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Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook

Stewie 15 Apr 21 - 09:54 PM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Apr 21 - 03:00 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Apr 21 - 02:52 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Apr 21 - 02:42 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Apr 21 - 02:37 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Apr 21 - 02:29 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Apr 21 - 12:22 AM
Stewie 13 Apr 21 - 10:39 PM
Stewie 13 Apr 21 - 08:52 PM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Apr 21 - 09:31 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Apr 21 - 09:05 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Apr 21 - 05:55 AM
Stewie 12 Apr 21 - 09:17 PM
Stewie 11 Apr 21 - 10:27 PM
Stewie 09 Apr 21 - 11:17 PM
Stewie 07 Apr 21 - 09:16 PM
Stewie 07 Apr 21 - 08:57 PM
Stewie 07 Apr 21 - 08:10 PM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Apr 21 - 10:32 AM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Apr 21 - 10:27 AM
rich-joy 06 Apr 21 - 10:25 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Apr 21 - 09:32 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Apr 21 - 08:59 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Apr 21 - 08:54 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Apr 21 - 08:26 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Apr 21 - 07:26 PM
Stewie 05 Apr 21 - 12:48 AM
Stewie 04 Apr 21 - 09:44 PM
rich-joy 03 Apr 21 - 10:56 AM
rich-joy 03 Apr 21 - 10:15 AM
GerryM 03 Apr 21 - 05:26 AM
GerryM 03 Apr 21 - 05:04 AM
Sandra in Sydney 02 Apr 21 - 08:02 AM
rich-joy 02 Apr 21 - 05:37 AM
Sandra in Sydney 02 Apr 21 - 04:26 AM
rich-joy 01 Apr 21 - 11:43 PM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Apr 21 - 11:38 PM
Stewie 01 Apr 21 - 10:15 PM
Stewie 01 Apr 21 - 10:04 PM
rich-joy 01 Apr 21 - 05:52 AM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Mar 21 - 03:17 AM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Mar 21 - 03:05 AM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Mar 21 - 02:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Mar 21 - 02:48 AM
Sandra in Sydney 30 Mar 21 - 11:43 PM
Stewie 30 Mar 21 - 10:07 PM
rich-joy 30 Mar 21 - 09:01 PM
Stewie 29 Mar 21 - 09:09 PM
Stewie 29 Mar 21 - 03:18 AM
Stewie 29 Mar 21 - 12:26 AM
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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Apr 21 - 09:54 PM

THE SUNSHINE DISASTER
(Unknown)

He was driving a Bendigo engine
The train was running all right
It was going along as usual
Till Sunshine came in sight
He put on his brakes and he whistled
For the signal was against the train
He applied his brakes for emergency
But alas ‘twas all in vain

Chorus
If those trains had only run
As they should, their proper time
There wouldn’t have been a disaster
At a place they call Sunshine
If those brakes had only held
As they did a few hours before
There wouldn’t have been a disaster
And a death-roll of forty-four

The doctors and nurses arrived there
And the sight it caused them pain
To see all the wounded and dying
In the wreck of that fateful train
The people of Sunshine ne’er faltered
But assisted with all their power
To help the doctors and nurses
In that awful and painful hour

Chorus

This is from Ron Edwards' big book. He collected it at Lappa Junction in August 1966 from the singing of Bill Leonard who had learnt it some 30 years earlier.

Youtube clip

In the video, Musgrove uses a chorus that Edwards collected from Frank Evans at Mareeba Qld in September 1966.

If those brakes had only gripped
As they did a while before
There would be no Sunshine disaster
Or deaths numbering forty-four
If that guard had only seen
That danger lay ahead
There would be no widows or orphans
But happier homes instead

Sunshine train crash 1908

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 03:00 AM

AWAY, YOU SHAKY TURNBULL © John Dengate 2009
Tune: Shenandoah

video - Bruce Springsteen singing Shendandoah

Oh, what a chore to have to hear them,
Away, you shaky Turnbull.
Oh, please, oh, please don’t let me near them.
Away, with Mal and Joe
And good bye, Costello.

Julia Gillard's feeling cocky.
Away, you shaky Turnbull
She's scoring goals in games of Hockey.
Away, with Mal and Joe
And good bye, Costello.

The Liberal Party is unlucky,
Away, you shaky Turnbull
The prize they won was Wilson Tuckey
Away, with Mal and Joe
And good bye, Costello.

They are the devil's worst invention,
Away, you shaky Turnbull
Lock them all up in detention
Away, with Mal and Joe
And good bye, Costello.

The leadership is quite dyspeptic
Away, you shaky Turnbull
For Minchin is a climate sceptic
Away, with Mal and Joe
And good bye, Costello.

They’re paranoid, their front bench speakers,
Away, you shaky Turnbull
The way they fear asylum seekers
Away, with Mal and Joe
And good bye, Costello.

Notes
Many thanks to John Dengate for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

It really needs updating - I wonder if Dale would like to do it, I'll ask her!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 02:52 AM

STIMULUS PACKAGE by John Dengate 2010 Tune: Fiddlers’Green

Chorus:
Oh, I'm tired of the stimulus package,
It's not stimulating at all;
Wayne Swan's so depressing.
I feel like undressing
And dancing in George Street outside the town hall.

There should be a system imposing large fines
For they keep on repeating the same bloody lines –
Five minutes of Gillard requires six beers
And damned Lindsay Tanner just bores me to tears.

Oh, where have the colourful characters gone?
Kevin Rudd stands up and drones on and on –
An hour-long lecture to him’s a brief chat…
But he isn’t John Howard…I’m grateful for that…

Bring back Paul Keating and then let him loose;
What parliament needs is some decent abuse –
Some nasty invective with insults that bite,
Some poisonous speeches with plenty of spite…

Notes
Many thanks to John Dengate for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

video-Fiddler's Green sung by author John Connolly
As John said in 1989 in the Author's Ramblings in My Shout Again - I still refuse ti apologise fro pinching tunes. I wish it to be known I only pinch quality tunes.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 02:42 AM

THE MAD MONK by John Dengate 2010
tune: Vilikins and His Dinah/Dinky Di/ Sweet Betsy from Pike etc

Oh dear, just how low have the Liberals sunk.
They’ve chosen as leader the raving mad monk.
A royalist ratbag, a popish ex-pug;
Reactionary Tory, the monarchist thug.

They've sacked Malcolm Turnbull and put in his stead
A bloke who's been punched far too hard, round the head;
Too many left hooks which rather explains
The crackpot ideas that roll round his brains.

It's enough to send Methodists out on a binge –
He's a punchy ex-priest from the lunatic fringe
A failed Father Tony who's frightened of hell
And raises his fists at the sound of a bell.

They've chosen as leader a real troglodyte,
A cruiserweight lout from the party's far right
A punch-throwing papist. Oh, times must be grim
For the Tories to choose a mad bastard like him.

Repeat first verse.

Notes

Many thanks to John Dengate for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

The Mad Monk is Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott elected by a majority of one of his colleagues at the end of 2009

video- tune Vilikins and his Dinah


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 02:37 AM

SONG FOR JULIA © John Dengate 2010
Tune: Fiddlers’ Green

Australlia's PMs, they have always been males
But Julia Gillard, the woman from Wales.
Took over from Rudd and you cannot deny.
There's a spring in her step and a glint in her eye.

Chorus:

Oh, the blood of the fearsome Welsh bowmen
Is running in Julia's veins;
As forward she marches
Forget not those archers –
The memory of Agincourt always remains.

The Welsh bowmen fired and their arrows, in flights.
Cut down in hundreds the French armoured knights.
Six hundred years ago history records,
The longbow prevailed over chivalry's swords.

The feudal French knights 'neath the sharp arrows fell….
Those tough, peasant archers, they did their work well;
Pride, wealth and privilege lay in the mud…
And the blood of those bowmen is Julia's blood!

Notes
Many thanks to John Dengate for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

John writes:
'As was the case at Crecy and Poitiers, the heavily-armoured French knights, the pride of the feudal system, were savagely defeated by the English of the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415. The English army relied heavily on peasant long bowmen … mainly Welsh … for their victories.'

video-Fiddler's Green sung by author John Connolly


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 02:29 AM

I just found an 11 years old emailed list of Dengate songs posted by mark Gregory on Union songs.


RECESSION SONG by John Dengate, 2009
Tune: Bread of Heaven

Goodness me, we now are in recession,
All our hopes of wealth are gone.
Though we pray for saintly intercession,
Heaven just feels put upon.

Pass the Coopers … all our super's
Gone into a deep black hole –
Line up quietly to collect the dole.

No complaints! You've had it good for ages;
No-one loves a whinger, mate!
If you'd saved three quarters of your wages,
You'd have banquets upon your plate.

Don't say 'suicide'; seek a truer guide,
Soon the good times will return –
We'll have credit card and cash to burn!

Eat cheap meat … there's protein in that gristle …
Dog food's good … you buy it canned.
Cop it sweet … hum happy tunes and whistle …
Buy your trousers second hand.

Soup's sustaining…no complaining!
Be obsequious and smile;
Wait obediently in single file.
Stop that grumbling! Hunger's humbling
We've survived bad times before –
What we really need's a good, long war.

tune on 1877 Conacher all-tracker actuion pipe organ


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Apr 21 - 12:22 AM

oops, i thought I checked every video (blush)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 10:39 PM

Sandra, this YT clip of 'Henry Lawson's Pen' works fine:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 08:52 PM

This ripper poem deserves greater exposure. Bob Rummery obtained the words from Tom Brittain, author of 'When You're Flush' posted above on 28 August last year. Tom found them in one of the rural newspapers, the 'Farmer's Weekly' or similar publication. Despite an extensive search, Bob was unable to discover the author of the poem. However, he put a tune to it and forwarded it to Chloe and Jason Roweth who recorded it on their 'A Voice That Was Still' album. Midkin Station is near Moree in northern NSW.

