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Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia

DigiTrad:
NOT IN THE BOOK


Related threads:
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rich-joy 25 Sep 20 - 01:10 AM
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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 01:10 AM

Mention of Colin Dryden reminded me of the VERY prolific songwriter and YT poster, Daniel Kelly, down in Yass.

I can't keep up with all he does, but I did rather like his song "The Frederick" about which he says :
"I caught a bit of this interview with Peter Grose about the book he has written called Ten Rogues, covering the story of 10 convicts that stole a ship from the camp on Sarah Island in 1834 and sailed to Chile: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/..."

Listen here :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7BAeyTKAM

Check out his other vidclips here : https://www.youtube.com/c/DanielKellyFolkMusic/videos


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 25 Sep 20 - 12:54 AM

okay, so we've made 300 posts - who'da thunkit!
R-J :)


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 11:05 PM

R-J, thanks for posting the songs by Ryder and Flanagan - they are definitely old favourites. I am always amazed by Mick Flanagan's memory - he sings Irish ballads that rival Icelandic sagas.

Dermott Ryder wrote a piece on Colin Dryden which should be of interest to some Mudcatters. It took me a while to re-find a copy on the Net. It was titled 'North Country Gentleman'.

Ryder on Dryden

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 10:32 PM

I DON’T GO SHEARING NOW
(Woods/Wyndham-Read)

So you're off to Riverina where the sun is shining clear
The ewes and lambs are bleating calling shearers far and near
The musterers are busy where the grass is always high
And the July fogs are climbing up the sunbeams to the sky
And the carpenters are busy fixing gates and pens and bins
While the pressers just to kill time press in bales the winter's skins
I have been there in the past and I know exactly how
The shearing sheds'll get you—though I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

Three clear days if you are lucky you'll be there before the roll
And the splendour of the springtime will suffice your youthful soul
And you'll pay an early visit to your working pen I'll bet
Perhaps upon your own old rig the oil rag's lying yet
And you'll wander up and down the silent boards with heart quite full
As you smell old recollections when you sniff the greasy wool
Ah my lad you needn't smile for I know exactly how
These little things affect you—though I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

Each man his neighbour watching noting well the other's pace
As you move a little faster feeling fitter for the race
And the pace begins to quicken and the sweat soon starts to drop
Each man has found his pacer and is going at his top
But ere many days are over weak ones fall down one by one
Hit by chips and flying bullets from the boss's little gun
I've been there in the past and I know exactly how
The fight gets fairly started—though I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

How I'd love to travel with you where the Murrumbidgee flows
Where the days are always sunny and the noisy quirking crows
Are flying round the washpen and the sweating pens are full
And to have some tea and damper and be all among the wool
Every year I get this longing when the shearing time draws nigh
But to saddle up and slipper and to have another try
But these days are now behind me for I know exactly how
The rheumatism gets me so I don't go shearing now
No I don't go shearing now

Martyn Wyndham-Read took this poem by Walter William Woods (aka John Drayman) from Stewart and Keesing's Australian bush ballads collection. He noted that he 'penned it in and clipped it short' to make it more singable.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 09:42 PM

MOUNT OUSLEY BREAKDOWN
(Robin Connaughton)

I drove from Austral’s in my little Commer knocker
Two coils of reject copper going back to ERS
She was slightly overloaded and the brakes needed relining
But I didn’t think it mattered, only one trip more or less
I detoured through the suburbs, missed the mermaids down at Sutherland
Hammered on past Helensburgh, then out through Maddens plains
Screaming sixty down the hills, like the one past Appin turn-off
And chugging back to twenty going up the slope again

Chorus:
Nearer my God, nearer my God, nearer my God to thee
I was going down Mount Ousley doing eighty miles an hour
Singing, ’Nearer my God to thee’

I changed to third at Ousley, but when I went in for second
The preselector gearbox locked out any cog but top
I pulled left and hit the anchors, but the front brakes stripped their linings
Four miles of hill, ten tons of coil, no bloody way to stop
I scraped the kink at fifty, missed the safety ramp at sixty
The Commer’s engine knocking like a demolition drill
Then it’s through the shute and down the straight, there’s nothing left but houses
And the traffic light T-junction at the bottom of the hill

Chorus

You can lose speed through the cutting if you scape the truck against the side
They’ve never bloody tried it doing eighty miles an hour
You hit the edge too hard, the load just keeps on going
Ten tons of copper coil would press me flatter than a flower
I went through the intersection like an angel with its arse on fire
Cannoned off a Morris and a Holden lost its back
When the front wheels hit the gutter, the cabin left the chassis
I could hear the chain links breaking as the coils took up the slack

Chorus

Suddenly it’s silent, I am sitting in a paddock
Crying like a baby, ‘cos I’m still alive to cry
Sitting in the wreckage of the cabin of me Commer
Between two copper carpets, stretching pink towards the sky
And thanking God almighty for that canny little loader
Who’d chocked the coils off-centre when he’d chained them down, you see
So that when I hit the gutter and the coils came smashing forwards
Well, one went right and one went left and both of them missed me

Chorus (x2)

From The Roaring Forties 'We Made the Steel'. The tune is 'Wreck of the Old '97'.

Mt Ousley descent

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 06:07 AM

Well, after that, reckon we could all do with a nice Cup of Tea, eh!


Billy of Tea

From The Native Companion Songster, c.1889

You can talk of your whiskey, talk of your beer,
There's something much nicer that's waiting us here.
It sits on the fire beneath the gum tree:
There's nothing much nicer than a billy of tea.

Ch.
So fill up your tumbler as high as you can,
And don't you dare tell me it's not the best blend.
You can let all your beer and your spirits go free,
I'll stick to my darling old billy of tea.

I rise in the morning as soon as it's light
And go to the nosebag to see it's alright,
That the ants on the sugar no mortgage have got
And straight away sling my old black billy pot.

And while it is boiling the horses I seek,
And follow them down as far as the creek.
I take off their hobbles and let them run free,
Then haste to tuck into my billy of tea.

And at night when I camp, if the day has been warm,
I give to my horses their tucker of corn.
From the two in the pole, to the one in the lead,
A billy for each holds a comfortable feed.

Then the fire I make and the water I get,
And corned beef and damper in order I set.
But I don't touch the grub – though so hungry I be –
I wait 'til it's ready; the billy of tea.


This version by Bruised Knees : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHwYolLLuIc


Cheers! (and it's Time for Tea), R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 05:33 AM

Darn! I forgot to say that on the Ovarian Sisters recording, GO TO 03:20 for the song, coz the whole LP is there.
R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 05:22 AM

Well, the way things are heading in Americal with Roe Vs Wade, someone had better crank this little device into production, pronto!


THE I.P.D. Song

By Sue Edmonds

I'll sing you all a song about a wondorous new device
The nation's latest contraceptive plan
That funny little object they call the I.U.D
Has recently been changed to fit a man.

Ch.
The I.P.D., the I.P.D.
It may not feel too good to you, But it's not hurting me
So every time the pain begins to fill your eyes with tears
Remember I put up with it for years.

