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Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me

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GUEST,Ian 20 Dec 18 - 04:46 PM
Bruce from Bathurst 20 Dec 18 - 08:01 PM
Joe Offer 20 Dec 18 - 09:09 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 18 - 08:12 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 18 - 08:34 PM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 18 - 09:43 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 18 - 10:19 PM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 18 - 11:16 PM
Bruce from Bathurst 22 Dec 18 - 08:19 AM
Stewie 22 Dec 18 - 06:04 PM
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Subject: Enq: The north is calling me
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 04:46 PM

Who wrote the Australian poem, The North Is Calling Me.
Thanks
Ian


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Subject: RE: Enq: The north is calling me
From: Bruce from Bathurst
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 08:01 PM

I think the song goes by the name 'Call Of The North'. If that's the one you have in mind, Ian, the words were written by the Western Australian poet Jack Sorensen. It was later put to music by Bob Rummery, also from WA, a fine musician and member of the band Loaded Dog.


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Subject: ADD: The Call of the North (Jack Sorensen)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 18 - 09:09 PM

Is this the song you're seeking, Ian? I found one version of the lyrics here: http://folkstream.com/181.html

The Call of the North
(Jack Sorensen)

Oh! the western wind is blowing--
So there's rain and cold in store,
And the teams have long been going
Down the road to Mullewa:
To where tropic sun is gleaming
And the fragrant winds blow free;
I've awakened from my dreaming,
And the North is calling me.

Oh! the steam is in the boiler
In the engine-room below,
And upon the board each toiler
Waits to hear the whistle blow:
For the shearing is beginning,
And my heart is fancy free,
And the friction wheels are spinning,
And the North is calling me.

And so Northward I am going,
For I cannot linger here,
For the starting whistle's blowing,
And the 'guns' are into gear:
So to be there I am yearning,
I will hail the sheds with glee,
For the money wheels are turning,
And the North is calling me.

Jack Sorensen, Maida Vale

Notes
From the Western Australian newspaper the Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express Friday 14 June 1929:
Jack Sorensen was born in Western Australia, a second generation Australian of Danish, Irish and English heritage. He began his working life as an orchardist on his family's property in Maida Vale, Perth, and then worked as a shearer on stations in the Murchison, Gascoyne and Kimberleys. In 1936 he returned to Perth and began work as a representative of the United Press, travelling throughout Western Australia.

The poem appears in a book titled The gun of Glindawor and other ballads / by Jack Sorensen.

Original Source: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87115404#
The words are quite different in this recording from Martyn Wyndham-Read, Carolyn Robson & No Man's Band, titled "The Call of the North":
Here's my attempt at a transcription of the recording by Martyn Wyndham-Read:

THE CALL OF THE NORTH
(Jack Sorensen - as recorded by Martyn Wyndham-Read)

Now the western wind is blowing--
So there's rain and storm in store,
The teams have long been going
Down the road to Glindawor.
Where the tropic sun is gleaming,
The breeze is blowing free;
I have wakened from my dreaming,
And the North is calling me.

Oh, the steam is in the engine
In the expert's room below,
And upon the board each shearer
Waits to hear the whistle blow.
For the shearing is beginning,
And my heart is fancy free,
And the friction wheels are spinning,
And the North is calling me.

From the Southward to the Northward,
Where the long, brown tracks wind down;
Oh, me mates are pushing forward,
To the wilderness from town;
Gone by stony hill and hollow,
To where I now would be,
Where they lead I needs must follow,
For the North, it's calling me.

[instrumental break]

What's the news I have been hearing,
Tidings strange to me indeed,
Bidgemia's started shearing,
With Sawallish in the lead,
Straining camel teams are swaying,
From the Junction to the sea,
Why so long am I delaying,
When the North is calling me.

And so northward I am going,
For I cannot linger here,
Now the starting whistle's blowing,
And the 'guns' are into gear:
And to be there I am longing,
And I hail the sheds with glee,
For the friction wheels are turning,
And the North is calling me.


A version with a different melody and a chorus by Wongawilli

Here are the lyrics from the Wongawilli Website (corrected to match the recording):

Call of the North

Oh the western wind is blowing, so there's rain and storm in store,
And the teams have long been going down the road to Glindawor,
To where tropic sun is gleaming, and the fragrant winds blow free,
I've awakened from my dreaming and the North is calling me.

chorus:
Oh the steam is in the boiler, in the engine room below,
While upon the board each toiler waits to hear the whistle blow,
'Cause the shearing is beginning and my heart is fancy free,
And the friction wheels are spinning, yes the North is calling me.

From the southwards to the nor'wards, where the long brown tracks wind down,
All my mates have hastened forward, to the wilderness, from town,
Gone by stony hill and hollow, to where I now fain would be,
Where they lead my feet must follow, for the North is calling me.

What's this news I have been hearing, tidings strange to me indeed,
Picture me and my mates shearing, with a ringer in the lead,
Straining camel teams are swaying, from the Junction to the sea,
Why so long am I delaying, when the North is calling me.

chorus:

And so northward I am going, for I cannot linger here,
For the starting whistle's blowing, and the guns are into gear,
And to be there I am yearning, I would hail the sheds with glee,
And the friction wheels are turning, and the North is calling me.

chorus:

Another song from Western Australia which describes the northwards movement of the shearers following the work. Jack Sorenson was a Western Australian poet who spent his time around the gold fields, shearing sheds and pubs reciting his poetry. He was also very handy with his fists having been a boxer in his earlier days.