ALL GONE
(Unknown/Bob Rummery)

The ghosts of shearers long-since dead
Are back at Midkin now
They come with softest silent tread
To ring once more that mighty shed
And show the learners how

The wind sighs soft o’er silent lands
Where sheep no longer graze
And phantoms come and take their stand
And grasp the shears in ghostly hands
Before a dreamer’s gaze

The empty shed so silent now
Was rowdy long ago
With men who came from plain and hill
To laugh and swear and work until
The sun was hanging low

Silken webs festoon the place
Where shearers’ down tubes hung
But in those nets of silken lace
I see full many an old friend’s face
And think of the years they’ve rung

The cocky’s hut’s deserted now
The quarter doors hang wide
Beneath tall gums where skies are blue
Look down on earth of raven hue
And hosts of memories hide

Of men like Trev, Chris, Bert and Blue
The shearers who’ve moved on
And cooks and shed hands tried and true
And roustabouts and rollers too
A soft wind sighs, ‘All gone’

Their names are written on the wall
In figures black and red
And up among the rafters tall
Where phantom breezes rise and fall
A soft wind sighs, ‘All dead’

All gone - no more at close of day
The babbler calls them in
Or curses two-up schools that stay
Where lamprey soft on tables lay
And the clearing can’t begin

The mighty sheds are of the past
Where once they ruled the day
And men who worked them at the last
Are of a breed that’s going fast
From lands where we’d hold sway

But ghosts of shearers who once shore
At Midkin still come back
I saw them there where cobwebs hung
And heard once more the songs they sung
On the way to cooky’s shack

Their tallies will forever stand
No one will carry on
And only ghosts will take the stand
And grasp the shears with ghostly hands
While soft winds sigh, ‘All gone’

You can hear Chloe and Jason singing it at circa the 1 hour 23 min mark of this YT clip:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 09:31 AM

HENRY LAWSON'S PEN by Slim Dusty, From his album: "A Land He Calls His Own"

Sometimes kind people comment on the ballads I have wrote
Even though sometimes I sing them on a dry and battered note
And they always place importance on what's said not sung by men
For quality's not in the voice but in paper and the pen

But this song is no great ballad with writing skill attached
Oh it's just a simple story that I hope your ears will catch
Of the backgrounds of my ballads and the hours that I spend
In the bush or at the table with Henry Lawson's pen

One time when I was travelin' just kind of driftin' round
I went through Lawson country, then on to Grenfell town
The old mining town was quiet and their parklands thrived with grass
And the place where this great man was born was marked by stone and brass

So slowly we walked over, then through the iron gate
Oh we read the masters name plate, the old monument looked great
Then my old mate showed me something, in the grass a fountain pen
Then jokingly he said to me "Hey Henry's lost his pen?"

So I took some strangers' rusty pen Lord knows who dropped it there?
But I smile and like to think that it was placed with so much care
And that maybe Lawson left it 'cause he knew I'd be there then
So I truly try to follow suit with Henry Lawson's pen

So I like to thank those people that enjoy my old bush songs
And I'll try to keep them comin' if the good Lord keeps me strong
So I'll go back to my table and give it a go again
'Cause I love to sing those ballads born from Henry Lawson's pen. Hey!

But this song is no great ballad with writing skill attached
Oh it's just a simple story that I hope your ears will catch
Of the backgrounds of my ballads and the hours that I spend ... (fade out)

lyrics

the only video I could find was here https://greatsong.net/PAROLES-SLIM-DUSTY,HENRY-LAWSONS-PEN,102879435.html but "Playback had been disabled by the video owner"


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 09:05 AM

THE BALLAD OF HENRY LAWSON - Slim Dusty

There's an Aussie we all know where the western breezes blow.
From north to south he's known far and wide.
Henry Lawson was his name but he never rose to fame
Until he crossed beyond the great divide.

In a little place called Grenfell when the gold was flowing free
And the miners and their money came and went,
In 1867 when the town was on the spree,
Henry Lawson he was born there in a tent.

He grew into a lanky lad when Gulgong was his home.
His mind was bright' he had those itchy feet.
He wrote a string of verses of the days he used to roam,
From dusty track outback to city streets.

He drifted with the drovers across the western plains
And he waltzed Matilda down the Lachlan side,
From the Barcoo to the Murray in droughts and flooding rains.
Oh, the bush was both his mother and his pride.

He passed by plain and mountain and by burning desert sand,
By shearing shed and lonely cattle camp,
And when the beer was flowing he was there to lend a hand
With the mates that share his life upon the tramp.

He sang of wild bush brumbies and the teamsters and their teams,
Of outer tracks that only Bushmen know.
He saw the mail coach coming by plains and mountain streams,
And he wrote about the lights of Cobb & Co.

He told of lonely men outback and women of the west,
Of folk that fought to live in factory towns,
But the swaggies of the old bush school were the ones he knew the best,
Where the waters of the Darling wander down.

He boiled his billy back of Bourke and starved in City Park.
He penned his poems in a shaky scrawl;
But of all the old bush poets who have passed and left their mark,
Henry Lawson was the greatest of them all.

There's an Aussie we all know where the western breezes blow.
From north to south he's known far and wide.
Henry Lawson was his name but he never rose to fame
Until he crossed beyond the great divide,
Until he crossed beyond the great divide.

video

from this thread https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17472


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Apr 21 - 05:55 AM

GOOGLING IN WINDOWS by Chris Clarke,(former mudcatter Canberra Chris), Shiny Bum Singers (Tune: Doggie in the Window)

Chorus:
How much am I Googling in Windows
Or checking ebay for a sale?
How much am I Googling in Windows?
It's fun when my work has gone stale

I once found a site for playing marbles
The top ten from 1903
A fan club for Elvis Presley's tailor
And bought fairy lights for my tree

I sold my grandfather's model tractors
To someone in Dallas-Fort Worth
And sent, for a horoscope for workmates,
The time and the date of their birth

I found lots of heritage tomatos
Swap seeds from Saigon to Peru,
I typed in my lover's name and found there
An intriguing reference or two

I found that my boss's name is also
A stud horse in Berkshire, UK,
A down-market suburb in Chicago
And a convict in Botany Bay

video of Patti Page singing Doggie


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Apr 21 - 09:17 PM

A MAIDEN’S PRAYER
(Traditional)

A farmer coming home one night
In his house he saw no light
He lit his lamp and went upstairs
And to his daughter’s room repaired

And as he entered in her room
He found her hanging in the gloom
He took his knife and cut her down
And on her breast these words he found

Oh when my apron strings hung low
He chased me through the ice and snow
But now my apron strings don’t meet
He passes me by in the street

Oh God I wish my child was born
And I not left and all forlorn
Oh father I can’t take the shame
To bear this child without a name

So dig my grave and dig it deep
And plant white lilies at my feet
Oh plant white lilies up above
To signify I died of love

They dug her grave, they dug it deep
And planted lilies at her feet
And planted lilies up above
To signify she died for love

Now all you maidens bear in mind
A sailor’s love is hard to find
And if you find one good and true
Don’t forsake the old love for the new

The above is a composite of several versions collected in Australia as recorded by Alan Musgrove on his 'Bagman's Gazette' CD. It is one of the 'Died for love' family of songs. Musgrove noted that Joy Hildebrand (who used to post on Mudcat as Joybell) in her 'Died for Love' monograph traced the song to a broadside titled 'Love In Despair', published in Edinburgh in the late 17th century. In the US, it is known as 'The Railroad Boy'.

In Australia, it is known as 'A Sailor's Prayer' or 'A Maiden's Prayer' even though there is no prayer in any version. There is a version of each of those titles in Ron Edwards' big book and a version of 'A Maiden's Prayer' in Meredith & Anderson's 'Folk Songs of Australia'. Musgrove's version seems to be mainly a composite of these.

The 1928 recording by Buell Kazee was included in the famous Harry Smith anthology of American folk music and it influenced folk revival versions. He recorded it as 'The Butcher's Boy' even though he knew it as 'The Railroad Boy'.

The Butcher's Boy

Here is an interesting composite version from the singing of Mike Waterson. It is performed by
Martin and Eliza Carthy.

Died for Love

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Apr 21 - 10:27 PM

This is a revisit to a song that I posted on 08 September last year from a CD by O'Leary and Hildebrand. I have since come across a YT clip of a version sung by Alan Musgrove that has 2 extra verses. His introductory remarks set the scene. Here is my transcription - corrections welcomed.

THE PUSH ON THE CORNER
(Unknown)

Last night I was driven near crazy
By one I both love and adore
Now she's packed up all her boxes
And I ain't gonna see her no more
I wrote her a hundred letters
Begging her to forget
But now she's found one she loves better
And this is the answer I get

Chorus:
Just wait till the push on the corner
Refuses to drink a long beer
Wait till the thieves and pickpockets
From the streets of Fitzroy disappear
Wait till the Collingwood lassies
From powder and paint they are free
When the Chinese are coppers on Bourke Street
My darling I'll come back to thee

Chorus

So I went to her mother’s in Gore Street
To find out if she would come back
But she said she was down at the Napier
With a swell from Kew name of Jack
I went down and there I did find her
In the ladies’ lounge sipping her drink
I said, ‘Will you come back, my darling?’
She answered, ‘Well, what do you think?’

