)
.

The occasion was that of one of Lawson's fellow poets sailing to England to win fame and fortune ... and his name was not 'Len"!

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: GUEST,lamarca
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 12:46 PM

Thanks, Bob! I've been singing this with the first verse put back in (Gerry Hallom left it out, and I've always wondered why), but was also under the delusion that the departing friend's name was Len...knowing this will help immensely!

BTW, been off the 'Cat for awhile. I got your message, so thanks in advance for the Lawson book...


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 01:57 PM

I learned a lot more from this thread than I expected to...not all of it about Lawson and The Outside Track.

Yeah, sorry Clinton--I noticed your postings were listed below mine--I guess we had the thread loaded at the same time, then I inadvertently locked it up, but you could still post to it if you already had it. Ain't technology a marvel...

even Joe couldn't fix that one, but he told me Max did.

W-O


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Subject: RE: The Outside Track
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Feb 00 - 09:49 PM

G'day lamarca,

Yes, I think Lawson was using 'dialect' to create an impression of the person - a fellow poet, one of the "bohemians of the Bulletin", the casual speech that of a friend among friends and the request "to borrow a match" and indication of their close friendship ... and their perennial lack of money!

Norman Lindsay, Australian artist and author, wrote a novelised account of this life as The Bohemians of the Bulletin and it an hilarious read - but the hard life of young writers and artists come through clearly.

I hope the Lawson book makes a quick trip - it is 11 days on its way. I have just sold the Bush Music Club's last copy ... to another, more local Mudcatter.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Origins: The Outside Track (song)
From: GUEST,David Coffin
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 04:29 PM

I would appreciate any information about the song. I can't get it out of my head so I'd better learn it. I've heard different melodies and seen different words.
Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Jeri
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 04:43 PM

David, I moved your question into an older thread. I hope it helps.    There are a bunch of links at the top that may have some interesting information.

I love this song, and I'd love to hear you sing it.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,David Coffin
Date: 31 Dec 09 - 09:18 PM

It took me a minute to figure out how I ended up here but this is helpful. Thanks Jeri.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 12:20 PM

When I was working up this song I deconstructed what Gerry Hallom, © 1982, had put together as a tune, making more explicit the parts that sounded to me like the traditional tunes for Roddy McCorley (verse) and The Foggy Foggy Dew (chorus). I also sing the first verse but left out the last verse, which I think kind of spoils the song. Here's a link to how I sing it on SAILORTOWN DAYS, 2009: Click here for lyrics and MP3!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: stallion
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 01:21 PM

Thanks for the thread, I thought I would look my old mate Gerry up but he is not in the phone book, does anyone know if he is still living in York? I will have to search 'im out.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 03:03 PM

Pete-

I just sent you a PM with my most recent contact info for Hallom.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 03:26 PM

Wongawilli put it on their most recent CD, Australia Street. It's also on their Myspace. Lovely song!


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: bfdk
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 05:12 AM

'Guest' above was me, and I didn't even notice I wasn't logged in. No idea why I'd been logged out. New Year joke? :-)


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 04:46 PM

Does anyone know what book this poem was first published in, around 1896? I can't seem to nail it down. I've done my usual web searches and have turned up nothing definitive.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 05:09 PM

Lawson's first book of verse, In the Days When the World Was Wide, was published in 1896. The next books didn't come until 1900, so I'm guessing it was in that first book.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 10:09 PM

Gerry-

In the Days When the World Was Wide was also my first guess but that book's available on-line and the only reference to "outside track" is in the unrelated poem "Outback."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 03:00 AM

All my sources say the poem was published in 1896, but maybe one was wrong and the rest copied from each other. Or maybe it was published in The Bulletin in 1896, and didn't make it into a book until some years later.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 10:15 AM

Gerry-

Yes, I've been copying and recopying that 1896 date for years myself. I've got a PM in with Bob Bolton. Maybe he can clear up this small mystery. None of my poetry books by Lawson include the poem in question either.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 07:36 PM

The poem first appeared in a Sydney periodical called Truth on 27 December 1896. It was reprinted in the book, Verses Popular and Humorous, in 1900. This according to Collected Verse, edited by Colin Roderick, 1967.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 09:54 PM

Gerry-

Excellent!