They tested it on whales and tried it out on mice
They used it in the poorer parts of town
It's the cleverest invention since the automatic lift
Guaranteed to never let you down.

It was proven to be safe for the average human male
Though testing showed some minor side affects
There were two died from infection and six were sterilized
But only ten percent were too depressed.

Ah, but you know some people are never satisfied
So scientists are working once again
They've got something even better than the good old IPD
It’s called the morning-after pill for men.

It's the pill – it’s better than the IPD
It may not be too safe but we'll just have to wait and see
So put away your worries and put away your fears
And remember I put up with it for years!


Here is Sue Edmonds singing with her Ovarian Sisters in Tasmania, from their 1980 LP “Beat Your Breasts” :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otJ-SUmWCdI

And another version by Judy Small : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDRrTFxVs60


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 04:36 AM

FOUR LITTLE JOHNNY CAKES

Hurrah for the Lachlan, boys, and join me in a cheer
That's the place to go to make an easy cheque each year
With a toad-skin in my pocket I borrowed from a friend
Oh, isn't it nice and cosy to be camping in the bend?

Ch.
With my little round flour-bag sitting on a stump
My little tea-and-sugar bag looking nice and plump
A little fat cod-fish just off the hook
And four little johnny-cakes, a credit to the cook

I've a loaf or two of bread and some "murphies" that I shook
Perhaps a loaf of brownie that I snaffled from a cook
A nice leg of mutton ... just a bit cut off the end
Oh, isn't it nice and jolly to be whaling in the bend?

I have a little book and some papers for to read
Plenty of matches and a good supply of weed
I wouldn't be a squatter as beside my fire I sit
With a paper in my hand and my old clay lit

When shearing-time comes, I'm in all my glory then
I saddle up my moke and I soon secure a pen
I canter through the valley and gallop o'er the plain
I shoot a turkey, stick a pig, and off to camp again

Last Chorus
With my little round flour-bag sitting on a stump
My little tea-and-sugar bag looking nice and plump
A little fat cod-fish just off the hook
And four little johnny-cakes, I'm proud to be the cook!


“collected by” Banjo Paterson .
There are a couple of Mudcat threads that discuss this song and the meanings/derivation of the lyrics.

Mark Gregory’s book notes : “Printed in Paterson's Old Bush Songs, Johnny Cakes are small dampers or scones cooked in a pan rather than in the ashes of a camp fire.
Recipe : Mix 250 g of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a little salt.   Slowly mix enough water to make a dough.    Divide the dough into small cakes and fry for about 10 minutes each side.   
Serve cold with jam, honey or cockies' joy (golden syrup)”

I was after Dave de Hugard’s singing of it, but sadly,found very little of his online :(
However, here is the late Bill Berry, one-time Queenslander, and sounding of course, very authentic!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiAVO0ZDs8Q



Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 03:59 AM

THE CONSERVATIONISTS

by Mick Flanagan, c.1970s?

The year was 1964 when Morgan found the nickel ore
And the miners headed westward with a will
From Rum Jungle, Broken Hill, Leigh Creek and Collinsville
The western lands they soon began to fill, began to fill
The western lands they soon began to fill.

First the Durkin Shaft went down, and up sprang Kambalda town
With employment for a thousand mining men
Be you Aussie, Scot or Turk, you were well-paid for your work
Whether underground or working in the mill, in the mill
Whether underground or working in the mill.

Next Poseidon made a find, the stock market it went wild
As the trading reached a fever on the floor
Soon the brokers' knees grew weak as Poseidon hit its peak
For the like of it they'd never seen before, seen before
The like of it they'd never seen before.

Now the shafts are sinking fast and they're spreading through the West
The beasts of nature don't know what to do
Soon the emu and the ‘roo, there will be no room for you
Your extinction seems to be so close at hand, close at hand
Your extinction seems to be so close at hand.

Conservationists they say, if we carry on this way
There's no doubt that we are headed for our doom
For the big companies don't mind if the minerals they find
For the Dollar God, it rules them every day, every day
The Dollar God, it rules them every day.

So stand up while you can, think of your fellow man
And the children that will follow after you
For I'm sure they'd like to see all the animals that we
Are killing every day throughout the land, throughout the land
Are killing every day throughout the land.                                                                                          


Though born in Galway, Mick Flanagan now resides in Georgetown, Tasmania.

Click this link for a recording by John Thompson :
http://ozfolksongaday.blogspot.com/2011/01/conservationists-song.html


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 01:52 AM

RIGHT OF THE LINE ~ Dermott Ryder


Where are you going me fine young blade,
With your bright blue jacket and your red cockade,
Hauling the gun in the sun and the shade,
For to fight 'for the right' in the morning.

Sold your soul for the shilling of the king.
To follow the gun in the winter & the spring
And fight for the crown the sceptre and the ring
And the 'right of the line' in the morning.

Fired the gun in Germany and France
On the wild raw veldt where the Zulu dance
They buried your body with hardly a glance
Where you died 'for the right' in the morning.

Stable belt hangin' on a wagon wheel
Red for the blood and blue for the steel
Gold the gunners who made the bastards reel,
For 'the right' and the glory in the morning

The guns stand silent as you march away
to the Jungle green, at the break of day.
'Everywhere', I can hear you say,
for the right and glory in the morning.

Battle honours wove in steel and gold
Fought for the youth of a nation sold
In the snow and the rain & the heat and the cold
For the 'right of the line' in the morning.

The pastures are green where the guns once stood
The trees grow tall on nations blood,
Spilled and mixed with tears and the mud,
Where 'the right' was won in the morning.

Remember the battles you fought and won,
for God and for Country, and for duty done.
In freedom's cause your time will come,
when you fight for the right in the morning.

Where are you going my fine young blade,
with your bright blue jacket and your red cockade?
Hauling the gun in the sun and the shade,
for to fight for the right in the morning.



Click for recording by Andy Saunders & Phyl Lobl :
https://phyllobl.net/songs/on-my-selection-album/right-of-the-line/

Phyl writes : “In the British Army the Royal Artillary had the first right to movement of guns and troops in the battle line. Dermott Ryder who wrote the song served in the British Army and informed me that 'red cockade' refers to a bloodstain on a head bandage.”

(the late) Dermott Ryder “says he wrote “Right of the Line” not as an anti-war song, as some singers assert, but rather as a pro-peace song because I believe that the secondary role of the military of a Christian Nation is to justly gain and humanely maintain the democratic peace……”

See also “Dermott’s Last Ride” by Paul Hemphill : https://howlinginfinite.com/2015/03/05/dermotts-last-ride/



Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 24 Sep 20 - 12:34 AM

THE YOBBO’S REQUEST ~ Jean Memery

Ch.
Sing us a song please, Mr Folksinger
Sing us the one we forgot
You know the one, it’s a bloody humdinger
And better than hit parade rot.

Sing us a song about life in the bush
Make us all proud to be Aussies
You know the one, you sang it last week
It’s all about blowflies and mozzies.

