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Origins: Lazy Harry's / The Road to Gundagai

topical tom 20 May 17 - 03:55 PM
Snuffy 20 May 17 - 04:02 PM
topical tom 20 May 17 - 04:10 PM
Steve Parkes 20 May 17 - 04:21 PM
topical tom 20 May 17 - 05:01 PM
Joe Offer 20 May 17 - 07:26 PM
Reinhard 20 May 17 - 07:42 PM
Snuffy 21 May 17 - 02:46 AM
Sandra in Sydney 21 May 17 - 04:37 AM
Hrothgar 21 May 17 - 06:38 AM
David Carter (UK) 21 May 17 - 09:19 AM
topical tom 21 May 17 - 11:09 AM
David Carter (UK) 21 May 17 - 03:25 PM
Reinhard 21 May 17 - 03:55 PM
The Sandman 21 May 17 - 04:48 PM
The Sandman 21 May 17 - 04:53 PM
John MacKenzie 21 May 17 - 05:00 PM
Sandra in Sydney 21 May 17 - 06:47 PM
Tangledwood 21 May 17 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 21 May 17 - 08:43 PM
Sandra in Sydney 22 May 17 - 02:31 AM
David Carter (UK) 22 May 17 - 08:36 AM
David Carter (UK) 22 May 17 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 22 May 17 - 07:19 PM
Leadfingers 23 May 17 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai
From: topical tom
Date: 20 May 17 - 03:55 PM

I remember this song\ fondld bu I have forgotten most of the lyrics.I do recall partThere is beer to knock you sideways of averseAnd girlstomake you cry When you stop at Lazy Harrys On the road to Bandagai.


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Subject: ADD: The Road to Gungadai
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 May 17 - 04:02 PM

Hi Tom. That's Gundagai - not Bandagai. Here's the version I know, but it hasn't got the lines you have quoted.


THE ROAD TO GUNGADAI

Well we'd finished up the shearing and we each had took our cheques
So we planned a trip to Sydney just to lubricate our necks
So we swung the swags up gaily: we had Sydney in the eye
But we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

We camped one night at a station and they treated us real swell
Next day we started tramping, and the sun was hot as hell
But we didn't mind the tramping and we didn't mind the flies
But we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

We camped one night at a cocky's, at the next the waterhole was dry
Next day we started tramping beneath the red hot copper sky
But we didn't mind the tramping: we had Sydney in the eye
But we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

We were miles yet from the railhead and out throats were awful dry
When we spotted Lazy Harry's pub on the road to Gundagai
So we thought we'd have a quick one in the pub as we passed by
But we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

Now the barmaids there in Harry's pub would melt a heart of stone
They'd make you think you were twice your size like you stood out on your own
And when you knew you'd had enough, they'd convince you you were dry
So we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

Well we ended up as drunk as lords, woke up with an awful head
Snowy felt down in his pockets and he said "Well, strike me dead!
Someone has fanned me for my money," then he gave a woeful sigh
"That means I won't see Sydney now or get as far as Gundagai"

When we each felt in our pockets, someone had done a proper job
For they'd fanned us for our money, and they'd left us fifteen bob
It's a lesson I'll remember now until the day I die
When we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

From Songs sung in Suffolk, Vol 3. Veteran Tapes VT103. (Field recordings 1985-87 by John Howson). Sung by Fred Whiting of Kenton, Suffolk.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai
From: topical tom
Date: 20 May 17 - 04:10 PM

Thanks,Snuffy.There may be a slightly different version because I know that the two lines I quoted were in the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 May 17 - 04:21 PM

You might like these observations on songs about Gundagai too. (In case you're wondering, there's a famous statue of a dog sitting on a tucker box in the town of Gundagai.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai
From: topical tom
Date: 20 May 17 - 05:01 PM

Mea culpa again! The actual song is "Lazy Harry" which does include the lines I quoted. S


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 17 - 07:26 PM

Snuffy, what title do you have for the song - did I add the correct title to your post??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Reinhard
Date: 20 May 17 - 07:42 PM

Mark Gregory's Australian Folk Songs has this as Lazy Harry but Martyn Wyndham-Read sings it with the title On the Road to Gundagai.