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Subject: RE: Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 08:12 PM

Thanks Bruce and Joe.
That's the one.
I was going by Martyn Wyndham-Read's title.
Is Bob Mummery's melody out there somewhere?...YT...whatever.
I would like to hear it.
Martyn W-R penned a nice melody for it as well.


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Subject: RE: Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 08:34 PM

And one more: would either of you know the writer of, "North To The Sheds" a 1901 poem. Can't seem to track that one down either.
Thanks
Ian

Sample:
"There's a whisper from the regions out beyond the Barwon banks ;
There's a gathering of the legions and a forming of the ranks ;
There's a murmur coming nearer with the signs that never fail,
And it's time for every shearer to be out upon the trail.

They must leave their girls behind them and their empty glasses, too ;
For there's plenty left to mind them when they they cross the dry Barcoo ;
There'll be kissing, there'll be sorrow, such as only sweethearts know,
But before the noon to-morrow they'll be singing as they go --

CH: For the Western creeks are calling
And the idle days are done,
With the snowy fleeces falling
And the Queensland sheds begun !
Etc...


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Subject: ADD: North to the Sheds (Will H. Ogilvie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 09:43 PM

Hi, Ian. Thanks for introducing us to these. I found this one also at Mark Gregory's Australian Folk Songs Website: http://folkstream.com/372.html

North To The Sheds (1901)
(Will H. Ogilvie)

There's a whisper from the regions out beyond the Barwon banks ;
There's a gathering of the legions and a forming of the ranks ;
There's a murmur coming nearer with the signs that never fail,
And it's time for every shearer to be out upon the trail.

They must leave their girls behind them and their empty glasses, too;
For there's plenty left to mind them when they they cross the dry Barcoo;
There'll be kissing, there'll be sorrow, such as only sweethearts know,
But before the noon to-morrow they'll be singing As they go--

For the Western creeks are calling
And the idle days are done,
With the snowy fleeces falling
And the Queensland sheds begun!

There is shortening of the bridle, there is tightening of the girth,
There is fondling of the idol that they love the best on earth;
Forward from the Lachlan River and the sun-dried Castlereagh,
Outward to the Never-Never ride the ringers on their way.

From the green bends of the Murray they have run their horses in ;
For there's haste and there is hurry when the Queensland sheds begin;
On the Bogan they are bridling, they are saddling on the Bland,
There is plunging and there's sidling--for the colts don't understand

That the Western creeks are calling
And the idle days are done,
With the snowy fleeces falling
And the Queensland sheds begun!

They will camp below the station, they'll be cutting peg and pole,
Rearing tents for occupation till the calling of the roll;
And it's time the nags were driven, and it's time to strap the pack,
For there's never license given to the laggards on the track.

Hark the music of the battle! It is time to bare our swords.
Do you hear the rush and rattle as they tramp along the boards?
They are past the pen-doors picking light-woolled weaners one by one;
I can hear the shear-blades clicking, and I know the fight's begun!

--W. Ogilvie.

Notes
From the Wagga NSW newspaper the Worker Saturday 22 June 1901, p. 2.

William Henry (Will) Ogilvie (1869-1963), poet and journalist, was born on 21 August 1869 near Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland. His love of horses and the ballads of Adam Lindsay Gordon turned his eyes to Australia. His father agreed that 'colonial experience' would benefit him. So in 1889 Will came to Australia and ... was wholly captivated by the outback and for twelve years roamed from the Channel country of Queensland to the Coorong of South Australia. Horse-breaking, droving, mustering and camping out on the vast plains became the salt of life to him. See more in the Australian Dictionary of Biography


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Subject: RE: Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 10:19 PM

A pleasure Joe...it's all good stuff.
Thanks
Ian


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Subject: RE: Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 18 - 11:16 PM

Hi, Ian - watch out for the lyrics on "Call of the North." The first version I posted is taken from a newspaper. It may or may not be the complete poem.

Note that the Wyndham-Read and Wongawilli lyrics are more-or-less the same, but differ on some points. The Wongawilli recording is quite easy to understand, but the Wongawilli Website has lyrics that replace the clear lyrics with what sound like garbled Australian placenames - and Wyndham-Read uses those placenames. So, who's right? I'm betting on what I hear on the Wongawilli recording.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me
From: Bruce from Bathurst
Date: 22 Dec 18 - 08:19 AM

If the original lyrics of "Call of the North" include 'Glindawor', I suspect that could be the name of a real or fictitious sheep station. Joe has referenced Jack Sorensen's book 'The gun of Glindawor and other ballads'. (The "gun" is the best, top, fastest, etc, shearer working in a shearing shed.)

In the version found at http://folkstream.com/181.html, Mullewa is a small town 450km north of Perth, so perhaps that's where the "call" was coming from. It's certainly north of many other places.

For some reason, the the Wongawilli version prefers to include Glendalough, which is the name of a suburb in north Perth. Coincidentally (or maybe not), Bob Rummery, the composer of the tune used by Wongawilli, lives about 15km from Glendalough.

I think Martyn W-R might be using his own tune.


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Subject: RE: Req: The Call of the North:The north is calling me
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Dec 18 - 06:04 PM

Guest above wanted to hear Bob Rummery's tune for this. Bob is in a West Australian bush band named Loaded Dog. The poem, with Bob's tune, is on their first album "Dusty Gravel Road'. All 4 of Loaded Dog's albums are first rate. You can listen to the first album here:

Loaded Dog

--Stewie.


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