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Lyr Add: Stockman's Last Bed / Stockman's Grave

RoyH (Burl) 14 May 13 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 May 13 - 04:23 PM
Joybell 14 May 13 - 06:00 PM
Bob Bolton 15 May 13 - 01:11 AM
Bob Bolton 15 May 13 - 01:24 AM
RoyH (Burl) 15 May 13 - 10:18 AM
Joybell 21 May 13 - 08:51 PM
Bob Bolton 21 May 13 - 10:07 PM
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Subject: lyrics,Add. The Stockman's last Bed
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 14 May 13 - 03:55 PM

I've become interested in the Australian song 'The Stockman's Last Bed.' and would like information on it. I've tried the DT but no luck. Some years ago I had it on a Burl Ives Australian Songs LP, but that has gone missing, the result of unwise loaning, like so many others. All I can remember is the chorus, and the tune that Ives sang. Can anyone tell me if that tune is the 'correct' one or something that he made up? And I'd love to have the rest of the words. Any chance,anyone? Thanks in advance. ROY


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Subject: RE: lyrics,Add. The Stockman's last Bed
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 May 13 - 04:23 PM

Roy, it is one of the best-known Aussie songs. Entering the title into Google and YouTube gives you countless hits to lyrics, recordings, and background. Not to be confused with "The Dying Stockman", another such, em, ...


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Subject: RE: lyrics,Add. The Stockman's last Bed
From: Joybell
Date: 14 May 13 - 06:00 PM

This song was very popular with Aboriginal stockmen.
To add a personal note it was a favourite in my family and I learned it as a child in the 1950s. It sings well and has lovely images.
Joy


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Subject: Add: The Stockman's Last Bed / Stockman's Grave
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 May 13 - 01:11 AM

G'day Roy, Grishka & Joybell,

This is just one of a number of versions on my portable drive( an 1857 collection much reprinted in the "revival era" of anything like "Bush Music":

Here is how it appeared in Australian Tradition:

THE STOCKMAN'S GRAVE

Be ye bushman or not, to my story give ear;
Poor Jack's gone at last, and no more shall ye hear
The crack of his stock-whip, his steed's lively trot,
His clear "go-a-head," or his jingling quart pot.
He sleeps where the wattles their sweet perfume shed,
And the tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

While yarding one day, he was gored by a cow:
"Alas!" cried poor Jack, "it's all up with me now.
"No more to the saddle shall I vault again,
"Nor bound like a wallaby over the plain.
"I shall sleep where the wattles their sweet perfume shed,
"And the tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

"My whip will be silent, my dog now may mourn,
"My steed look in vain for his master's return.
"Unknown and uncared for - unpitied I die;
"Save Australia's dark sons, none will pass where I lie.
"I'll sleep where the wattles their sweet perfume shed,
"And the tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed."


But stranger, if ever, at some future day,
In search of wild cattle you happen to stray
To where lone and forgotten poor Jack's bones are laid,
Far, far from the land where in childhood he played,
Tread light where the wattles their sweet perfume shed,
And the tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.


The earliest dated version I have is from Annabella Boswell's Journal but no other details of publication given, except to indicate that it had been re-published in recent years. An excerpt from the book is given, dated 1845, in which Boswell describes a visit of Colonel Grey and his two daughters and goes on to say that the text of the song was by his daughters: "Bessie wrote some pretty poems, not without merit, and together they composed a parody on what was then a very favourite song, THE LAST WHISTLE which was called THE STOCKMAN'S LAMENT." (The 4 verse ballad then follows, as given below).
The section relating to the song has been reproduced in the Australian Folklore Society Journal no. 39 1998, page 888.

THE STOCKMAN'S LAST BED
Tune - The Last Whistle

Whether stockman or not, for a moment give ear,
Poor Jack's breathed his last, and no more shall we hear
The crack of his whip or his steed's lively trot,
His clear go-ahead and his jingling quart-pot.
He rests where the wattles their sweet fragrance shed,
And tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

When drafting one day he was gored by a cow;
Alas, cried poor Jack, it's all up with me now;
I'll no more return to my saddle again,
Or bound like a wallaby over the plain..
I'll rest where the wattles their sweet fragrance shed,
And tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

My whip must be silent, my steed he will mourn,
My dogs look in vain for their master's return.
Unknown and forgotten, unheeded I'll die,
Save Australia's dark sons none will know where I lie.
I'll rest where the wattles their sweet fragrance shed,
And tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

Oh! Stranger if ever on some future day,
When after a herd you may happen to stray,
Where lone and forgotten poor Jack's bones are laid,
Far, far from the land where in childhood he played,
Tread lightly where wattles, their sweet fragrance shed,
And tall gum-trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

The version credited to the young ladies is a rather pretty rework of a "sailor's song' ... as was much the disembarked at an Australian port ... and went of droving, shearing or otherwise finding a new place on the other side of the world!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: lyrics,Add. The Stockman's last Bed
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 May 13 - 01:24 AM

Errr... G'day again,

Actually ... post posting ... the youn Misses Grey's version is pretty close to what turned up in Australian Tradition ... maybe I should try to catch up to Mudcat over my lunch ... !

Regard(fully),

Bob


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Subject: RE: lyr ADD: The Stockman's Last Bed
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 15 May 13 - 10:18 AM

Thanks everyone for the speedy replies, Mudcat service at it's best. Thanks Grishka for the Google tip.I should have thought of it myself There were some good answers on there, much obliged.
Joybell, I agree, it sings well and does have some lovely images.
Bob, so nice to hear from you again.
I'll definitely try to learn this song. ROY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Stockman's Last Bed / Stockman's Grave
From: Joybell
Date: 21 May 13 - 08:51 PM

Yes. Hello Bob. It's been many years since I looked for the origins of this lovely song. Thank you for the information.
Roy -- Enjoy your friendship with this song. I've sung it unaccompanied, with guitar, with piano and with concertina. All work well.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Stockman's Last Bed / Stockman's Grave
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 May 13 - 10:07 PM

G'day Joybell,

As you have, inter alia, "... sung it unaccompanied, with guitar ... "
the Misses ( ... and Colonel ...) Grey story is a great defence against nigglers claiming that it's a "bloke's song" and / or that guitar is "too modern" for its period!

(I do maintain that the fragile guitar of the early / mid 1800s was happier in the moister coastal areas ... but several do apppear in accounts and songs - albeit, often already 'cracked'!

Regard(les)s

BobB


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