Lazy Harry's

Oh we started down from Roto when the sheds had all cut out
We'd whips and whips of Rhino as w e meant to push about
So we humped our blues serenely and made for Sydney town
With a three-spot cheque between us as wanted knocking down

Chorus
But we camped at Lazy Harry's, on the road to Gundagai
The road to Gundagai
Not five miles from Gundagai
Yes we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

Well we struck the Murrumbidgee near the Yanco in a week
And passed through old Narrandera and crossed the Burnett Creek
And we never stopped at Wagga for we'd Sydney in our eye
But we camped at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

Oh I've seen a lot of girls my boys and drunk a lot of beer
And I've met with some of both chaps as has left me mighty queer
But for beer to knock you sideways and for girls to make you sigh
You must camp at Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai

Well we chucked our blooming swags off and we walked into the bar
And we called for rum-an'-raspb'ry and a shilling each cigar
But the girl that served the poison she winked at Bill and I
And we camped at Lazy Harry's not five miles from Gundagai

In a week the spree was over and the cheque was all knocked down
So we shouldered our Matildas and we turned our back on town
And the girls they stood a nobbler as we sadly said good-bye
And we tramped from Lazy Harry's not five miles from Gundagai

Last chorus
And we tramped from Lazy Harry's not five miles from Gundagai
The road to Gundagai
Not five miles from Gundagai
Yes we tramped from Lazy Harry's on the road to Gundagai


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 May 17 - 02:46 AM

Joe, the title given on the recording I have is Lazy Harry's


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 May 17 - 04:37 AM

I was wondering how Fred Whiting leart a traditional Australian song

Fred was a prolific collector of songs himself, and over the years he picked up songs wherever he went, including some from New South Wales where he spent a few years in his late teens.

Do we know how many Australian songs & tunes he learnt & who he learnt them from?


Musical Tradition CD MTCD350 - fiddle tunes
He also spent many years in Australia and picked up tunes there, thus having a broad repertoire beyond the East Anglian material he picked up in his early years.


Fred talking about time in Australia
In the mid-1920s Fred and his father went to New South Wales for work, following in the footsteps of Fred's uncle Jim, who had fled there after being caught poaching from the Duke of Hamilton, who lived at Easton Mansion. According to Fred his Uncle Jimmy, who could 'fight like the devil himself', gave the keeper who caught him a 'terrific hiding' and fled, the penalty for poaching by night being more severe than that for poaching in daylight, and for fear of being charged with assault and battery into the bargain. As Fred explained: "This would have meant four or five moons in the Government Boarding House, so he bought a long railway ticket and sailed for Australia under his mother's maiden name". This he was able to do on the proceeds of poaching, and still had enough to leave £40 for his mother. As Fred - who was no mean poacher himself - pointed out: "With rabbits 6d each, and hares and pheasants 2/6 each, he must have been a busy poacher".

Fred described his time in Australia as follows: "In the '20s things got pretty tough round here; there was no dole or anything. So a lot of the young lads went to Burton" (on Trent) "for the maltings, or joined the militia - and they always came back with a new pair of boots and little else. Well, in 1926 I decided to go to Australia. I was a bricklayer then and worked out there on the railway, building tunnels" (at Lismore in north-east New South Wales). " I was out there eight years" (Fred's measurement of the passage of time is not entirely consistent with the dates he gives). "I took my fiddle out there and in our camp were several Irish navvies - well I reckon two-thirds of Australians are of Irish descent; 3 or 4 of us had violins. And we were in one place where it rained for nine solid bloody months - we only had two fine days and everything got saturated - blankets, clothes, even our matches we had to dip in wax before you could strike them. Well, all these other blokes, their fiddles came unstuck but mine was hung up in an old calico bag and it stuck it out all that while - whoever made that violin knew his job".