Sing us an Irish one, all full of tears
All about torture and pain
And drunkards and rebels and famine and fears
And then sing it all over again.

Sing us a protest song, lay it on thick
Tell us what bastards we are
Thoughtless and greedy and selfish and sick
It was guilt that made Bogle a star.

When there’s a chorus, we’ll all sing along
It must drive you stark-staring mad
Though we can’t hold a tune and the words are all wrong
Our intentions are not wholly bad.


Jean Memery is a Beechworth (Victoria) resident – poet and retired English teacher – who taught all over, including the NT, which I presume, is how this song became popular up there!   
It is sung to the tune of the traditional old timey (or even earlier) song “All the Good Times (are past and gone)”, but rather more using the Bob & Carolanne Pegg (aka Mr Fox) variations (though a bit faster than this rendition!)   
I recall it was good for late, end-of-night harmonies!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_IYnKhgdGw


Was it a Bloodwood number, Stew?? I just can’t recall. Also, why are there practically no Bloodwood tracks on YT?? (pretty tragic)

Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 11:45 PM

LIFT #4 :
NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/index.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!


WHALING WIFE

Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

(As performed by Marian Henderson on Harry’s 1971 LP “WHALE CHASING MEN”)

Aye! I’m waiting here at hame and I always feel the same
Whenever my guid man goes tae the whaling,
Seven months he’ll be awa’ doon amongst the ice and snow
And there’s times my lonely heart is nearly breaking.

Now it’s time the kids were fed, and I’ll put them into bed,
And to them a story then I might be telling,
That their Daddy’s gone tae sea, to buy food for them and me,
And it’s many whales we hope he will be catching.

If the whaling catch is fine, we will have an easy time,
New clothes and food we ought to have in plenty,
But if the blubber’s thin on the Blue Whale and the Fin,
Then for us between the seasons could be scanty.

So it’s waiting that I am, and I’m thinking of my man,
And the pleasure when I know that he’s returning,
But in case ye should forget — he hasna’ come hame yet,
And wi’ tears my eyes at times are fairly burning.

© Harry Robertson
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the track by [the late and great] Marian Henderson
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_Whaling_Wife.mp3


WHALING WIFE
"I often thought as I watched whaling men working, what brought most of them down south year after year. Some knew little else — others had backgrounds of a professional nature and yet all of them seemed to have one thing in common — an attraction to the bleak wilderness of Antarctica. The financial motive existed in all and a keen eye was kept on the production figures — yet one suspected that money was the secondary motive — it could perhaps be explained that without being ‘Shackeltons’ or ‘Scotts’ they still sought new frontiers — or rather — the avoidance of existing ones in cities, towns, etc. Whatever the reason, there they were, and probably would be back the following year. Such a pattern often led me to wonder, not only about the whalers, but about the other people in their lives.
A great number of people connected with the Whaling Industry never go whaling. In 1950-51 some twelve thousand men of various nationalities operated in the Antarctic season. Surely they each left at least one friend behind. So we find, scattered throughout the world, thousands of people who know of, and depend upon, the return of whaling men and the result of a good catch — such is the — ‘Whaling Wife’."
HR

Click to play the introduction
http://www.harryrobertson.net/WhalingWife.html



Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 11:37 PM

LIFT #3 :
NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/index.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!


QUEENSLAND WHALERS

Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

I’ve sailed the North Atlantic, where ice blows in the breeze,
And roamed the Dutch West Indies in the calm blue sunny seas.
When I think of ships and seamen, my thoughts return again,
To a season spent in Moreton Bay with Queensland Whaling Men.

Chorus
Sing Ho! You Queensland whalers, who have cut the sugar cane,
And drove the herds of cattle o’er the dry and dusty plain,
You’ve dug the ore at Isa, laid countless miles of rail,
And now you’ve come to Moreton Bay, to catch the Humpback whale.

For men who’ve chased the brumbies, caught bullocks by the tail,
It really is no problem to catch a Humpback whale.
Just spur your iron seahorse, put the gun through rigging struts,
And when he runs from the coral scrub, you belt him in the guts.

Chorus

The man up in the crows nest, as whaling legend goes,
Looks out across the water and then cries, “Thar she blows!”
But here in sunny Queensland you’ll sometimes hear them shout,
“There goes a bloody beauty, mate, so get your finger out!”

Chorus

From Moreton to Caloundra, bronze whaler sharks abound,
They wait like dingoes in the scrub for a wounded beast that’s down.
But their taste for blood and savagery, it never could compare
With the bite that Inland Revenue took from our bonus share.

Chorus

When fuel tanks were running low, we’d sail to Brisbane town
And at the nearest boozer our sorrows we would drown,
With beer and fiery whiskey and plonk of vintage rare
We’d steer a steady zigzag course without a blasted care.

Chorus

Hooray, the season’s over and we can all return,
To greet our wives and sweethearts and have a little fun,
We’ll rant like cattle drovers, we’ll roar like whaling men,
But when the season starts next year you’ll find us back again.

Chorus

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the track
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_Queensland_Whalers.mp3

QUEENSLAND WHALERS
"I listened to the words of the song,
“And Captain Logan he had us mangled,
At the triangles of Moreton Bay”.
That such a placid sunlit place was once the scene of inhuman brutality, was hard to believe.
Later I walked along Logan Road named after the bloody Captain and I have since wondered just how many historical and present-day bastards are immortalised in such a manner.
Perhaps debasement is easier to remember than achievement.
Personally I prefer achievement.
Consequently, in the following song ‘Queensland Whalers’, I once again refer to the adaptability of men who had indeed worked at everything prior to stepping on board the whale ships.
The early fires of struggle in Australia surely forged a metal of its own. I found the temper of this metal in the character of the ‘Have-a-go, Aussies!’ when I whaled at Moreton Bay."
HR

Click to play the introduction
http://www.harryrobertson.net/QueenslandWhalers.html


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 11:29 PM

LIFT #2 :
NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/index.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!



THE ANTARCTIC FLEET

Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

I went down south a-whaling, to the land of ice and snow,
And eight-and-twenty pounds a month, was all I had to show,
For being on a little ship like a sardine in a can,
And eating salty pork and beef, they stewed up in a pan.

Chorus
Heigh-ho! Whale-oh! Wi’ the Antarctic fleet,
I’ve got a drip upon me nose and I’m frozen in the feet.

South Georgia is an island, it is a Whaling Base,
And only men in search of whales, would go to such a place,
No entertainment does exist unless you make home brew,
Then we would have some singing and, we’d have some fighting too.

Chorus

Our gunner came from Norway, like many of the crew,
And others spoke wi’ Scottish tongues, as whalers often do,
But when the ship was closing in to make the bloody kill,
The Scotsmen and Norwegians worked, together with a will.

Chorus

We sailed down to the Weddell Sea, where the big Blues can be found,
We chased between the icebergs and, we chased them round and round,
And when they couldn’t run no more, and fought to draw their breath,
Our gunner shot harpoons in them, ’til they floated still in death.

Chorus

For months we sailed the ocean, and wearied with the toil,
Of slaughter and of killing just to get that smelly oil,
And when the savage storms blew and snow kept falling down,
I often wished that I was back, in dear old Glasgow town.