Chorus

So I chased up a couple of bottles
To fill my poor heart with some cheer
I went back to my room in the Narrows
And drunk that foaming brown beer
Then later I went out a-walking
Up Gertrude Street I did stray
But as a tram rattled on by me
I thought I could hear people say

Chorus

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Apr 21 - 11:17 PM

HIGH EXPLOSIVE
(A.B 'Banjo' Paterson/Wallis & Matilda)

Twas the dingo pup to his dam that said
"It's time I worked for my daily bread
Out in the world I intend to go
And you'd be surprised at the things I know"

"There's a wild duck's nest in a sheltered spot
And I'll go right down and I'll eat the lot"
But when he got to his destined prey
He found that the ducks had flown away

But an egg was left that would quench his thirst
So he bit the egg and it straightway burst
It burst with a bang, and he turned and fled
For he thought that the egg had shot him dead

"Oh, mother," he said, "let us clear right out
Or we'll lose our lives with the bombs about
And it's lucky I am that I'm not blown up -
It's a very hard life," said the dingo pup

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 09:16 PM

PLAINS OF PEPPIMENARTI
(D.Kirkpatrick aka Slim Dusty)

Now I've been around Australia and I've travelled everywhere
But there's one place I really like to go
Where the land is big and wide and tall dark ringers ride
On the plains of Peppimenarti, where the old Moyle River flows

Tough riders there of course in a truck or on a horse
And they'll really teach you things you didn't know
It's excitement to the full if you're out there chasing bulls
By the plains of Peppimenarti, where the old Moyle River flows

And the Kangaroo still bounds on that rough and rugged ground
The ant hills and the old pandanas grow
Yes and everyday's a Sunday if you're catching barramundi
By the plains of Peppimenarti, where the old Moyle River flows

Now the men out on the stock camps are the finest riders known
And they'll work four weeks without a break or spell
They're the backbone of our beef steaks
And I've mentioned this before
And it's a story that I'm always proud to tell

May the march of time never ever bring too many changes
To a way of life you people love and prize
May the years ahead be good ones
And you never lose your customs
With old Peppimenarti Hill looking down so old and wise

And the Kangaroo still bounds on that rough and rugged ground
The ant hills and the old pandanas grow
Yes and everyday's a Sunday if you're catching barramundi
By the plains of Peppimenarti, where the old Moyle River flows

The Youtube video is beaut:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 08:57 PM

SLEEPING COLD
(S.Nicholson & K.Chambers)

Will you rise or will you fall?
Will you walk or will you crawl?
Will you dream in black and white
When you're sleeping cold tonight?

Will you bend or will you break?
Will you give or will you take?
Will no angel shine no light?
And leave you sleeping cold tonight

Way o Way, way o way, o way o why
Way o Way, way o way, o way o why

Will you stand or will you turn?
Will you teach or will you learn?
When your demons rise above
You'll be sleeping cold, my love

Would you stay or would you leave?
Would you fail or would you believe?
Would you stand your ground and fight
When I'm sleeping cold tonight?
Would we know what's wrong or right
If we're sleeping cold tonight?

Way o Way, way o way, o way o why
Way o Way, way o way, o way o why

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 08:10 PM

THE CUTTER'S DREAM
(Bob Rado)

He sits by the flickering firelight
His memory turns back the times
To the years that he spent and the timbers that went
For the bridges, railways and mines

In his mind he can see it all clearly
The bullocks, the whim and the dray
The bullocky swears as he hitches the pairs
At the start of another long day

As the sun filters down through the treetops
And the mist rises up from the stream
The crosscut and axe and the winding whim tracks
To him it was more than a dream

He remembers the camp by the river
He remembers how things used to be
Down many a track with his swag on his back
Life was so simple and free

But his mates are no longer around him
As he follows the path of his mind
The sound of machines has shattered his dreams
Now he's ready to leave it behind

And he sits by the flickering firelight
His memory turns back the times
To the years that he spent and the timbers that went
For the bridges, railways and mines

Bob Rummery's note:

Bob Rado's story of a sleeper cutter in Western Australia's southwest looking back over a working life where the only 'machine' was the bloke on the end of the axe, crosscut and broadaxe.

From Loaded Dog's 'Hair of the Dog' album.

Audio

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 10:32 AM

83 ORDINARY PEOPLE, © Nigel Foote 1985 (The Granville Song)

The young girl just made the train
Didn’t want to be late again
Ah but she should’ve been, she should’ve been
But the old man on the stairs
Slowed down by the years
Was left standing on the platform with his cane

Passengers from mountain towns
Country folk but city bound
Gathered at their stations down the line
They found their places on the train
A lottery of death and pain
For many it was the last journey of their lives

Chorus:
And the families of those people
Eighty-three ordinary people
Can do nothing much, except wonder why

Some sat sleeping against the windows
Others read the morning papers
Never dreaming that they would be the next headlines
But the news swept through the mountains
And silently we counted
For the train from Mount Victoria had left the line

Chorus

The rescuers came and tried
To save some of those inside
Hands held hands that each year now hold flowers
And scattered roses on the tracks
At Granville now bring back
The memory of that ill-fated hour

Chorus twice

Note

Many thanks to Nigel Foote for permission to add this song to the Australian Railway Songs collection

Nigel writes:
'I was originally asked to sing the song at the 10th Anniversary of the disaster, held at the Bold Street Bridge Memorial Service in 1987, and then every five years after that, including the 20th anniversary in 1997. I was awarded the Granville Medal for the song.'

Audio   lyrics


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Apr 21 - 10:27 AM

BILLY SHEEHAN

On the forty-pound rails steamed a C-16,
Commanded by its driver, Mister Billy Sheehan.
The G.M. gave him orders on the strict Q.T.
To run a faster schedule than the Spirit of P.
Keep the regulator open, watch the black smoke roll,
Pile on all the floorboards if we run out of coal.
If we don’t beat the record, ’Billy said to his mate,
‘Send my memos care of Peter at the golden gate!’

Chorus:
Billy Sheehan, ran a faster schedule
Billy Sheehan, a mighty man was he.
Billy Sheehan, ran a faster schedule,
Out to break the record of the Spirit of P.

His fireman was a punting boy for Narrabeen,
He said, ‘I’ll lay the odds against the C-16.’
Billy flashed a roll of notes that was a bear;
The boiler then exploded, blew them both in the air,
Said Billy to his fireman as they left the wreck,
‘I dunno where we’re going but we’re neck and neck!’
The fireman then said, ‘Billy I’ll tell you what I’ll do.
I’ll bet another fifty I go higher than you!’

The wife of Driver Sheehan was at home in bed
When the Railway wired that old Bill was dead.
She called her children to her, said, ‘Listen, honey lambs,
The next old man you get’ll be a guard in the van!’
The railway’s all in mourning now for Billy Sheehan,
No more we’ll hear the puffing of his C-16.
There’s crepe on all the locos, both the goods and mails,
From Ingham and Mount Isa down to New South Wales.


Billy Sheehan
1. Collected by Bill Scott in the mid 1950s from his brother David who was a railwayman at the time in Hughenden, Qld. It is a parody based on the American songs STEAMBOAT BILL and CASEY JONES. C16s were a class of light locomotives, “Spirit of P” refers to the Spirit of Progress which at the time was the fastest train in Australia and ran from Melbourne to Albury. The Second Penguin Australian Songbook p178 1980.
2. Arranged by Stan Arthur. Complete Book of Australian Folklore, p106 1976; reprinted Songs of Australian Working Life p72 1989. Also on Wattle recording C9, Folk Songs from Queensland 1959.

Johnny Cash singing Casey Jones


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 10:25 PM

Good wun, Sandra! Sydney Town was on my long list of "to post" and (for my sins?), I always enjoyed Rolf's version :)

R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 09:32 PM

SYDNEY TOWN © Frank Hardy 1964

Chorus
The more they try to keep me down
The better I live in Sydney town,
The more they try to keep me down
The better I live in Sydney town.

Great grand-daddy walked along the street with a
ball and chain around his feet
and that's the way they'd like to see me walk
just to give the toffs a chance to talk.

They rob me in the Parliament
They charge me half my pay for rent
They heard I was living on the Rocks
So they pulled it down for building blocks.

The beer's gone up in the public bar
And I can't afford a motor car
But I keep six bottles In the fridge,
And pay no toll on the harbour bridge

The jockies and the bookies cheat,
The odds-on favorites all get beat
So just to show them I'm no fool
I go to Tommo's a Two-up school

They all throw heads when I back tails:
I got no dough to 'bank on the Wales'
But I'll get a job, it'll suit fine
On the Eastern Suburbs railway line.

If I go on strike, I'll have good cause,
Then I'll get hit with a Penal Clause,
But I don't care, let the bosses rage,
I'll fight for a rise in the basic wage.

The monopolies can all arrange
To rig their shares on the Stock Exchange
Through lottery tickets with my spouse
I've got shares in the Opera House.

They won't lot you win on poker machines
They show rubbish on the T.V. screens
So for entertainment I go for
Australian songs at the Troubador

Notes

Sydney Town was published in Australian Tradition, May 1964 with the note: This is the original version of Sydney Town as written by me. Folk singers and others who add new verses and variations do so at their own risk. Frank Hardy.

lyrics    video


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:59 PM

ON THE QUEENSLAND RAILWAY LINES, written by The Brisbane Realist Writers' Group, 1959

On the Queensland railway lines
There are stations where one dines
Private individuals
Also run refreshment rooms

CHORUS

Bogan-Tungan, Rollingstone,.
Mungar, Murgon, Marathone,
Guthalungra, Pinkenba,
Wanko, Yaamba, - ha, ha, ha!