"There were some good musicians over there. A guy called Harry Smith played the concertina and Jim Jackson the tin whistle, but the best music I heard, you'll think I'm daft, but it was out in the bush, were three or four old aborigines sitting in a circle blowing through old gum leaves - boy, you've never heard anything like it. I told you I used to play the tin whistle but I could only get about seven notes out of it. Well, I was coming down the road there one night when I heard this Jim Jackson playing Over the Waves and I rumbled what you could do with breath control - you could get far more notes out of it. So I got away on my own somewhere, so I wouldn't be nuisance, and I was playing Annie Laurie - getting on well with it - and a damned green-head ant crawled up my leg and give me such a bite, well, I played a note in Annie Laurie I reckon you could have heard back at Harkie's! Have you ever heard a parrot sing? I used to have one perched on my tent every morning and I taught it to whistle St Patrick's Day in the Morning. It was comical to hear it. If it went wrong it would stop and go through it again until it was right. So for six months I used to be woken up every morning with St Patrick's Day, and then I never saw it again. I reckon an old carpet snake got it".

"I remember one night I had that old fiddle there, it's a copy of an old Stradivari. Anyway, there was some fellas going over the mountain one Saturday night and I knew they were going on the booze and I didn't want to get mixed up in that. So I went down to an Irishman's place and damned if I didn't run straight into it. They asked me to go and get my fiddle, and I know I ended on my back on a fella's bunk playing '100 pipers'. I can still remember what I was playing, but the next morning when I woke up I wished I could have died. Crikey, no more of that for me".

"I came back to Kenton in 1932 and soon got back into playing around the pubs round here - Rishangles Swan, Dennington Bell, Charsfield Horseshoes, Earl Soham Beerhouse - they were all good in their day, it just depended who kept it". In 1936 Fred married Winnie Branton, who was born in 1913, the daughter of John Branton and Gertrude née Bloomfield.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Hrothgar
Date: 21 May 17 - 06:38 AM

Reinhard's version is the one I know, but I would transpose the third and fourth verses.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 21 May 17 - 09:19 AM

According to Wikipedia, "Along the road to Gundagai" is a different song written by Jack O'Hagen in 1922. The only one I have heard though is "Nine Miles to Gundagai", the dog on the tucker box one, link by Steve Parkes to Bob Bolton's post above. And "The road to Gundagai" is a Banjo Paterson poem. I have been there, or more accurately driven through it, and it is a pretty unpreposessing place. However it seems to have become a metaphor for the life of the drovers of the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: topical tom
Date: 21 May 17 - 11:09 AM

Amazing! The two songs are somewhat different but both are lively catchy songs. Thanks,everyone for all the fascinating information! Great research!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 21 May 17 - 03:25 PM

Reading a bit further, it seems that the "Dog on the Tuckerbox" poem was originally called Bullocky Bill, and dates from 1857. So it predates all of Jack O'Hagen, Jack Moses and Banjo Paterson by quite a few years. All of these people drew on the work of someone who used the pen name "Bowyang Yorke".

Lazy Harry's appears to be later still, and pretty much unrelated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Reinhard
Date: 21 May 17 - 03:55 PM

There seem to be two unrelated Road to Gundagai poems by Banjo Paterson.

The Australian Poetry Library has Banjo Paterson's poem "The Road to Gundagai" from his 1902 book "Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses":

The Road to Gundagai

The mountain road goes up and down,
From Gundagai to Tumut Town.

And branching off there runs a track,
Across the foothills grim and black,

Across the plains and ranges grey
To Sydney city far away.

It came by chance one day that I
From Tumut rode to Gundagai.

And reached about the evening tide
The crossing where the roads divide;

And, waiting at the crossing place,
I saw a maiden fair of face,

With eyes of deepest violet blue,
And cheeks to match the rose in hue -

The fairest maids Australia knows
Are bred among the mountain snows.

Then, fearing I might go astray,
I asked if she could show the way.

Her voice might well a man bewitch -
Its tones so supple, deep, and rich.

"The tracks are clear," she made reply,
"And this goes down to Sydney town,
And that one goes to Gundagai."

Then slowly, looking coyly back,
She went along the Sydney track.

And I for one was well content
To go the road the lady went;

But round the turn a swain she met -
The kiss she gave him haunts me yet!

I turned and travelled with a sigh
The lonely road to Gundagai.

And the Institute for Australian Culture has "On the Road to Gundagai" from Paterson's 1905 book "Old Bush Songs", which is our "Lazy Harry" from above.

On the Road to Gundagai

Oh, we started down from Roto when the sheds had all cut out.
We'd whips and whips of Rhino as we meant to push about,
So we humped our blues serenely and made for Sydney town,
With a three-spot cheque between us, as wanted knocking down.