Chorus

It’s twenty years since I’ve been there, and I won’t go there again,
I didn’t like the climate but, I liked the whaling men,
And even in the sunshine now when I walk along the street,
I’ve got a drip upon me nose, and I’ve still got frozen feet.

Chorus

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA-AMCOS   www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the song :
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_The_Antarctic_Fleet.mp3




THE ANTARCTIC FLEET
"I finished taking the slack out of a bottom end bearing on the main engine at St Vincents, Cape Verde Islands, just off the west coast of Africa, our first stop since leaving Britain and our last before we reached Leith Harbour Whaling Base on the island of South Georgia. While fuel and stores were being taken on board, I joined my shipmates in buying, begging, bartering, or stealing, flagons of ‘alco pura’ (gutrot booze) from the ‘Bumboat’ men. Otherwise it would be a dry trip through the ‘Roaring Forties’ degrees south where the weather is worse than any government’s policy — though not consistently so — to the grog-dry Whaling Station and even drier Whaling Men who had spent the winter there. They knew we were coming, we knew they were there and the traditional obligation of bringing supplies must be honoured.
Stand your watch, oil the engines, retell old incidents — for news is scarce now.
Quite suddenly, out of the mist one morning, appeared the ice-cragged peaks of South Georgia — conversation sparkled once more as we threaded our way towards Leith Harbour and all its majestic squalor."
HR

http://www.harryrobertson.net/TheAntarcticFleet.html


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 10:23 PM

Great stuff, R-J. Lawls was a very fine singer.

PO ATA RAU
(Anon/tune based on Swiss Cradle Song}

Pö atarau
E moea iho nei
E haere ana
Koe ki pämamao

Haere rä
Ka hoki mai anö
Ki i te tau
E tangi atu nei

Now is the hour
When we must say goodbye
Soon you'll be sailing
Far across the sea
While you're away
Oh please remember me
When you return
You'll find me waiting here

In New Zealand, the opening theme of a piano piece, 'Swiss Cradle Song', composed in Australia by Clement Scott was modified for the singing of Po Atarua to farewell WWI Maori soldiers. In 1920, 'This Is the Hour' verse was added. On a visit to NZ in 1945, Gracie Fields learned the song and her version, known as 'Now Is the Hour', became a world-wide hit in 1948.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 10:10 PM

NB   I confess I lifted this whole section (lyrics, notes, clip) from Evan & Lyn Mathieson's very excellent homage website to the music and memories of Queenslander, Harry Robertson, and for his widow Rita, and family.
http://www.harryrobertson.net/NorfolkWhalers.html

Some great stuff on there and I trust they will forgive me if I similarly add a couple more favourites too!


NORFOLK WHALERS
Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

(As performed by Marian Henderson on Harry’s 1971 LP “WHALE CHASING MEN”)

High on the cliffs of Norfolk’s green isle,
Women and children are waiting the while,
Far down below the whale boatmen row,
As after the Humpback the Norfolk men go.

Each man in the boat strains hard at his oar,
They head for the whale, and away from the shore,
Up at the bow the harpoon man stands,
A steel-shafted harpoon clutched tight in his hands.

Chorus
Row, my love row, and bring back to me,
The king of the ocean, the prize of the sea.

Ship the oars lads, and quiet as we go,
The harpoon strikes deep, and the blood starts to flow,
Then hell’s violent furies break out on the waves,
One blow from its tail could mean watery graves.

For hours the whale drags the boat through the sea,
And tires from its effort to break the rope free,
Exhausted at last, it floats in the sun,
Sharp lances complete what the harpoon begun.

Chorus

Back to the island, ’twill be a long row,
If darkness comes down, the lantern will glow,
For high on the cliffs the Islanders stand,
And wait for their men to return to the land.

With backs nearly broken, and blistered hands sore,
The boatmen at last reach the isle’s rocky shore,
The joy on friends’ faces, what pleasure to see,
Their loved ones return with the prize of the sea.

Chorus

© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au

Click to play the track by [the late and great] Marian Henderson
http://www.harryrobertson.net/sound/WCM_Norfolk_Whalers.mp3


NORFOLK WHALERS
"The first thing I noticed on my arrival at Norfolk Island was the number of people who lined the cliff tops, some three hundred feet high at Cascade Bay, to watch our arrival. As a penal settlement, Norfolk Island had been the scene of brutal floggings and inhumane treatment of desperate prisoners condemned for stealing a loaf of bread, or poaching a rabbit ? capital crimes no doubt! Eventually the scene of the crime was changed by removing the prisoners to be ill-treated elsewhere, and the island was granted to the descendants of the Mutineers of the fine ship ‘Bounty‘, who had, by this time, begun to overpopulate Pitcairn Island. Like most migrants, some settled there, and some returned to Pitcairn Island.
During my visits ashore to the homes of various people on Norfolk Island, I learned that we were not the first whaling company to operate there. Later, on a visit to Ball Bay, I saw the remnants of what had been large cooking pots and various other debris. Apparently this whaling venture terminated suddenly one night when the plant caught fire and burned down. Cause of the fire ? unknown.
One night while in conversation with one of the older inhabitants, I learned of whaling expeditions by the Islanders themselves ? using rowboats and hand harpoon. He described how the whale, once harpooned, would sometimes drag the boat so far away that by the time the whale was killed and towed back to land ? the sharks had almost eaten the lot! Were they fortunate enough to get a whale to the shore in good condition, then the Islanders would descend from the cliff tops, where they had watched their men chase and kill the whale, and each person would carry pieces of blubber, meat etc to the top of the cliff where it was cooked.
To me, the cliff top vigil was a repeat of history.
You will find the story as it was told to me, in my song ‘Norfolk Whalers’.
HR

http://www.harryrobertson.net/NorfolkWhalers.html


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 09:57 PM

SON OF ROME ~ © Paul Lawler, 1984

Born and bred, reared and rutted
The Parish Priest, over me he muttered
Water on the head, salt on the tongue
For ensuing pain, this song is sung.

      Five years old, can’t understand schism
      Catechism, cataclysm
      Peter, Judas, rise up Zach
      Days of religion, minutes of math ...

Seven years of age, church seasoned
Can you beat the Jesuits’ reason
Hymns and bells, indoctrination
Another name, confirmation.

        Through the skin and through the bone
        You are now a Son of Rome
        Square one starts at sixty four
        Other views – close the door …

Hindu, Protestant, Muslim, Jew
Can’t you see it’s the same for you
Steeped in doctrine, day and night
Have you really seen the Light?

        Heretics, skeptics, sages, witches
        Burned and scorned, so history teaches
        Dared to question Life above
        Murdered by a mythical dove …

Don’t look behind your stained glass window
Your gods are here, they’re all around you
Love your neighbour, love him fair
Love him just because he’s there.        


