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Tune Req: Old Bark Hut

Allan C. 19 Feb 14 - 07:43 AM
Allan C. 19 Feb 14 - 07:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 14 - 12:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 14 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Bob Bolton 19 Feb 14 - 10:58 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Feb 14 - 11:22 PM
Allan C. 20 Feb 14 - 07:36 AM
Bob Bolton 20 Feb 14 - 06:41 PM
Bob Bolton 20 Feb 14 - 07:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Feb 14 - 12:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Feb 14 - 01:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Feb 14 - 01:22 PM
Richard Mellish 21 Feb 14 - 05:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Feb 14 - 04:00 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 14 - 05:27 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 14 - 05:27 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Feb 14 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 07:43 AM

I stumbled upon this song, or at least the lyrics thereof, some time ago. My source claimed that the original tune had long ago been forgotten. However, I am certain that it is widely known among Aussie folkies. My question is as to whether there is one generally accepted tune for it. Here are two, for instance.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD BARK HUT (A. B. Paterson)
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 07:56 AM

For those not acquainted with the song, here are the lyrics:

The Old Bark Hut

Oh, my name is Bob the Swagman, before you all I stand,
And I've had many ups and downs while travelling through the land.
I once was well-to-do, my boys, but now I am stumped up,
And I'm forced to go on rations in an old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
I'm forced to go on rations in an old bark hut.

Ten pounds of flour, ten pounds of beef, some sugar and some tea,
That's all they give to a hungry man, until the Seventh Day.
If you don't be moighty sparing, you'll go with a hungry gut —
For that's one of the great misfortunes in an old bark hut,

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
For that's one of the great misfortunes in an old bark hut.

The bucket you boil your beef in has to carry water, too,
And they'll say you're getting mighty flash if you should ask for two.
I've a billy, and a pint pot, and a broken-handled cup,
And they all adorn the table in the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
And they all adorn the table in the old bark hut.

Faith, the table is not made of wood, like many you have seen —
For if I had one half so good, I'd think myself serene —
'Tis only an old sheet of bark — God knows when it was cut —
It was blown from off the, rafters of the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
It was blown from off the rafters of the old bark hut.

And of furniture, there's no such thing, 'twas never in the place,
Except the stool I sit upon — and that's an old gin case.
It does us for a safe as well, but you must keep it shut,
Or the flies would make it canter round the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.

Or the flies would make it canter round the old bark hut.
If you should leave it open, add the flies should find your meat,
They'll scarcely leave a single piece that's fit for man to eat.
But you mustn't curse, nor grumble — what won't fatten will fill up —
For what's out of sight is out of mind in an old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
For what's out of sight is out of mind in an old bark hut.

In the summer time, when the weather's warm, this hut is nice and cool,
And you'll find the gentle breezes blowing in through every hole.
You can leave the old door open, or you can leave it shut,
There's no fear of suffocation in the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
There's no fear of suffocation in the old bark hut.

In the winter time — preserve us all — to live in there's a treat,
Especially when it's raining hard, and blowing wind and sleet.
The rain comes down the chimney, and your meat is black with soot —
That's a substitute for pepper in an old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
That's a substitute for pepper in an old bark hut.

I've seen the rain come in this hut just like a perfect flood,
Especially through that great big hole where once the table stood.
There's not a blessed spot, me boys, where you could lay your nut,
But the rain is sure to find you in the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
But the rain is sure to find you in the old bark hut.

So beside the fire I make my bed, and there I lay me down,
And think myself as happy as the king that wears a crown,
But as you're dozing off to sleep a flea will wake you up,
Which makes you curse the vermin in the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
Which makes you curse the vermin in the old bark hut.

Faith, such flocks of fleas you never saw, they are so plump and fat,
And if you make a grab at one he'll spit just like a cat.
Last night they got my pack of cards, and were fighting for the cut —
I thought the devil had me in the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
I thought the devil had me in the old bark hut.

So now, my friends, I've sung my song, and that as well as I could,
And I hope the ladies present won't think my language rude,
And all ye younger people, in the days when you grow up,
Remember Bob the Swagman, and the old bark hut.

Chorus
In an old bark hut. In an old bark hut.
Remember Bob the Swagman, and the old bark hut


Source:
A. B. Paterson (editor). The Old Bush Songs, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1905, pages 12-16


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 12:13 PM

I am sure that Bob Bolton or another knowledgeable Australian can give a better answer, but this will stir the pot (er, billy) a bit.

Ron Edwards in "The Overlander Songbook" gives four versions of "The Old Bark Hut," with four tunes.
I would guess that the tune used by the anon. author, if any, is unknown. The song seems to have surfaced c. 1890.

First lines:
1. My name is Larry Doolin, I'm a true born Irishman

2- My.name is Jack the Stockman, and before you I stand

3. I'm a poor old Bob the Swagman, and before you all I stand

4. Lyrics similar to number one, but the tune is "a very pleasant one."


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 12:16 PM

Edwards provides musical scores for the four different tunes.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: GUEST,Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 10:58 PM

G'day Allan C,

That's a song / (tune) I've known for pretty near 50 years. I would probably have a MIDI file lurking somewhere in my music files ... but I'm sure that my old mate Ralph Pride would have it in every format possibly needed for assembling Song Books, Tune Sets ... and whatever else the BMC performers group needs for the next jig (even the other tunes Ron had in "The Big Book"!