Males and females, high and dry,
Hang around at Durikai,
Boora-Mugga, Djarawong,
Giligulul, Wonglepong.

Pies and coffee, baths and showers
Are supplied at Charters Towers;
At Mackay the rule prevails
Of restricting showers to males.

Iron rations come in handy,
On the way to Dirranbandi,
Passengers have died of hunger
During halts at Garradunga,

Let us toast, before we part,
Those who travel, stout of heart,
Drunk or sober, rain or shine,
On a Queensland railway line

This parody of a German folk song was written by The Brisbane Realist Writers' Group in 1959. Printed in The Queensland Centenary Pocket Songbook.

lyrics & audio


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:54 PM

BESIDE A RAILWAY LINE by Roger Ilott (1991)
Roger Ilott - vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass.
Penny Davies - vocals, drums, mandolin.

A long time ago by a railway line
there lived a boy with a face a bit like mine.
He'd watch the steam trains rolling by -
the days were long, and the little boy's eyes were wide.

He'd rush outside when he'd hear the sound
of a goods train heading slowly out of town,
he'd swing on the gate, and, with a great big grin,
he'd wave at the Drivers - and the Drivers waved back at him!

Chorus
Woo-woo, woo-woo
if you close your eyes you can hear the whistle still,
woo-woo, woo-woo,
and the clatter of the trains running back to Erskineville.

He'd help his Mum hang the washing on the line-
the sheets were as white as the clouds up in the sky-
but next thing you know there'd be a sooty old train
and you can understand why Mum'd complain!

He'd stand on the bridge at Hurlstone Park Station-
the keenest Loco Driver in the nation-
and it didn't seem to matter if it was rainy or fine,
life was pretty good beside that railway line.

Well, I never did get to drive a train,
now there's famine and floods and war and acid rain,
But when my little boy grins and waves to his Dad,
I think to myself "well, things aren't all that bad.'

And though my hair's getting more than a little bit grey,
and the world seems to turn a bit quicker every day,
I can still see through that young boy's eyes
those endless days, and steam trains rolling by.

A long time age by a railway line
there lived a little boy with a face a bit like mine,
I can see him still with his eyes so wide -
and those endless days beside a railway line.

lyrics    sung by Roger


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 08:26 PM

lyrics & video for BATTLER'S BALLAD, Jack Wright, tune M.O'Rourke - posted as a link by Stewie 19 Aug 20 - 08:11 PM on page 1

BATTLER'S BALLAD

You are just a lonely battler and you're waiting for a rattler
You wish to heaven you were never born
For you ran to dodge a copper and you came an awful cropper
The skin on both your hands is cut and torn.

You are tired and you're weary, lack of sleep makes your eyes bleary
The soles of both your shoes are worn right through
Your heart is sore and aching and your back is nearly breaking
Your coat and shirt and pants have had it too.

Chorus:
And it's hey, hey hobo, you're just a rolling stone
Though you're stony broke, if you still can crack a joke
You're as good as any king upon his throne.

Your blood is nearly boiling and your muscles need no oiling
As you duck and dodge the headlight's brilliant glare
For you've seen the copper's wood heap and you know that it's a good heap
You know the tucker's not the best in there.

Then the engine gives a whistle, you trip up on a thistle
Get tangled up in signal wires and points
Then you blunder in the gutter and angrily you mutter
'Well, strike me pink, of all the flamin' joints!'

First Repeat chorus
And it's hey, hey hobo, you're just a rolling stone
Though your pants are wearing thin, if you can still raise a grin
You're as good as any king upon his throne.

Then you see the green light flashing and hear the bumpers crashing
You see the great big engine rushing by
With your swag all at the ready, your nerves are not so steady
For you know you'll have to take her on the fly.

Then your swag you try to throw in, but the flamin' thing won't go in
Bounces off the truck and hits you, and you fall
Pick the remnants of your swag up, pick your billy-can and bag up
You say, 'I missed the bastard after all!'

Second Repeat chorus
And it's hey, hey hobo, you're just a rolling stone
Though the sky is looking grey, there will surely come a day
When you'll own a bloody railway of your own.

performed by Jason & Chloe

Jack Wright was an early member of the Bush Music Club, & this song, written during the depression, was one of many collected from him by Alan Scott.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Apr 21 - 07:26 PM

BREAKING NEWS - Restored locomotive 3801 begins regional NSW tour, thousands hop on for ride

3801, A song by Ray King and Ron Russell (1987).
Ray King and Ron Russell - guitar, vocals and computer sequencing.
Joy Howard - backing vocals.

In the golden age of steam
There lived a beauty queen
Roamin' around the countryside
She was a driver's dream.
Workin' days and workin' nights
Up before the sun
They all tried hard to get aboard
Thirty-eight o one.

The queen of all the fleet
The railway's pride and joy
To ride upon the footplate
Was the dream of every boy.
As she went roarin' by
on another express run
Everyone would turn their heads for
Thirty-eight o one.

Ah thirty-eight o one
You stood the test you're still the best
You just keep rollin' on.

Bound from Sydney town
The black smoke rollin' higher
Across the Hawkesbury river
To Newcastle on the flier.
Over the great divide
On the Central Western run
On the Southern Line right on time went
Thirty-eight o one.

But your greatest feat
Was steamin' across the nation
All the crowds would gather round
At every country station.
On the standard gauge
Westward to the sun
Across to Perth and back again went
Thirty-eight o one.

Ah thirty-eight o one
You stood the test you're still the best
You just keep rollin' on.

The days of steam have been and gone
But some remember well
That big green flash as she went by
Had such a tale to tell.
And now she's back upon the tracks
She just keeps rollin' on
She beat the rest she's still the best
Thirty-eight o one.

Ah thirty-eight o one
You stood the test you're still the best
You just keep rollin' on.

Notes
Ray King and Ron Russell were both working at Elcar when they wrote this song

3801 lyrics    video


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Apr 21 - 12:48 AM

NATIVITY (originally titled Epiphany)
(Peter Cape)

They were set for home, but the horse went lame
And the rain came belting out of the sky
Joe saw the hut and he went to look
And he said, "She's old, but she'll keep you dry"

So her kid was born in that roadman's shack
By the light of a lamp that'd hardly burn
She wrapped him up in her hubby's coat
And put him down on a bed of fern

Then they came riding out of the night
And this is the thing that she'll always swear
As they took off their coats and came into the light
They knew they were going to find her there

Three old jokers in oilskin coats
Stood by the bunk in that leaking shack
One had a beard like a billygoat's
One was frail, and one was black

She sat on the foot of the fernstalk bed
And she watched, but she didn't understand
When they put those bundles at the baby's head
And this river nugget into his hand

    Gold is the power of a man with a man
    And incense the power of man with God
    But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
    And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod

Then they went, while she watched through the open door
Weary as men who had ridden too far
And the rain eased off and the low cloud broke
And through a gap shone a single star

Peter Cape set it to a Anglican hymn tune. You can find it here (together with another version of the lyrics}:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Apr 21 - 09:44 PM

TE KOOTI, E HA
(A.Desmond/Anon)

Chorus
Kei taka, Te Kooti, Te Kooti, kia kaha
Ka miharo ahau ki a ia, Te Kooti
Naku tenei pamu, ko toku whare tenei
Lahore oku whenua hei hoko
Kei taka, Te Kooti, e ha!

Chorus (translation)
Gather round, Te Kooti, Te Kooti is strong
I admire him, Te Kooti
This is my farm, this is my house
I won't ever sell this land
Gather round, Te Kooti, e ha!

The Pakehas came with their rum and their gold
And soon the broad lands of our fathers were sold
But the voice of Te Kooti said, 'Hold the land, hold!'
Exult for Te Kooti, e ha!

They falsely accused him, no trial had he
They carried him off to an island at sea
But his prison he broke and once more he was free
Exult for Te Kooti, e ha!

They tried to enslave us, to trample us down
Like the millions that serve them in field and in town
But the sapling that's bended when free will rebound
Exult for Te Kooti, e ha!

In the wild midnight foray whose footsteps trod lighter?
In the flash of the rifle whose eyeballs gleamed brighter?
What man with our hero could clinch as a fighter?
Exult for Te Kooti, e ha!

We won't sell our land, 'tis the gift of the Lord
Except it be bought with the blood-drinking sword
But all men are welcome to share in its hoard
Exult for Te Kooti, e ha!

Note in 'Song of a Young Country' page 39:

Land purchased carelessly by the government through unscrupulous land agents led to the so-called 'Maori Wars'. In 1864, the confiscation of land belonging to Maoris who had resisted such purchase proved to the Maori that the wars were engineered to deprive people of their land. It took only twenty years for the Pakeha to break his Treaty of Waitingi. Chiefs such as Titokowaru and Te Kooti rebelled. To weld their people together they founded new codes of honour - Pai Mariri and Ringatu. They spoke of 'truth' and 'honesty'. An historical examination from today's standpoint shows all too clearly who was dishonest.

Te Kooti's biography

A young girl's interesting summary:

Te Koot's War

Youtube clip

Another song telling the Te Kooti story:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 10:56 AM

DUH!!   