Here is an early folkclub recording of Paul’s “semi-autobiographical” composition “Son of Rome”, before a couple of lyric adjustments! GO TO 20:47 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7PsCsWL6Pk&t=3s



Stewie has previously posted Dorothy Hewitt’s lovely poem “Sailor Home from the Sea”. Known as “Cock of the North” in the Top End, where folks used Martyn Wyndham-Read’s tune, down here in Queensland around Briso, they use Chris Kempster’s tune. But here is a Darwin folkclub recording from Paul, slightly folk-processed :) GO TO 03:54 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZVIJ3zc-M4                 

Helen (via Sandra) has also already posted “One of the Has-Beens” (Robert Stewart/Trad) and here is a Darwin folkclub recording of Paul singing it (similarly folk-processed :) GO TO 28:20 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZVIJ3zc-M4


Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 08:16 PM

BLUE SMOKE
(Ruru Karaitiana)

Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
And when I think of home, I sadly sigh
Oh I can see you there, with loving tears in your eyes
As we fondly said our last goodbyes
And as I sailed away with a longing to stay
I promised I'd be true and to love only you

Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
My memories of home will never die

Spoken [Women’s part]
Smoke drifts away high into the sky
And the memories come flooding back. ‘Aue!’
Those overwhelming feelings, and the tears
" ... You are going, you are going ...
I travel with you on the wings of my love
Oh Tama, my love is all for you."
Smoke drifts away high into the sky
I will never forget you.
I will never never forget you.

And as I sailed away with a longing to stay
I promised I'd be true and to love only you
Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
My memories of home will never die

Ruru Karaitiana served in the Middle East in WW2 with the 28th New Zealand (Maori) Battalion. He wrote 'Blue Smoke' on a troop ship in 1940 when a friend drew his attention to some passing smoke. In 1947, he formed an Hawaiian-style quintet and recorded it with singer, Pixi Williams. It was the first song written by a New Zealander to be recorded and released on a New Zealand record label. It was a massive hit locally and was later recorded by Dean Martin and other overseas luminaries. It is a tad sentimental but as G.K Chesterton wisely pointed out ‘sentimentality is simply having feelings and not troubling to invent a new way of expressing them’.

This recording omits the spoken women's part:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 08:01 PM

THE SHEARING’S COMING ROUND
(Wright/Jessett)

There's a sound of many voices in the camp and on the track
And letters coming up in shoals to stations at the back
And every boat that crosses from the sunny other side
Is bringing waves of shearers for the swelling of the tide

(Chorus)
And the shearing's coming round, boys, the shearing's coming round
The stations of the mountains have begun to hear the sound

They'll be talking up at Laghmor of the tallies that were shore
And the bloke who broke the record is remembered at Benmore
And the yarns of strikes and barneys will be told till all is blue
And the ringers and the bosses will be passed in long review

Chorus.

The great Orari muster and the drafting of the men
Like a mob of ewes and wethers will be surely told again
And a lot of heathen places that will rhyme with kangaroo
Will be named along with ringers and the things that they can do

Chorus

At last the crowds have gathered for the morning of the start
And the slowest of the jokers will be trying to look smart
And a few will get the bullet, and high hopes will have a fall,
And the bloke that talks the loudest stands a show of looking small

Chorus

With the arrival of Australian shearers working under contract on high country stations during the 1890s, NZ locals were exposed to Australian songs and especially the verse of Lawson and Paterson. The latter inspired Kiwi balladeers such as David McKee Wright who has been described as New Zealand’s ‘outback laureate’. His fine poem, 'The Shearing’s Coming Round,' references 3 large Canterbury stations – Laghmore, Benmore and Orari Gorge. The tune is by Michael Jessett.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 07:40 PM

LEAVING THE LAND
(Eric Bogle)

It's time to go now, Jenny
No need to close the door
What if the dust gets in the house
It doesn't matter any more
You and the dust have been at war for far too many years
Now the war is over Jenny dear

(Chorus)
Leaving the land
Leaving the land
Leaving all I’ve ever been and everything I am
Leaving the land

Remember when I brought you here
Those long bright years ago
For all that time you've been my heart
But this land has been my soul
The long bright days are over now though still the heart beats on
But, Jenny dear, the soul is gone.

And all I see around me
Seems to me of the best
For generations loved this land
Never thought I’d be the last
All that toiling, all that dreaming, birth and death and joy and pain
It was all for nothing, all in vain

Chorus

It’s time to go now, Jenny
Drive quickly down the track
We'll never see what lies ahead if we keep on looking back
Behind is just an empty house
Old memories and ghosts
And our small dreams gathering dust

Chorus

Going far away, far away

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 20 - 04:44 AM

Some great songs here, thanks guys!

The Jim Haynes song reminded me of another favourite by Jim called "Mow Ya Lawn". Used to hear it on the 'Australia All Over' radio show, but I can't find it on youtube or elsewhere.

Has anyone got the lyrics?

cheers, Ian


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 10:56 PM

Well, that's an interesting theory, Jennie.

Here's one from my mate Dave Evans of Bloodwood fame. There was a YT clip of Bloodwood performing this, but it seems to have disappeared. It is always a favourite at Top End festivals.


PLAY SOMETHING WE KNOW MATE
(Dave Evans)
   
I've a fan who follows me everywhere I go
He's always there at the club waiting for me to show
If you want to know what I mean and how the hell I tell
I grab my guitar, move to the bar and this voice begins to yell

(Chorus)
Play something we know mate so we can sing along
None of your foreign rubbish mate just give us an Aussie song
Waltzing Matilda, Ryebuck Shearer, plenty of guts so we can hear yer
We'll sing the chorus - play something we know mate

It's Sunday night in Alice Springs, the folk club's on tonight
Guitar in hand I'm feeling grand, I think I'll do all right
But just as I begin to sing, a voice decides me fate
From across the floor, comes a terrible roar - play something we know mate

Chorus

This fellar's really getting me down, he follows me all day long
Waiting for that moment for me to sing me song
I took my wife out to tea for a little tête-à-tête
When across the room came a terrible boom - play something we know mate

Chorus

I summoned all my courage up late one Sunday night
Left my guitar and went to the bar, spoiling for a fight
But he floored me with his very first words, he left me all irate
"I don't like to boast but I'm deaf as a post & I can't sing a note, mate"

"No I can't sing a note, mate, or even hum along
As for your foreign rubbish, mate, well I'm a bloody Pom
Waltzing Matilda Ryebuck Shearer, loud as you like 'cos I can't hear yer
As for the chorus, it'll probably bore us - play something we know mate"

Repeat chorus

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 10:17 PM

Perhaps Cheryl is one of those women who talk with an upward inflection? Making every sentence into a question?

Well done, Stewie......I haven't heard that one for ages.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 09:44 PM

I don't know where in the hell all those question marks came from in my previous post.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 09:41 PM

Phil Beck and I have been known to recite a beaut poem by Jim Haynes titled 'Dipso Dan' which we got via Campbell the Swaggie whom many Oz folkies would know. Here is another splendid bit of nonsense from Haynes.

SINCE CHERYL WENT FERAL
?(Jim Haynes)??