Now everything correlates. I also found the citation to:

Verses Popular and Humorous, by Henry Lawson, published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia, © 1900

But I didn't find an earlier one publication.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,Onny
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 07:11 AM

I have an audio cassette of Archie Fisher singing this lovely song on one of the occasions when Danny Kyle 'held the fort' while Archie was on tour somewhere. Over the years the tape has stretched and it's now unplayable :-(

There's another Henry Lawson book - The Best of Henry Lawson - worth tracking down. The ISBN is 0 908048 35 1

Onny


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 08:52 AM

Here's my discography of who has recorded "The Outside Track," at least the ones I've been able to track down so far:

A Run a Minute, Gerry Hallom, © 1983

The Outside Track, by Garnet Rogers, © 1985

Who Was Here, by Margaret Walters and John Warner, © 1997

Harbors of Home, by Gordon Bok, Ed Trickett & Ann Mayo Muir, © 1998

Between the Dark and Light, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, © 2002

Rolling Down to Sailortown, by Roll & Go, © 2006

Sailortown Days, by Charles Ipcar, © 2009

I'm sure that there are other recordings as well and I'd appreciate title, artist, and date.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 05:23 PM

There's a recording by Chris Kempster on the (posthumous) CD The Songs Of Chris Kempster, CKP041, 2006 - the recording was made in the ABC studios in 1993.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 08:46 PM

Gerry-

Thanks. Chris Kempster's name has surfaced a number of times and I'm sorry he no longer walks this earth.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 11:11 PM

Bob's review of "The Songs of Chris Kempster"


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 10:34 AM

I finally found my copy of POETICAL WORKS OF HENRY LAWSON, published by Angus & Robertson. Sydney, Australia, © 1967, pp. 127-128. But I'd still be interested in the page reference for the original publication in VERSES POPULAR AND HUMOROUS.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 05:17 PM

When I type Verses Popular and Humorous into ye olde searche engine, first thing that comes up is a site at Sydney University library - but, alas, the pdf available there has no page numbers. It's the third poem in, starting on the 4th page of poetry. The second site that comes up is from the Gutenberg project - and that doesn't have any page numbers either. Then the National Library of Australia pretends to have it online, but that's just a link back to Sydney University. Then there's the oldpoetry site - but I can see Charley has been there, and he has probably been to all the other sites, too, and could have saved us some time by telling us so.

It looks like there's hard copy at the National Library, but it's too far to walk.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 06:13 PM

Gerry-

I'm a moderator at the Oldpoetry Website (and, boy, do we have some wild and crazy posts to moderate there!). I hadn't checked the on-line poetry books available at Canbarre or Sydney and I do appreciate your initiative. "Page 4" seems like reasonable information until we come up with something better.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:42 PM

"The Outside Track" is in the edition of "In the Days When the World was Wide" which I have, in between "Second Class Wait Here" and "The Storm that is to Come". That's the "Collected Poetical Works" version originally published back in 1925. (My edition is quite a bit later!)

Great song. And in the way a lot of the best songs are, it's at the same time very specific to a particular situation (a mate heading off to a distant country) and applicable to a whole lot of different situations - as the chorus goes, "they marry and vanish and die".


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:14 PM

Back in the olden days, the only way for a colonial Australian to get recognition was to go "Home" (ie. to the land of the forebears) to the United Kingdom.

The concept of Home (always capitalized) lingered well into the 20th century. When I met my father's cousins in the mid 80s they asked me if I'd been Home (I said I'd never been to Britain!) They were born in the 20s & only the granddaughters of Irish & Scottish women, but Home was still Home. There's a very famous illustration from a mid-19th century publication (Flower from Home or similar title) showing women & strong men weeping over a flowering pot plant that had survived the 12,000 mile trip.

Australia was a little pond, & very inferior to Britain to many Australians - the Cultural Cringe was another long-lived concept.

Over the same period many other Australians, often of Irish origin, held different opinions. Lawson wasn't an Anglophile, but was lamenting the fact that writers could only get success if they left Australia.

It's a powerful poem & great song.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: stallion
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 01:01 PM

I think this answers my question Charley, thank you for pointing this out to me, why do i feel like I have had my bottom smacked?


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 01:32 PM

Peter-

Not to worry. Any good song needs to be swirled around, now and again.