Regards

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 11:22 PM

G'day again,

... maybe I'll be logged in ... this time ...

Antway, I 'll see which versions Ron had in the 10-volume Directory (which I have in the CD format).

Then I'll need to divine just whch version Allen C wants ( ... or needs ... ) ... or ???

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 07:36 AM

It is the most commonly used tune that I'm after, Bob. In this case it might very well be the one you have used for 50 years since many in the land tend to refer to you as a source.

Pardon me because I am just now reminded of a tale I once heard about a man of a certain age who said, "'Folk music'? When I was coming up we just called it music!"


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 06:41 PM

G'day again Allan C,

I haven't heard back from Ralph Pride ... I think he's off to a festival way down south at Cobargo!

If you go to Mark Gregory's expanding collection of (usually 'oldest' in newspaper or similar publication ...) grabs gleaned from the National Library of Australis's TROVE OCR (Optical Character Recognition) harvest from early Australian periodicals, you will find a pretty standard set of words ... and a tune that 'sight-reads' for me as the one I would sing / play ( ... probably close to what's usually written ... !).

http://folkstream.com/065.html

I think Mark's Trove hit only says the song was first published in 'Banjo' Paterson's "Old Bush Songs" ... and Paterson may not have mentioned that it was composed by Louis Lavater ... or else that wasn't on the Trove OCR block Mark 'harvested'!

Anyway, it sight-reads quite well for me (not that I do much reading on 'old favourites' these days. I largely play from memory... and I generally sing and/or accompany in accord with the person singing or leading ...

Enjoy!

Regard BobB


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 07:14 PM

G'day again,

Ralph's response, from the depths (& / or heights) of Cobargo was: " ..' I don't reconise either of them ...".

I'll repeat that the music linked at Mark Gregory's posting reads pretty close to something I would call the 'proper' tune for Old Bark Hut ... if you subscribe to such a concept!

Regard(les)s,

BobB


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 12:54 PM

BobB, thanks for your answer.

The link is to the version in Paterson (1924), "Old Bush Songs," with the first line "My name is Bob the Swagman....

I wonder if the "Larry Doolin" version earlier or later? Or if it is possible to assign any dates?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 01:20 PM

Checking the DT and posts for this and other old songs.
"The Old Bark Hut" has not been posted to mudcat, but Joe Offer linked the songs in "An Australian Folk Song A Day" in thread 135504.

Australian Folk


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 01:22 PM


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 21 Feb 14 - 05:57 PM

I met this song many years ago on one of Bert Lloyd's radio programmes of Australian songs. Though some of the songs, including this one, were sung by someone else, I suspect Bert had provided the words -- only about half of those quoted above -- and the tune -- not the same as either of those on the YouTube video. Sorry I can't post it here, having not got to grips with ABC notation.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A LITTLE BARK HUT (trad. Australia)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Feb 14 - 04:00 PM

Lyr. Add: A LITTLE BARK HUT
Sung by Val Turton

A little chap in a little bark hut
Where the Murrumbidgee water flows;
He wrote a note to his Mum and Dad,
And this is how it goes:

Dear Mum and Dad this country life
Is nothing to spruik about,
We're up with the lark and work till dark,
And there's nowhere to go but bed.

Chorus:
Take me back to the Sidney streets,
Back to the train and cars;
Back to the town with a Post Office clock,
Back to the Freelance Bar;
Back to the girls who welcome me
Whether I'm up or down,
Back to the chicks that I love so well
In good old Sidney Town.

Australian Folklore Society Journal, Issues 1020, 1991, on line.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 14 - 05:27 PM

G'day again Q,

This one doesn't have any real 'connection ... descent' relationship to the original subject song ...

Given the pioneering conditions / early gold rush activities, &c, of the mid 1800s, in easter areas (... to-be-states ...) of the fairly newly 'European-invaded' Australia, we have to regard a location such as '... in an old bark hut' as meaning:

"reasonably well settled ... at least for the current 'gold rush' / land 'selection' / property sales / ... any other chance of settling down in this area ... hanging onto this spot ... for now!

Organised / officially-sanctioned / land settlement schemes were only just getting going from the 1860s ... and an easy way to pass on the news was in song!

Regards,

BobB


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 14 - 05:27 PM

G'day again Q,

This one doesn't have any real 'connection ... descent' relationship to the original subject song ...

Given the pioneering conditions / early gold rush activities, &c, of the mid 1800s, in eastern areas (... to-be-states ...) of the fairly newly 'European-invaded' Australia, we have to regard a location such as '... in an old bark hut' as meaning:

"reasonably well settled ... at least for the current 'gold rush' / land 'selection' / property sales / ... any other chance of settling down in this area ... hanging onto this spot ... for now!

Organised / officially-sanctioned / land settlement schemes were only just getting going from the 1860s ... and an easy way to pass on the news was in song!

Regards,

BobB


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Old Bark Hut
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Feb 14 - 05:34 PM

Err ... G'day again ...

Damn! ... my cookie keeps crumbling!

I hope it doesn't disintegrate before I sign off ... this time!

Bob Bolton


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