Watching ’60 Minutes’ one night?
As soon as it was over we got into a fight?
Because Cheryl said alternative was the way to go?
And the very next day she bought a sarong?
A sheepskin jacket and a brand new bong?
And before I knew it we hit the road??

Since Cheryl went feral?
Everything's weird?
And all our friends have disappeared?
She shaved her head and I've grown a beard?
Since Cheryl went feral??

It took us ages to hitch our way?
From Pennant Hills up to Byron Bay?
If we’d left those kids at home, we'd have been all right?
Well living off the land is all very well?
But the mung bean diet was giving me hell?
And I had to put that wigwam up each night??

Since Cheryl went feral ?
Everything's crook?
And all our food is now uncooked?
I'd kill for a burger or a piece of chook?
Since Cheryl went feral??

Our little girl was called Narelle?
And we had a little boy called Bruce as well?
But now she's Crystal Flower and he's Leaf?
But Leaf's pretty happy since we left home?
Because he hasn't seen a bath or a shower or a comb?
And it's been three months since he brushed his teeth
?
Since Cheryl went feral
Everything's changed?
And I'm quite sure I've become deranged?
And I can't remember anyone's name?
Since Cheryl went feral??

Cheryl took a vow of celibacy?
She said she needed no input from me?
She got her navel pierced and stared at it all day long?
So I read the tarot with Leaf and Flower?
And dreamed about a nice cold shower?
While I waited for my turn on the bong??

Since Cheryl went feral?
Everything's pierced?
Rings through me nose and rings through me ears?
I haven't been this pierced for years?
Since Cheryl went feral??

I began to change me tune?
As soon as we joined that big commune?
And everyone took their clothes off straight away?
Their cosmic philosophy appealed to me?
It's multiple serial polygamy?
And I think the feral lifestyle's here to stay??

Since Cheryl went feral?
There's a real traffic jam?
Of naked women in our wigwam?
And I'm pretty happy right where I am?
Since Cheryl went feral

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 08:54 PM

Another little ripper from the pen of Kath Tait.

STEEL-HEARTED ANNIE
(Kath Tate)

Steel-hearted Annie came home from work
Through the park in the dark where the rapist lurked
Behind the bushes and about to attack
With the cold winds whistling across his back
He pounced on Annie 'cos she was slim
'Cos she looked so frail and feminine
But he wouldn't have done it if he only knew
That she was a master of kung fu

(Chorus)
Steel-hearted Annie with an iron will
Looks about as frail as a daffodil
But you don't take a chance on a small thin dame
With a punch like a piston on a steam train

Steel-hearted Annie don't like to pose
Like a trembling victim in a movie show
She gets mad when she's in distress
Like an animal in the wilderness
There's nothing that she wouldn't do to survive
She's got a strong desire to stay alive
And she looks cute in pink or blue
But she is a master of kung fu

Chorus

Steel-hearted Annie lived near a jail
Where a psycho killer was released on bail
He crept stealthily through the night
He broke into her house to give her a fright
And a cold wind whistled 'round the window frames
Made a sound like a ghost rattlin' chains
But the psycho killer ran for his life
When he saw Annie coming with a carving knife

Chorus

Steel-hearted Annie told all her friends,
'We've got to stand up to violence'
She went to classes and learned to fight
Now she's not afraid to walk around at night
She's a great big shark in a little tin can
A little fire-cracker with a great big bang
So just be careful what you do,
'Cos she is a master of kung fu

Kath Tait:

'Steel-hearted Annie' came from watching Doris Day in an Alfred Hitchcock movie behave in such a pathetic manner that it seemed out of character with the fact that she was quite a tall, well-built woman and at least as strong as the male character who was pursuing her.

We should remember that a hell of a lot of people live risky, adventurous lives and don't have lots of bad things happen to them. We don't want to let stories of victimisation scare us into leading excessively safe and boring lives. Therefore I try to make the characters in my songs survivors rather than victims.


Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 07:44 PM

THE BROKEN-HEARTED SHEARER

I'm a broken-hearted shearer and ashamed to show my face
For the way that I've been treated is a shame and a disgrace
Now I’ve got me cheque together and I thought that it would do
So I went down to Bendigo to spend a week or two
Now I knew I wasn’t flat so resolved to cut it fat
And I dressed meself from top to toe, put a pugg'ree round me hat
Then I went to get a nobbier at a certain house in town
Where the barmaid was a caution for to lamb a shearer down

She had all the slang and flash talk that was going round the town
And she'd sling it at me right and left while I was lambing down
Well me money being nearly spent, I resolved to know my fate
So I asked that pretty barmaid if she would be me mate
“Well the fact is this, young man, on my feelings don't encroach
I'm a decent married woman and my husband drives the coach"
So I’ve sold me good old horse and I'll get some work, I hope
I've a pipe and some tobaccy and half a bar of soap

So I’m leaving Sandhurst now with me billy and jackshay
And a pair of old torn leggings and a jar of Holloways
That’s why I’m a broken-hearted shearer and ashamed to show me face
For the way that I’ve been treated is a shame and a disgrace

This is the version sung by Martyn Wyndham-Read. Martyn noted that he got it from David Lumsden who learnt it from his grandmother who spent much of her childhood in the Riverina. The tune is 'The wearing of the green'. 'Lambed down' was the term given to a luckless shearer after the barmaid had prised the last drop out of his cheque. A 'pugg'ree' is a thin muslim cloth (from the word for a turban). 'Holloways' was a family ointment sold in a earthenware jar.

Youtube clip

The first publication of the song in 1886 here:

Click

On Thompson's blog, you can find a different version collected by Meredith.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 01:15 AM

Thank you for the Fergie tractor song, Stewie, I haven't heard it for ages! A small village half an hour north of here has a "Grey Fergie Muster" every three years - would have been due next March, but due to the covid plague has been put off to 2022.

Mind you, the Fergies at the Muster aren't all grey......I have seen bright pink, lurid purple......


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 10:29 PM

This piece of nonsense was popular.

FERGIE TRACTOR
(Peter Pentland)

Well I run a few acres, pays a few quids rent
And I overcome troubles when they be sent
Be they flood or drought or some other factor
I takes them in stride on me fergie tractor

(Chorus)
Oh me beaut little fergie tractor
Be dad she goes like the clappers
I can plough me fields and increase me yields
Even comes with a silage extractor
Me beaut little fergie tractor

The fergie she's a wondrous machine
I love to sniff her exhaust because she always runs clean
There's no other machine I e’er took a jack to
As fewer times as me fergie tractor

Chorus

Well the missus was naggin’ at me for years
Her mouth was always flapping’ around me ears
She’d nag about me, me dog and me farm
So I ran over her on me ferguson

Chorus

I once had this milk maid working for me
And the material in her blouse filled me with glee
I gave her a wink, but I then had to sack her
For although she liked me, she hated me tractor

Chorus

Now some folk say that I'd be an idiot
And if brains be lightbulbs that I'd burned out me filament
But people like that I just turn me back to
And I go in the shed and I sit on me tractor

Chorus

Recording of a live performance at the Dan O'Connell in Melbourne in 1979.