I never could sing "Len's a match" as in the first verse. Yes, I know what it means now but I'd rather not stop and explain it every time I sing the song. Instead, I sing "No one could ever match."

I wasn't captured by this song until I heard Margaret Walters and John Warner sing it, with four verses, at a house party in Sydney, Australia.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: stallion
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 06:26 PM

yup your line scans better with me too, we made some minor tweaks - "And I can't help but think that the times we had were the best times of them all"


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 08:08 PM

G'day stallion,

Interestingly, as a Sydney-sider, I find your preferred text awkward - and missing the elements of regret and resignation in:

" ... Were the best times after all...

and I'm much happier with the published Lawson text: ,

And I can't but think that the times we had
Were the best times after all,
As I turn aside with a lonely glass
And drink to the bar-room wall.

Ah well ... the perils of a "world language ... "!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 10:23 PM

Bob-

Good to have you chiming in again.

When we sing:

As I turn aside and raise my glass
And drink to the bar-room wall!

it's not lonely or resigned, it angry and bitter but that's our take on the song, and our voices go from soft to very loud. That's hard to get across in a poem or with lyrics.

But it's deeply sad when your gang breaks up for whatever reason.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 12 - 10:40 PM

G'day Charley,

I guess that I'm reading a bit ahead of the text ... knowing that Henry did follow onto the "Outside Track" - and, I guess, knowing that it didn't bring him, abroad, the success that depended on his fellow Australians' feeling for his (not yet entirely accepted ... ) Australian idiom.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: stallion
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 02:57 AM

G'day Bob, it is strange and maybe Charley pointed us in that direction, that I see in the song there was a frustration that "I have stuck it out," maybe coloured by an abortive move to Western Australia, maybe he saw his roots in Australia and not in "the old country" of which he wasn't really part of but saw his literary mates ship out for the "greener grass". I think if there was a resentment it was because maybe he felt he had to follow the others rather than wanted to.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: stallion
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 03:34 AM

"And I can't but think that the times we had
Were the best times after all,
As I turn aside with a lonely glass
And drink to the bar-room wall."

I think that the line "And I can't but think that the times we were the best times after all" was Lawson making a U turn, he may have argued with his mates and extolled the benefit of sticking it out in OZ, maybe he was way ahead of his time, the next line was the glass that was lonely not him and saying cheers to the bar room wall is where the bitterness lies, it is a tacit acknowledgement that he was right to stay and the others were wrong and the final lines " So i'll try my luck for a cheque.......etc" is him being pissed off with a) the lack of oz to develop culturally (due possibly to the "talent" shipping out) and b) Angry at the fact that he has to reluctantly join the exodus to recapture his past stimulation, his literary mates and possibly his fortune. There is also a strong possibility that he sees the wealth and respect of people in Oz skewed towards the pioneers of agriculture and mining and cultural expertise pushed well to the rear in public recognition whereas in Europe it was centre stage. discuss!

Well that is how I read it, I think Charley pointed it out but it is there, I think all we (Charley and I )have done is make the song, rather allude to it, drive that sentiment home.


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 09:24 AM

And we all get a chance to sing on the chorus!

Unlike with Cicely Fox Smith's poems, there is abundant biographical information about Henry Lawson's life to help interpret what he was saying in particular poems. "The Outside Track" no doubt represents a major dilemma for the poet, well known and respected in Australia at the time but not financially well off, and hungry for international recognition. It's a dilemma that most of us in the folk music community can identify with!

It's almost the inverse of "The Mary Ellen Carter." There's little conviction expressed in "Outside Track" that all will be well again. But there is that sense of fellowship, even if it's full value is only appreciated in retrospect. Some sing this song as a dirge, which we think undercuts its impact. Here's a fresh link to how Roll & Go does it: click here for lyrics and MP3 Sample!

Looking forward to hearing how Two Black Sheep & a Stallion perform this one.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: The Outside Track (H Lawson/G Hallom)
From: stallion
Date: 28 Jun 12 - 11:45 AM

It isn't a million miles away from the way Roll and go do it, similar tempo except without instruments the verse tends to ebb and flow time wise and the chorus is with some gusto, harmony is different but pace and words more or less the same. We learnt it from a master obi wan Ipcar. Like you say most versions I have heard are dirgeish which I think does the poem a diservice. I think, like you, there is some anger in it.


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