Just realised that I forgot to post the Audio Link to the Slim Dusty song about The End of the Canning Stock Route!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jki1YYrufk4


R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 10:15 AM

Three songs about THE CANNING STOCK ROUTE   [Western Australia : Wiluna to Halls Creek ]

This route was pioneered by Surveyor-Explorer, Alfred Canning and his team, between 1906-1910, to enable a droving track for cattle from the Kimberley down to Southern markets, and the dry, dusty desert conditions of which would remove the Cattle Ticks evident on sea-shipped bovines.
Alfred took all the requirements to push this almost 1900km track on the backs of camels and 48 of the final 51 wells were dug and boarded with native Desert Oak timber, at intervals along the way. Many of these esssential water sources have fallen into disrepair, but gradually, some are being restored for modern day travellers.   
The CSR crossed 3 deserts and more than 15 Aboriginal language groups and their important cultural landscape. There were claims that Canning & Co had mistreated the local Aborigines who were forced to assist the construction team, but these were dismissed bcoz “All explorers behave in this manner” ……   
However, the CSR was only used sporadically for its intended purpose (just 35 drives between 1911 - 1959), until the modern penchant for adventuring, from around the mid 60s.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canning_Stock_Route

There are plenty of vidclips on YT from over the last 15+ years, of tough Aussie blokes in couples or convoys, pitting themselves and their well-kitted 4WD Rigs, against what is said to be one of the longest, most remote and difficult tracks in the world. And only two small settlements along the way that may – or may not – provide whatever you forgot or ran short of!!

I chose, however, to link to one from 1986 by well-known (well-known to we BabyBoomers!!) outback adventurer, Malcolm Roberts :    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-mXGF-Hcyg
And also one from 2012 (which comes highly recommended by YT Commenters) of Gavin Foreman & Summer Wilms (Foreman & Wilms Adventures) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmTgP7Lchc0
Both clips not only show the tackling of the numerous infamous sand dunes along the way, and using the wells, plus the abandoned vehicle wrecks and pioneer graves, but also fabulous wildlife segments (esp birdlife) and beautiful Aboriginal waterholes at the rock outcrops, and more.   
But if you want another slant, which also has some great photography, esp. of the rugged track, salt lakes, and their experiences (including corrugations damage and welding failures), try Peter & Sven Zalums’ (Griniflix - Adventure8) trip up the CSR in 2017 after a recent cyclone – the first sibling holiday for the Latvian brothers in 70 years and Sven had never before been camping nor 4W driving!!! (and interesting that most of the fellow travellers they met appeared to be European!) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZt8lPXaKik

Or fancy Walking the CSR??!! The online story of Murray Rankin’s 3 attempts in the early 70s to walk the Route, seems to have gone, apart from this : https://westtravelclub.com.au/stories/walking-the-canning-stock-route
However, here is a blog of Terry Bolland’s CSR walk-trek taken from his walk-run-cycle-kayak journey around Australia. : https://terrybolland.wordpress.com/canning-stock-route-walk/      It blew me away bcoz of the frequency of noisy vehicles passing him (so much for enjoying the solitude), but also due to the 750 beer cans he picked up along the track on his journey – and this was back in 1990!!! :(

ENJOY!

R-J



#1   END OF THE CANNING STOCK ROUTE

Peter Muir & David Kirkpatrick (aka Slim Dusty)

The camp gear's in the storeroom, all the packs are in the shed
With the dust of seven summers on their hide
Saddle straps are hard and brittle, stirrup irons are rusty red
For the Canning Stock Route finished when Wally Dowling* died
No more cattle travel southward through the spinifex and sand
All the wells are falling in along the track
Now the Canning’s but a legend, just a lonely desert land
And it's doubtful if the Munjongs* want it back.

Eight hundred miles of sandhills, now and then a sandstone ridge
With a salt lake here and there with samphire flat
An oasis in the desert you can find at Durba Springs
Bubbling, running water, it's a fact
But unless you own a camel, you could never travel there
And a horse would fail now the wells have fallen in
For the sandhills of the Canning reach a hundred feet or more
And it's certain that no car could take you in.

The famous 'Never Never' and the place they call 'Outback'
Two elusive lands that few men ever found
Are located on the Canning, down that lonely desert track
Where to be this very moment would be worth a thousand pound
To be with Wally Dowling, whipping water from the well
While the stockmen hold the mob back from the trough
Stop the thirsty bullocks trampling in their great desire to drink
Just to do one trip would suit me well enough.

But my wish is just a daydream which can never be fulfilled
For when Wally died, the stock route had its day
Now the Billiluna cattle, are travelling down to Broome
In a roaring, diesel roadtrain to the meatworks by the bay
And the tick line stops the others, every station in the north
No one may use the Canning if he would
So they truck their beef to Wyndham and sell for what it's worth
And I doubt they'd use the Canning if they could.

It's really had its day now and won't be used again
No more drovers’ horse bells ringin' will be heard
For the cattle-loaded roadtrain, smothered in its diesel fumes
Now struggles up the rise in lower third
When I travel up the Canning, I am sure to be alone
With my camels and some thoughts of yesterday
They will take me slowly northward, 'til at last the trip is done
And find contentment when I've stowed the packs away.

The camp gear's in the storeroom, all the packs are in the shed
With the dust of seven summers on their hide
Saddle straps are hard and brittle, stirrup irons are rusty red
For the Canning Stock Route finished when Wally Dowling died …..

* Munjon : believed to be a Kimberley word for a wild (bush) aborigine ……
* Wally Dowling was possibly the best-known drover along the route; by all accounts a strong man, a hard man, but who died in 1959 from influenza and the droving along with him…..   
Most of the Drovers were Aboriginal, rarely named or recorded and when paid, it was “in kind”. Most were women, and many were used….. https://www.nma.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/19412/Yiwarra-Kuju-droving.pdf
https://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s2018935.htm    So there’s an Aboriginal side to the CSR story too, that has only just begun to be told.



#2   THE CANNING STOCK ROUTE

Bob Emery

From Wiluna to Halls Creek is 900 miles
A wilderness of spinifex and sand
The men who sunk the wells, had their troubles and their trials
They opened up this outback desert land.

In nineteen hundred and six, Alf Canning took his team
At 26, the best man in the land
With a hundred tons of cargo, a camel team as well
For two long years they worked this desert land.

Tommy Windich was a native guide who knew the territory
And Windich Springs, his monument through time
Great pools of flowing water, he found to their delight
Sundowner parrots led him to this prize.

Dust and sand and stoney desert, Canning and his team push on
Bringing up artesian water, from. way. down. below.


52 wells later, Alf Canning he returned,
And said to guv’nor “well, the job is done”
Now to get those cattle moving, they’re waiting in the north
A water track now spans the desert lands.

Hare wallabies jumped in sheer surprise, the mala it was stunned
To see the cattle moving through the scrub
The parrots and the kangaroo rats who had to share the land
With a thousand head of cattle as they passed.

Dust and sand and stoney desert, Canning and his team push on
Bringing up artesian water, from. way. down. below.


Well the roadway to the north and the trucks that shake the night
Do the job those drovers did so well
And the mighty Canning Stock Route is forgotten all too soon
And the men who built and rode it are all gone.

From Wiluna to Halls Creek is 900 miles
A wilderness of spinifex and sand
The men who sunk the wells had their troubles and their trials
They opened up this outback desert land.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfqQ-rCE9uk   FIDDLER’S GREEN BUSH BAND



#3      There was a Mudcat thread /mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=109469 from 2008 where the OP wanted a WA song by “The Westerner” about the Canning Stock Route and which he used to have on an old tape.
He gave the chorus as below, BUT, I have not found it online ….

“Coming down the Canning we sing the cattle song
Farewell to Kimberly move the mob along
Its early in the morning we give the whip salute
Coming down the Canning on the old stock route”


HOWEVER! Turns out this is another of the songs by Lloyd G. Montgomery (aka Sandgroper), which came to light amongst a folder of compositions sent in May 1970 to Dale Dengate of the Bush Music Club in Sydney!!
https://blog.bushmusic.org.au/2018/07/moondyne-joe-and-other-sandgroper.html#gsc.tab=0


Here are Lloyd’s lyrics :

CANNING STOCK ROUTE

Lloyd G. Montgomery

We’ll meet the cattle at “The Creek”, the drover said, y’know
Then off to leave the Kimberley, Wiluna-way to go
Like Canning-of-the-Outback, a desert man to be –
We’ll take the Track together, my brumby mate an’ me.

We stumble in the spinifex, ‘til over in the haze
Big Sandy looms across the world, beyond the breakaways –
We ride the Devil’s Switchback, to Waddawalla ‘Hole
Then help to raise the water, with the whipstick pole.

We find the grave at Haunting Well, beside a desert oak
And fight the blacks along the way, to reach Karrara Soak –
From Durba by the Salt Lake, we give the hides a boot
And rush ‘em through the poison, on the old Stock Route.

At Well Eleven, by the Fort, we light the drover’s lamp
To talk of ‘Tracks and Cattle Kings, around the cattle camp
Then onward in the day-dawn, the stoney plain to see –
We ride across the desert, my brumby mate an’ me.

Chorus :
Coming down the Canning, we sing the cattle song
Farewell to Kimberley, boot the beef along
From early in the morning, we make the whip salute
Coming down the Canning, on the old Stock Route.

Lloyd notes on the score that the melody is a variant of a Traditional air (possibly Scottish?)

So, has anyone found a recording of this song??


R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: GerryM
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 05:26 AM

THE LATKE
Tune: Traditional ("The Coo Coo")
Lyrics: Gerry Myerson

It has become traditional in some congregations to hold a debate, as part of the annual Purim celebration, on the relative merits of latkes and hamentashen. Hamentashen are associated with Purim; latkes with the holiday of Chanukah (and, to a lesser extent, Passover). This was my contribution to the debate at North Shore Temple Emanuel, Chatswood, New South Wales, in 2021.

Oh, the latke
Is so tasty,
And it sizzles as it fries.
And you never
Eat a latke
Until Kislev 25.

Gonna build me
A yeshiva
On a mountain, so high,
So that I can
See those latkes,
As they go in to fry.