Youtube

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 09:39 PM

ON THE WALLABY
(Henry Lawson)

Now the tent poles are rotting, the camp fires are dead,
And the possums may gambol in trees overhead;
I am humping my bluey far out on the land,
And the prints of my bluchers sink deep in the sand:
I am out on the wallaby humping my drum,
And I came by the tracks where the sundowners come.

It is nor'-west and west o'er the ranges and far
To the plains where the cattle and sheep stations are,
With the sky for my roof and the grass for my bunk,
And a calico bag for my damper and junk;
And scarcely a comrade my memory reveals,
Save the spiritless dingo in tow of my heels.

But I think of the honest old light of my home
When the stars hang in clusters like lamps from the dome,
And I think of the hearth where the dark shadows fall,
When my camp fire is built on the widest of all;
But I'm following Fate, for I know she knows best,
I follow, she leads, and it's nor'-west by west.

When my tent is all torn and my blankets are damp,
And the rising flood waters flow fast by the camp,
When the cold water rises in jets from the floor,
I lie in my bunk and I list to the roar,
And I think how to-morrow my footsteps will lag
When I tramp 'neath the weight of a rain-sodden swag.

Though the way of the swagman is mostly up-hill,
There are joys to be found on the wallaby still.
When the day has gone by with its tramp or its toil,
And your camp-fire you light, and your billy you boil,
There is comfort and peace in the bowl of your clay
Or the yarn of a mate who is tramping that way.

But beware of the town—there is poison for years
In the pleasure you find in the depths of long beers;
For the bushman gets bushed in the streets of a town,
Where he loses his friends when his cheque is knocked down;
He is right till his pockets are empty, and then—
He can hump his old bluey up country again.

Above is the Lawson poem. As a song, the title is usually 'The tent poles are rotten' with a variety of changes to the text - eg the possums 'ramble' and the 'spiritless dingo' becomes 'the spirit it tingles in my toe ...'. In all the recordings that I have (de Hugard, Loaded Dog, Wyndham-Read, Spooner) the third stanza is omitted.

Danny Spooner's note in booklet to his 'Ard Tack' album:

This song by Henry Lawson appears in Chris Kempster's tribute to the poet, The Songs of Henry Lawson with Music (Viking O'Neil 1989). Chris cites three tunes and I probably sing a combination of the first two. The song was first collected by Stan Arthur, Bob Michell and Ken McGoldrick in the 1960s from the singing of E. and A. Nesbitt of Bundaberg, Queensland, and Dave de Hugard has adapted that tune. The words explore the toils and rewards of the itinerant life—so much a part of the Australia's nineteenth century culture and identity.

Here is a live rendition by Wyndham-Read

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 08:20 PM

MY MAN’S GONE NOW
(Anon)

My man’s gone now, he had to go
Couldn’t find no work around this town
Not for ages, used his wages
Got up this morning and he was gone

Monday morning, it starts to rain
Around the curve there comes a south-bound train
Under a tarpaulin rides a bum called John
He was a strange man, but now he’s gone

Morning sunshine, the rooster crows
Along the highway where, goodness knows
Where’s John sleeping, how’s he keeping?
When will he take the homeward road?

Repeat stanza 1.

A few months after the 1929 Wall Street crash, farm produce prices in New Zealand collapsed. Since the economy depended almost entirely on farm exports, the effects were disastrous. By 1931, over 50,000 New Zealand men were walking, looking for work. A sad effect of the upheaval was the break-up of family life. This little song was collected by Neil Colquhoun from May Simpson.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 08:12 PM

THE WOOL COMMANDEER
(George Meek w/Frank Fyfe t)

The commandeer is under way, and blimey what a fuss
The blinkin’ din and clatter sure would make a parson cuss
There's covees tearing up the floors and blokes in overalls
Slap-dapping cans of whitewash on the rafters and the walls

(Chorus)
Well it’s come from Haka Valley and it's come from Sunny Peak
It's come from up the river and down Waitaki Creek
She’s come from the back of nowhere up the wild McKenzie way
And a clip from Tipperary will get here any day

There's stackers swinging bale hooks and there's barrows shifting wool,
There's covees humping baskets, some half empty, some half full
There's classers squealing loudly for more bales of wool to class
And someone yelling,’Where do you want this wool from Dansey's Pass?’

Chorus

There's wool on every siding and there's wool on every street
There's wool on every lorry and every bus you meet
There's wool on every trailer and there's wool on every train
And the stock-and-station diggers have got it on the brain

Chorus

There's wool on every corner and there's wool on every floor
There's wool dumped in the basement and jammed behind the door
There's wool in the old dairy and there's wool down at the dump
There's wool in the old freezer and still more bales to hump

Chorus.

There's shaggy bales and baggy bales, there's fadges, sacks and bags
Thank heavens Wally Nash cut out the blinkin’, stinkin’ dags
There's belly wool and smelly wool and wool, well spare me days
And the old jumbuck that grew it, I'll swear's seen better days.

Chorus

In 1940, the New Zealand government decided to commandeer all available wool bales and store them for eventual use in the war effort. George Meek of Oamaru was amused by this huge stockpiling and subsequently wrote this ballad. It was set to music by Frank Fyfe.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 01:19 AM

here 'tis https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=105012 Date: 24 Sep 07 - 10:05 AM

& here's Bernard singing Basingstoke in 1981

BASINGSTOKE
© Bernard Bolan

I've got a cat called Basingstoke. he's a cat you must admire.
He's black and white, or he was, till the night that he jumped into the fire.
What a night! The tale it must be told,
So grip your seat, for you're in for a treat that will make your blood run cold.
Basingstoke, he used to be so furry
Till he tried to kung-fu the canary.
Up he jumped, soaring ever higher,
Then the soaring stopped and down he dropped in the middle of the fire.

In flames and smoke my Basingstoke went roaring round the room.
His fiery tum and his blackened bum appeared to spell his doom.
What a cat! Whoever would have guessed
He could stick his rear in a pint of beer while beating out his chest?
Basingstoke, he truly is a trier.
It takes guts to sing when you're on fire.
What a cat! You should have seen him strain,
Stuck like glue in the bottom of the loo and trying to pull the chain.

Now life's no joke for Basingstoke; so runs the ugly rumour
That the fiery hob did not just rob him of his sense of humour.
Poor old chap! The prospect it appals.
Just one jump and down with a bump and he's burnt off all his undergrowth.
Basingstoke, his tale is truly tragic.
Fire and smoke, they have robbed him of his magic.
The former spring-pawed terror of the tiles
Just sits and sighs with tears in his eyes 'cause he only raises smiles.

Basingstoke, he used to be a charmer.
Now ladies joke, they talk of fried banana.
Poor old chap! He was too young to retire.
Once he was happy, handsome and hairy,
Just a red-blooded pussy with a taste for canary.
Now he comes somewhere between a fritter and a fairy
Since he walked the fire.