Chorus
But we camped at Lazy Harry's, on the road to Gundagai.
The road to Gundagai! Not five miles from Gundagai!
Yes, we camped at Lazy Harry's, on the road to Gundagai.

Well, we struck the Murrumbidgee near the Yanko in a week,
And passed through old Narrandera and crossed the Burnet Creek.
And we never stopped at Wagga, for we'd Sydney in our eye.
But we camped at Lazy Harry's, on the road to Gundagai.

Chorus: But we camped, &c.

Oh, I've seen a lot of girls, my boys, and drunk a lot of beer,
And I've met with some of both, chaps, as has left me mighty queer;
But for beer to knock you sideways, and for girls to make you sigh,
You must camp at Lazy Harry's, on the road to Gundagai.

Well, we chucked our blooming swags off, and we walked into the bar,
And we called for rum-an'-raspb'ry and a shilling each cigar.
But the girl that served the pizen, she winked at Bill and I —
And we camped at Lazy Harry's, not five miles from Gundagai.

In a week the spree was over and the cheque was all knocked down,
So we shouldered our "Matildas," and we turned our backs on town,
And the girls they stood a nobbler as we sadly said "Good bye,"
And we tramped from Lazy Harry's, not five miles from Gundagai;

Chorus: And we tramped, &c.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 17 - 04:48 PM

I'm used to punchin' bullock teams across the hills and plains.
I've teamed outback for forty years through bleedin' hail and rain.
I've lived a lot of troubles down, without a bloomin' lie,
But I can't forget what happened just five miles from Gundagai.

'Twas getting dark, the team got bored, the axle snapped in two.
I lost me matches and me pipe, so what was I to do?
The rain it was coming on, and hungry too was I,
And me dog shat in me tucker-box five miles from Gundagai.

Some blokes I know have stacks of luck, no matter where they fall,
But there was I, Lord love a duck, no bloody luck at all.
I couldn't heat a pot of tea or keep me trousers dry,
And me dog shat in me tucker-box five miles from Gundagai.

Now, I can forgive the bleedin' team, I can forgive the rain.
I can forgive the damp and cold and go through it again.
I can forgive the rotten luck, but 'ang me till I die,
I can't forgive that bloody dog, five miles from Gundagai.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 May 17 - 04:53 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTiyY1Bv-sU


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 May 17 - 05:00 PM

There's also a parody, called, The Dog Shat in me Tucker Box, Five Miles from Gundagai.
I've been to Gundagai, and apart from a café, a gift shop, and the famous statue, there isn't a lot to see.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 May 17 - 06:47 PM

when the highway bypassed Gundagai it became a backwater.

Wikipedia on Gundagai

sandra


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Tangledwood
Date: 21 May 17 - 07:03 PM

John MacKenzie, what you describe is a fuel and food stop on the highway. Gundagai itself, off the highway, is a fairly typical small country town. It has a nice caravan park, a variety of hotels/motels and eating places, and the usual selection of shops.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 21 May 17 - 08:43 PM

Visited Gundagai this year on our gentle meander back to Sydney Airport and our flight back to the UK.

As someone mentioned above it is a pleasant typical country town with a nice climate due to it being well above sea level.

We stopped off for a light lunch and a wander around (in reverse order) and then set off to find the famous statue.

We were amazed to find that there as actually a freeway interchange specifically built to give access to the site of the statue and its attendant services.

If, as someone says, the tale of bullocky Bill is a parody of a previous song then it certainly did no harm the area.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 22 May 17 - 02:31 AM

oops, & here was me calling it a backwater!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 22 May 17 - 08:36 AM

The dog on the tucker box has its own website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 22 May 17 - 08:59 AM

And that site seems to say, that the Dog Shat in the Tuckerbox, is not a parody, but the original, later cleaned up by Bowyang Yorke and Jack Moses for public distribution.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Road to Bandagai/Gundagai
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 22 May 17 - 07:19 PM

I'd go along with your later post on that David.

The Australians have never bee shy at telling it as it is!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lazy Harry's / The Road to Gundagai
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 May 17 - 12:45 PM

The Sandman's link


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