Hamentashen,
Hamentashen,
I know you of old.
You have robbed
My poor pockets
Of their silver and their gold.

I've had latkes
From Long Island,
I've had latkes from Tel Aviv.
But the latkes
Made in Sydney
Are the best ones, I believe.

Take potato,
Egg and onion,
Matzo meal, and salt to taste.
In the skillet,
Flip 'em over,
And they'll never go to waste.

(Repeat first stanza)

Notes:
Chanukah begins each year on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev.
The geographical references in the 4th stanza can be adjusted to the situation.
A version, with alterations to the 3rd stanza, will be posted to the Passover songs thread.

Here's a recording, by David Holt, of The Coo Coo.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: GerryM
Date: 03 Apr 21 - 05:04 AM

THE OLD REBEL FLAG IN THE REAR (A MAY-DAY SONG)

The Old Rebel Flag In The Rear is a poem by Henry Lawson, who gave it the subtitle, "A May-Day Song". First, the full version; then, a shortened version due to Chris Kempster, who set it to music. I couldn't find a recording of that version online, but here is a version by Bruce Hearn.

The Old Rebel Flag in the Rear
A May-Day Song
Full version

Henry Lawson, 1892

Whenever the march of oppression
Reduces a land to despair,
No matter how mighty the victors,
The flag of Rebellion is there.
The might of coercion may triumph,
And Freedom be laid on her bier —
Yet over the graves of the conquered there waves
That Old Rebel Flag in the Rear

A king may be great in a country
That cheers when a monarch is crown'd
But still, in his capital city,
The flag of the rebel is found.
A people may boast a Republic,
Where Liberty dies in a year;
But close on their flag comes that old stubborn rag,
The Old Rebel Flag in the Rear

We sing of the Queen of England,
Her banner that flaunts in the van,
Yet out from the slums of her capital comes
That vengeful red banner of man!
Lift up the proud Union of England,
And bear it along with a cheer,
But England! take care in your triumph, for there
Is the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

There's the great cruel Eagle of Russia,
Where thousands are sunk in despair,
And the hand of the tyrant is mighty,
But the flag of rebellion is there!
There's the bloodthirsty flag of the Kaiser,
A monarch whom nations can fear,
But William will pause ere he marches, because
Of the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

There's the Red, White and Blue of the Frenchmen,
Where soldiers of Freedom are true,
But lo! from the rear comes a banner,
Whose skirts lack the white and the blue!
There's the flag of a boastful republic,
A country where freedom is dear —
But still, in the States there's an army that waits
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

There's a new mongrel flag in Australia,
And the "Banner of Britain" is here,
But, to break from the past, we are gathering fast
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.
There are men in the ranks who are traitors,
And men who will falter and fear,
Yet on thro' the arch of the morning we march
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

Some men, for the sake of their conscience,
Will join and be true in the strife,
And some for the sake of a moment to break
The terrible dullness of life!
They march 'neath the flag of the rebels,
With lives overburden'd and drear,
And fling them away on a terrible day
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

A spirit calls out of the future,
And bids us to strike in our youth —
And the voice of to-day is appealing
For Liberty, Justice, and Truth;
And the blood that was shed by old rebels,
For rights that shall ever be dear,
Drips down from the red of the flag overhead,
Of the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

Oh! brothers of mine and of mankind!
The banner I sing of is red
With life-blood of men who were foemen
To wrong, and oppression, and dread.
Then march 'neath the flag of the rebels,
The red days of battle are near,
Let your feet never lag as you march 'neath the flag,
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

Perhaps there'll be no reformation,
But Oh! for a moment to rise
And ride on the storm of rebellion,
And strike at the things that I hate and despise!
When Progress is stayed by a red barricade,
And down in the city we hear
The roll of a hymn of defiance
That ends in a desperate cheer,
And on, for a day they'll remember,
Comes the Old Rebel Flag from the Rear.

It rose from the birth of the lords of the earth,
That Old Rebel Flag in the Rear;
The rebels are bred by the tyrants who dread
That Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.
'Twill never be furl'd while there's wrong in the world,
It never will fall till there's Justice for all,
THAT OLD REBEL FLAG IN THE REAR!

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

This is the shorter version, as Chris Kempster arranged and recorded it:

Whenever the march of oppression
Reduces a land to despair,
No matter how mighty the victors,
The flag of Rebellion is there.
A spirit calls out of the future,
And bids us to strike in our youth —
And the voice of to-day is appealing
For Liberty, Justice, and Truth;
There are men in the ranks who are traitors,
And men who will falter and fear,
Yet on thro' the arch of the morning we march
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

Chorus (after each verse):
'Twill never be furl'd while there's wrong in the world,
It never will fall till there's Justice for all,
That old rebel flag, that old rebel flag, that old rebel flag in the rear!

There's the Red, White and Blue of the Frenchmen,
Where soldiers of Freedom are true,
But lo! from the rear comes a banner,
Whose skirts lack the white and the blue!
There's the flag of a boastful republic,
A country where freedom is dear —
But still, in the States there's an army that waits
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.
There's a new mongrel flag in Australia,
And the "Banner of Britain" is here,
But, to break from the past, we are gathering fast
'Neath the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.

There's the great cruel Eagle of Russia,
Where thousands are sunk in despair,
And the hand of the tyrant is mighty,
But the flag of rebellion is there!
There's the bloodthirsty flag of the Kaiser,
A monarch whom nations can fear,
But William will pause ere he marches, because
Of the Old Rebel Flag in the Rear.
We sing of the Queen of England,
Her banner that flaunts in the van,
Yet out from the slums of her capital comes
That vengeful red banner of man!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 08:02 AM

Bush Music club's were small select clubs, they weren't secret societies, they wanted to tell people about their heritage, they wanted members, but US & UK folk was more famous, & played on the radio & TV...

The hunt for the Bush Music Clubs of Australia

Perth Bush Music Club was est 1964, 10 years after the first BMC was established in Sydney.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 05:37 AM

Good Work, Sandra!

Well, I lived in Perth from 50s-80s, just a few miles from his abode in Rivervale (BUT despite the river, in those days those areas were decidedly NOT swanky!!!)   
I was into the Folk Scene from my mid teens - but I can't recall hearing of a Perth Bush Music Club!!!

I'll be very interested in what you further uncover!

R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 02 Apr 21 - 04:26 AM

There was a fair bit of detective work on Sandgroper's ballads. He was a BMC member, so I knew he wrote the ballads, he included his address so I looked it up on google maps & I wouldn't mind living there!

Victorian Folk Music Club (est 1959 as Bush Music Club of Victoria) published one of his songs as being from Perth Bush Music Club. I don't have much info on Perth BMC but the State Library of WA has nothing about them, tho they do have 5 publication of the (Sydney) Bush Music Club.

State Library of WA has a copy of both of his ballad folders with very incomplete citation - just Perth, WA & question mark

John posted his song in 2011 & asked around about the author & got no information.

I located the folders in BMC Archives in 2018 & emailed a few friends & contacts in Perth. The friends who had been around in the 70s didn't know him, & alas, the addresses I found online which might have known him didn't answer. But I did find a 1983 book in SLWA by a bloke of the same name, probably him.

I've been saying I need to contact State library WA for a couple of years now ...

sandra (starting an email)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 11:43 PM

How Good is The Power of The ‘Cat??!!


DOWN IN THE GOLDMINE [2]

I posted this song pertaining to the amazing West Australian mine rescue near Coolgardie in 1907, in this thread back on 4th Oct 2020.

The song was sourced and recorded by the late John Thompson in his “Oz Folk Song a Day” blog : http://ozfolksongaday.blogspot.com/search?q=Down+in+the+Goldmine

This song was also recorded by CLOUDSTREET (John Thompson & Nicole Murray), on their “CIRCUS OF DESIRES” album : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXDAPqqWuzg&list=OLAK5uy_mieorNy1H81gSIqJ6CP6REfRouU1qtyDE


John had it listed as “anon” with the tune “Down in the Coalmine” and Cloudy John said : “A song I found in a folio entitled, Moondyne Joe and Other Sandgroper Ballads. It is a parody of a music hall song, Down in the Coal Mine.
This link is to the story which I first read about the rescue of this Italian miner from a flooded goldmine in the desert in 1907 : https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-great-survival-20060506-gdnhry.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
Enquiries around the folk scene in Australia have not revealed the songwriter's name. Any advice would be appreciated.”



Fast forward to fellow ‘Catter, Sandra-in-Sydney’s post in this thread on 26thJan2021 of a Manuscript of various compositions from WA, including correspondence, (that phrase is important!!), received in 1970, at Sydney’s Bush Music Club
and detailed in their blog, which she linked to : https://blog.bushmusic.org.au/2018/07/moondyne-joe-and-other-sandgroper.html#gsc.tab=0

It transpires from the said “Correspondence” that this song was in fact written by one Lloyd G. Montgomery (aka Sandgroper) and he lists his melody as being taken from an Irish air : “The Roving Journeyman, or, The Red-Haired Boy.
But not being a reader of music, I am unable to say if John Thompson’s music hall tune by Joseph Bryan Geoghegan is the same or similar or completely different!!! No doubt someone will tell me!!


So there you go!! (thanks Sandra! .....and John is probably aware now too, on some other level :)


Now I just came across this presentation on YT by WA’s State Library, re Bonnievale’s 1907 “Westralia” mine (East extn), massively flooded due to torrential rain, and the subsequent rescue of the last Miner, some 300metres below.
They even use Cloudstreet’s singing behind the slideshow!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6iSo209fPU

The trapped Miner was Modesto Varischetti and the last of 161 miners underground that day. He was a family man from Italy and his rescuer was local Diver Frank Hughes, from Wales. Another local Diver, Fox, initially assisted until injured, along with with Perth Divers, Hearne and Curtis. Herbert Hoover (later to become a US President) was the mining engineer, but the one who made the suggestion to use the Divers, was John, the young son of Josiah Crabb, the Cornish Mine Inspector.
The record 10? hour speed, set by the train carrying the two Perth Divers and the extra long air hoses and diving rescue gear for 565kms, stood for 50 years!!!   
Hughes made various attempts to reach Varischetti and though exhausted, after five days was finally able to bring food, light, letters, and hope to the Miner in his air pocket rise. Around 20 men were working underground in the water and mud to facilitate this rescue, including local Doctors, Mitchell and Ellis. As the water level gradually lowered with the constant surface pumping and baling, Hughes made a sixth trip down to the Miner, who after nine days of entrapment, was finally able to be brought to the surface.
Varischetti lived and worked at underground mining until 1920 when he died of Pulmonary Fibrosis.   Hughes was awarded the Albert Medal.
The location of Bonnievale, originally 12kms from Coolgardie, like so many Australian mining towns is now remembered only by a signpost.


PS    I have decided to post below, Mr Montgomery’s lyrics from his 14th May 1970 correspondence to Dale Dengate of the Bush Music Club – there are a few differences to that which John sings, but IMHO, nothing really drastic :

DOWN IN THE GOLDMINE [2]

Coolgardie folk remember well, a torrent from the sky
Westralia’s tunnel took the flood, and men were forced to fly
It chilled the blood to have to hear, that wailing whistle blow
For miner Varischetti lay, a thousand feet below.

Chorus :
Down in the Goldmine, underneath the ground
Floods are apt to fill the mine, men are apt to drown
Dare the dark an’ dreary water, send a diver down
Deep down in the Goldmine, underneath the ground.

They heard a hammer down below and ran to break the news –
To tread the gloomy catacomb, they sent for Diver Hughes
It’s half-a-hope, or sudden death – now are y’game to go?
Where miner Varischetti is, a thousand feet below.

Fremantle found the diving gear – a train began to roar
The engine got the right-o’-way, a hundred mile or more
She hit the track at sixty-five and set the night aglow
As miner Varischetti lay, a thousand feet below.

A million gallons rose above the captive in the cave
Then Diver Hughes, he brought him up and left an empty grave –
An’ life’ll keep a lamp alight, if men are game to go
Where miner Verischetti lay, a thousand feet below.



I do so love a happy ending!!
R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 11:38 PM

BLUBBER LADDIE Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson, from the official Harry Robertson website.

Audio

Oh it’s sailing oot o’ Scotland and it’s heading south we go
To the cold Antarctic oceans where the Blue and Fin Whale blow
And the first time is adventure and you’re feeling kind of glad
That you’re sailing on a Factory Ship to be a Blubber Lad.

Chorus
Over rattling winches, and the icy winds that sigh,
Blubber Laddie! Keep it moving! You can hear the Flensers cry!

Aye there’s men who flense the blubber and there’s men who work the saws,
For many skills are needed doon among the ice and snows,
And the Cooker Men are clever getting oil wi’ steaming heat,
But the Lads who swing a blubber hook are canny lads to meet.

Chorus

Watch them balance on a rolling deck where heaps o’ blubber lie,
As they drag the strips o’ blubber to the manhole’s waiting eye,
And their hooks are flashing quickly, they dance like the imps o’ hell,
On the bloody freezing deck that reeks o’ whaling factory smell.

Chorus

When the season’s work is over and we’re back on shore again,
And ye wonder why the city folk can tell ye’re Whaling Men,
It’s no secret to them shipmates when you see them stand and look
As the Laddies walk along the street and swing their blubber hook.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 10:15 PM

PHONES OUT OF RANGE
(Dave Myers/Tune: 'Home, home on the range')

Oh give me a phone that will work when I roam
In the country when I need to ring
Where seldom is found any kind of a sound
You'd be better with tins on a string

Chorus
Phones, phones out of range
In the bush where the punters all pay
Where seldom is heard any kind of a word
And reception is cloudy all day

Chorus

How often at night where the heavens are bright
When I'm stranded by some lonely tree
Have I sat there amazed and asked as I gazed
Where the hell is that Telstra's 'Next G'

Chorus

Oh give me a land where the towers all stand
By the roadside wherever I go
Where seldom are seen any out-of-range screens
And my mobile is always aglow

Chorus

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 10:04 PM

R-J, many thanks for your excellent spreadsheets.

The late David Myers was a regular attendee at Top End Folk Festivals in both Darwin and Alice Springs. He was a member of the Shiny Bum Singers and contributed many songs to their repertoire.

Shiny Bums

LAPTOPS IN THE SKY
(Dave Myers/Tune: 'Ghost riders in the sky')

A local bloke he caught a plane one cold and frosty morn
To beat the fog in Canberra he had to leave at dawn
When all at once a red-eyed bunch of businessmen he spied
Working on their laptops, lattes by their sides

Chorus
Yippie aye eh
Yippie aye oh
Laptops in the sky

Their gazes fixed, their eyes were blurred, their fingers running hot
Their work it seemed important but really it was not
They could be writing novels or doing difficult sums
But they were only writing emails to their mums

Chorus

Their keys were jumping off the board, their brows were soaked with sweat
They missed both lunch and dinner but haven't noticed yet
Then they hit some turbulence and things began to fly
There was debris in the cabin and laptops in the sky

Chorus

The captain said 'We're landing now in Darwin's summer heat
So stow your trusty laptops underneath your seats'
And as they hit the tarmac there came a strangled roar
A hundred sliding laptops went racing down the floor

Chorus

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 01 Apr 21 - 05:52 AM

It being the eve of the Easter break here Down Under, I have finalised (correctly I hope :) the last 3 months of Song Posts in this thread.
So if you desire an Excel spreadsheet for Jan-Mar2021 (or the Aug-Dec2020 one), then send a Mudcat PM to Sandra-in-Sydney for a copy!!

Hopefully the Easter holiday will also encourage more folks to add songs, eh!! :)

Avagoodwun.

Cheers!
R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 03:17 AM

FRIENDS WON'T LET YOU DOWN, © Denis Kevans 1999, tune © Denis Rice 2007

Audio

"Your friends will never forget you", the fluttering leaflet said,
"Your friends will never forget you", and then o’er the valley spread,
The wide sky cowed in sorrow, and the eyes of the angels wept,
For a promise made by the soldiers that their leaders never kept.

For soldiers are there when you need them, they're there to suffer and die,
And to make the eyes of the angels weep in the depths of the tropical sky,
And the soldiers are there to laugh it off, and shoulder their blistering gun,
And fight anew in the mud like glue, and the sweat of the tropical sun.

And soldiers were there, and their mates were there, their mates the East Timorese,
Who fought and died beside them in the night of the jungle trees,
Who bled and fought and suffered, so Australia might still be free,
And the Aussies cried, when their leaders lied, and poisoned the Timor Sea.

"Your friends will never forget you", the fluttering leaflet said,
Dropped from the biscuit bomber, and then o’er the valley spread,
The wide sky cowed in sorrow, and the eyes of the angels wept,
For a promise made by the soldiers that their leaders never kept.

Notes

Many thanks to Denis Kevans and Denis Rice for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.


Why Australia owes a lot to East Timor

During World War Two in 1942, Timorese villagers assisted the Australian soldiers who were fighting the Japanese Imperial Army. More than 40,000 Timorese were killed by the Japanese in reprisal for their support of the Australians.

Upon withdrawal of the Australian troops from Timor, hundreds of leaflets were dropped by air over the villages in Timor that read "YOUR FRIENDS WILL NEVER FORGET YOU". This initial declaration of friendship has led to friendship agreements between Australian and Timorese communities.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 03:05 AM

TRAINS OF TREASURE © 1984 Denis Kevans

Audio

They are leaving, trains of treasure, without measure, everyday,
Trains of corn and coal and ore for the countries far away,
Treasure trains and treasure troves, leaving for the ports and coves,
Taking loads of gleaming treasure to the countries far away.

When I'm walking home, at midnight, roaming through the city's heart,
I can hear the trains uncouple, and the motor's purring start,
They pass me. like a film, forty carriages, all told,
Whipping round the curve at midnight with their cargo-loads of gold.

Like a film of the wartime, when the victors iced the cake,
With the corn and coal and ore of the countries they would take,
Like a film, they are leaving, treasure trains, and treasure troves,
Richer than the reefs of Midas, and lost Lasseter's last gold.

Tracks of steel I thought weren't used now, tunnels...mushrooms there I thought,
From the lights of Darling harbour, and Glebe Island, to the port,
Just a smiling driver, standing with his cap at jockey tilt,
I knew they carried treasure by the little bit they spilt.

And they pass you through the tunnels where the funnels used to smoke,
Round the curving lines of cities where the signals watch them go,
Just a wave, a nod, a yahoo, from the guard who throws the brake,
And the trains of treasure rumble, like a memory, through the State.

And the shunter's yard exploding in the deepest, darkest night,
And the trucks, they are unloading, in a light that's brightest white,
And the coupled trains uncouple, and the shunter's glove is shown,
And another train of treasure trundles down the iron road.

They are leaving, trains of treasure, without measure, everyday,
Trains of corn and coal and ore for the countries far away,
Treasure trains and treasure troves, leaving for the ports and coves,
Taking loads of gleaming treasure to the countries far away.

Recorded on Trains of Treasure 1985 cassette, 1999 CD


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 02:57 AM

MONUMENTS © Denis Kevans 1970, music Kate Fagan

Audio

Some leave a marble monument, or a statue made of brass
That stands in cold retirement, getting tickled by the grass
Some leave a passive portrait they've commissioned for a fee,
But no one comes to sculpt or carve, or paint a pic of me.

Don't worry, I've been carved up by experts, not a few
Subbies, foremen use their knives to carve a pound or two.
I've been sculpted by the cleaver winds that scream up in the struts.
I've been painted by the mud and slush in bogging rickshaw ruts

I am a kind of portrait if you could read between
The lines that mark my face with time and see just what they mean
The leagues and laughs and lands I've known, the years of wear and tear
No gypsy woman on the earth could glean the stories there.

From the mullock heavy rickshaw to the hook that rides with ease,
From the sucking clay caught shovel, to the steel walk in the breeze,
From the jack pick gun's staccato to the steady chisel chip
I've worked upon my monument in a life's apprenticeship.

From the convict's pickmarked alphabet in Hawkesbury River stone
To where the dogman carves his name in the concrete rise alone
From mud in acres poured and squared, to the bright mosaic eye,
I've worked upon my monument, and build before I die.

I see your monuments displayed in cavalcades of war,
In lands where you make ashes from the courage of the poor.
In little children hobbling down to drink from sorrow's well
Looking sadly at their faces, cut to bits by petrol gel.

I see your monuments displayed in smog polluted air.
To the wraiths of black shawled mountains, in the wake of 'I don't care'
In oil choked harbours, upturned fish, and nuclear sullied seas
In forests felled, and deserts made from songbird's aviaries

You've had your chance, you've run the world your way, we know it's true.
Your monuments stick in my craw, the monuments to you.
We leave the cities of the world cemented with our sweat
The cemeteries of our youthful years, but we're not beaten yet.

For there's a living monument to all we've lived and learned
The green bans we've created, and the victories we have earned
And one day when our cities are but dust upon the air
The pollen from our fighting hearts will bloom again somewhere.

Recorded on City of Green - Green Ban Songs & Beyond, 1996?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Mar 21 - 02:48 AM

CITY OF GREEN, © Denis Kevans, music Kate Fagan

audio

I built a city of green, the city of my dreams,
Oh my city of green, the best you've ever seen.
For, still and all, we all must dream, far better it is to try,
To build a city all of green, than to let your dreaming die.
And so, my friends, if you have a dream, do not let it die,
Then, when you are dead and gone, you'll be alive as I.

I was riding high on a plank of steel, with old Sydney stretched below,
I saw them grey, in the living day. scurrying to and fro,
As I watched those moving shadows in tho streets way down there,
I wished that just one fall of light would strike on their lovely hair would ignite their dancing hair.

As the day was born, in the hungover dawn, we fronted the old change shed,
And we slammed the door, and we cursed and swore, at the lies the press chiefs spread.
Our blood had dried in the concrete dust, the steel fix cut our hands,
Our ears were sore with the jackpick's roar, but we could understand, yes, we could understand.

Like a giant stonehenge, this city we built, for the worshippers of gold,
And we ripped and tore, to the jackpick's roar,
In the burning heat and cold,
And the worshippers came with their pallid flame, to bow their heads and tell
All the sins they had never committed, and the ones they had dreamed as well.

The big clowns said this shall be so, now knock that theatre down,
These rows of terraces can go in the best part of the town,
They used their words so hunt me, I can tell you that they stung,
I copped plenty and I gave plenty, with my fists and fighting tongue, my fists and fighting tongue.

In a mighty tide of human pride, we surged through Sydney's streets,
And the mark of green, on the concrete keen, was a kingtide, full and sweet,
Our names unknown, nor gold on stone, but still our hearts were high
To overturn the lies that burn the life from you and I.

I marched out front, I took the dump, on me they tipped the can,
I saw the heroes point and say:"Do you call it a man?"
But when the coppers buckled me, and slammed the paddy van,
I saw the heroes stop and think - perhaps I was a man, perhaps I was a man.

And now my friends, my hair is grey, and I am growing young,
For in the sky, the stars will play, where once smog curtains hung,
I see the oceans shine with fish. the rivers glint with bream,
And there wont be any beaches where the kiddies cannot swim.

I built a city of green, the city of my dreams.
Oh my city of green, the best you've ever seen,
For, still and all, we all must dream, far better it is to try,
To build a city all of green, than to let your dreaming die,
And so, my friends, it you have a dream, do not let it die,
Then, when you are dead and gone, you'll be alive as I.

Recorded on City of Green - Green Ban Songs & Beyond, 1996?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 30 Mar 21 - 11:43 PM

we have 3 of Denis's songs, Across the Western Suburbs, The Roar of the Crowd, & Green Ban Fusileers, all very famous, & now this also new to me.

CD c.1995/6, City of Green - Green Ban Songs & Beyond with Kate Fagan, Bob Fagan, Denis Kevans, Wyn Jonea, Sonia Bennett, Ralph Kelly, Jack Mundey, Milton Taylor, Bill Berry, & more. All songs by Denis, but no words, I'll see what I can find.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Mar 21 - 10:07 PM

R-J, it is unlikely that I posted a link. The only collection of Kevans' poems that I have is 'The Great Prawn War and Other Poems' which doesn't include 'Ah, white Man'. I can't remember obtaining the book, but I must have got it from him personally because inside the front cover there is handwritten 'I called him a worship, your bastard' and 'warmest greetings, Denis Kevans'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: rich-joy
Date: 30 Mar 21 - 09:01 PM

A friend just sent me this link to Denis Kevans, 1939-2005 (“Australia’s Poet Lorikeet”!) reciting his work : “Ah White Man, Have You Any Sacred Sites?” (I thought maybe Stewie had posted that last year????),
but this link also included his poem “Mend the Torn Air“ set to music by Denis Rice, and which was new to me :


MEND THE TORN AIR

Denis Kevans

Your beak is the needle, The thread is your song,
And you mend the torn air, When the madness is gone,
And the harmonies old, of the bushland unfold,
When you mend the torn air with your song.

And when harmony reigned In the forest of green,
And no screaming steel Desecrated the scene,
All the birds of the air made the harmony there,
And they threaded the air with their song.

Now they tear down the trees, And a nightmare it seems,
The timeless old forest And the screaming machines,
But you with your song, you follow along,
And you mend the torn air with your song.

When the screaming of shells And the big guns did roar,
The larks, with their song, Tried to even the score,
They near burst their hearts, in singing their parts,
And they mended the air with their song.

So your beak is the needle, The thread is your song,
To mend the torn air, When the madness is gone,
Like the larks in the war Who have done it before,
You mend the torn air with your song.

(lyrics cut-and-pasted from KV’s Comment on webpage)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFKp_OqVd6I
Denis (poet) / Loosely Woven (singers), Sydney

About Denis :

http://humph.org/lw/concerts/05fogs/c_03_dennis.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Kevans



R-J


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 09:09 PM

THE OLD KEG OF RUM
(Anon)

My name is old Jack Palmer, and I once dug for gold
And the song I'm going to sing you recalls the days of old
When I'd plenty mates around me, and the talk would fairly hum
As we all sat together round the old keg of rum

Chorus
The old keg of rum, the old keg of rum
As we all sat together round the old keg of rum

There was Bluey Watt, the breaker, and old Tom Hynes
And little Doyle, the ringer, who now in glory shines
And many more hard-doers, all gone to Kingdom Come
We were all associated round the old keg of rum

When the shearing time was over at the sheds on the Bree
We'd raise a keg from somewhere, and we'd all have a spree
We'd sit and sing together till we got so blind and dumb
That we couldn't find the bung-hole of the old keg of rum

There was some would last the night out, and some would have a snooze
And some were full of fight, boys, but all were full of booze
Till often in a scrimmage I have corked it with my thumb
To keep the life from leakin' from the old keg of rum

And now my song is ended, I've got to travel on
Just an old buffer skiting of days dead and gone
You young folk who hear me will perhaps in years to come
Remember old Jack Palmer and his old keg of rum

The above is close to the version that circulated during the folk boom. It was popular here in Darwin, particularly with a group that called themselves Bludger O'Toole. I took this from the Folk Lore Council compilation. It is also on the Mark Gregory and John Thompson sites. There is a much longer version in Paterson's 'Old Bush Songs' from which this perhaps derives.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 03:18 AM

Damn! I doubled up again with 'Pig-catcher'. My apologies R-J. I will aim to do better.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Mar 21 - 12:26 AM

Here's another one in the Folk Lore Council compilation in a similar vein to 'Dying Bagman'. The compilation doesn't give authors for any of the songs. However, this one is also included in Ron Edwards' big book. He notes that it was written by Jack Crossland, a cane-cutter and avid pig hunter from Cairns.

THE PIG-CATCHER'S LOVE SONG
(Jack Crossland/Tune: 'On top of Old Smokey')

Oh, marry me darling, I love you sincere
I love you the way I love Cairns Bitter Beer

Chorus (changes each verse)
Oh Cairns Bitter Beer, love, Cairns Bitter Beer
I love you the way I love Cairns Bitter Beer

I've got an old humpy, a camp-oven or two
A rifle and pig-dogs, now I only want you

Chorus
I only want you, love, I only want you
A rifle and pig-dogs - now I only want you

You'll never go hungry as long as you live
With sweet-bucks and mango and slab of wild pig

I'll always be faithful and reasonably true
I may love other women, but I'll mostly love you

I'll often get drunken and sometime tell lies
But I often will tell you how blue are your eyes

Oh, marry me darling, I never will fail
There are worse blokes than me, love, but they're mostly in jail

--Stewie


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