Bernard & friends in the 2019 Bernard Bolan tribute concert


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 10:05 PM

How about "Basingstoke" by Bernard Bolan? Poor old Basingstoke......very funny.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 09:08 PM

good one, Stewie

I have no idea when I last heard it, but I remember the chorus, I'll probably be singing it all day.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 08:49 PM

The late great John Clarke was a national treasure on both sides of the Tasman. Before relocating to Australia in 1977 and starting anew as a political satirist, Clarke had created an enduring Kiwi icon in the imagination of New Zealanders – the hilariously laconic, black-singleted, gumbooted farmer, Fred Dagg. Billy Connelly had modified a traditional song, 'The Work of the Weavers, to create his 'Welly Boot Song'. In turn, Clarke transmogrified Connelly’s piece into 'The Gumboot Song', one of Fred Dagg’s greatest hits.

THE GUMBOOT SONG
(John Clarke aka Fred Dagg)

[Spoken] Kick it in the guts, Trev ...
                           
Gumboots, they are wonderful, gumboots, they are swell
'Cos they keep out the water, and they keep in the smell
And when you're sittin' round at home, you can always tell
When one of the Trevs has taken off his gumboots

(Chorus)
If it weren't for your gumboots, where would ya be?
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
'Cos you would have a dose of the flu, or even pleurisy
If ya didn't have yer feet in yer gumboots

Now there's rugby boots and racing boots, and boots for drinkin' rum
But the only boots I'm never without, are the ones that start with ‘gum’
I've got short ones and long ones, and some up to me belt
I'm never dressed 'till I've got on me gumboots

Chorus

Whenever I sing at the opera, my gumboots are a must
They help me hit the high notes, and protect me feet from dust
They keep the water well away, so me voice won't get no rust
You will not never see me without me gumboots

Chorus

Now Rob Muldoon and Rowling, they haven't made a hit
They're ruining the country, more than just a bit
If they keep on the way they're going, we'll all be in turd
So you'd better get yer feet up yer gumboots

Chorus   (x2)

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 08:33 PM

Then there's the splendid parody by the late Marcus Turner.

HUNG OVER LIVER
(Marcus Turner)

Hungover liver. my head it is aching;
It's weeks since the daylight I've seen
I'm sitting here thinking "This shit I've been drinking
Is rotting a hole in my spleen."

Farewell to the gold that never I've seen.
Goodbye to the acres of New Zealand green.
I'm feeling quite plastered; my brain is half-masted.
Put me down, you don't know where I've been.

It's nearly two weeks since I left my old lady
To have a quiet beer with the boys
With Acid Head Jimmy and crazy Marie
And Zelda with her rubber toys.

Farewell to my house, my family and wife.
I knew I was heading for all kinds of strife.
We really were raving, I knew I was having
The best bloody time of my life.

We spent the next fortnight in acts of perversion,
Old Jimmy Williams and me
'Til we heard of a party where no one had clothes on
So we headed down there just to see.

We drank and we chundered for night after night.
Jug after jug we threw down
'Til two great big p'licemen took Jimmy away
In a bust in the east end of town.

Farewell lovely Zelda wherever you are.
Your knickers are still in the back of my car,
And thanks for the games with Marie and with James
And I hope the rash doesn't spread far.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 08:28 PM

FAREWELL TO THE GOLD
(Paul Metsers)

Shotover River, your gold it is waning
It's weeks since the colour I've seen.
But it's no use just sitting and Lady Luck blaming
I'll pack up and make the break clean

(Chorus)
Farewell to the gold that never I found
Goodbye to the nuggets that somewhere abound
For it's only when dreaming that I see the gleaming
Down in the dark deep underground

It's nearly two years since I left my old mother
For adventure and gold by the pound
With Jimmy the prospector, he was another
For the hills of Otago we were bound

Chorus

Well we worked the Cardrona's dry valleys all over
Old Jimmy Williams and me.
They were panning good dirt on the winding Shotover
So we headed down there just to see

Chorus

We sluiced and we cradled for day after day
Barely making enough to get by
'Til a terrible flood swept poor Jimmy away
During six stormy days in July

Chorus

One of the best-loved New Zealand folk idiom songs. It was written by Paul Metsers, but popularised by Phil Garland, Nic Jones, Gordon Bok and others. Metsers wrote about its composition:

I'm afraid there is no mystery source for the song, no distant broadside or doggerel from which it gained its inspiration. It's all out of my head as it happens. I got hold of a pictorial history of gold mining, a small but fascinating book called ‘The Goldfields of Central Otago’. When I read of the tragic flash flood of July 1863, I knew I had the basis of a story.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 08:02 PM

ROSE BAY FERRY
(Bernard Bolan)

Every morning at 8:25
Down to the Rose Bay wharf I drive
Park my Humber underneath a tree
Pop along the gangplank and then I'm free
Free says you, but how can that be?
When you always finish up at Circular Quay
So doubting Tom I shall explain
When I get on board I sing this sweet refrain

Where are we going today, Mr Nicholson?
Where is it the going to be?
Don't turn left, turn right down the harbour
And out to the open sea
Throw away your compass, right hand down
And it's out through the heads we’ll go
Yo ho! let's be merry on the Rose Bay ferry
If we run out of petrol, we'll row, yo hoYo Ho!
If we run out of petrol, we'll row

Monday Java, Tuesday Spain
Wednesday's it's Tokyo and back again
The only trouble is, there isn't any Gents
But what do you want for 20 cents?
Off with me raincoat and me woolly vest
See the naked ladies on my chest
Today is Friday, so hold on tight
'Cos it’s off to Trinidad and back tonight

Where are we going today, Mr Nicholson?
Where is the going to be?
Don't turn left, turn right down the harbour
And out to the open sea
Pull up your anchor, pull your finger out
And wave goodbye to your home
We're off to Nantucket, so give that man a bucket
'Cos it's choppy when you're out on the foam, yo ho
It's choppy when you're out on the foam

Now sometimes if I get up late
I only reach the jetty at half past 8
But that doesn't ruin my world-wide trip
'Cos the 8:37 is a battleship
Off on the dot with our guns on high
Mince up Manly as we pass by
We need another rocket so just pop upstairs
We can get 'em from the chappy who collects the fares

But now, left turn’s right today, Mr Nicholson
Trouble in town, you see
Let's hear three cheers, we're brave buccaneers
The saviours of Circular Quay
With patch on high and brollies to the sky
Every pollie from his folly must flee
With knuckles and chuckles, we'll swash their buckles
If they bugger up Circular Quay
Then we'll heave to (or three) at Circular Quay

Bernard's original final chorus was:

Where are we going today, Mr. Nicholson?
Where is the going to be?
Don't turn left, turn right down the harbour
And out to the open sea
For though we look like dudes and doctors
At heart we are men of the sea
Yo ho, let's be merry on the Rose Bay ferry
Until we get to Circular Quay
We finish up at Circular Quay

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 07:21 PM

I posted this one to the forum almost 20 years ago. At the height of the 'revival' in Oz, the first 3 interstate guest singers we had to the Top End Folk Club in Darwin were Declan Affley, Danny Spooner and Bernard Bolan.

UNCLE FRED
(Bernard Bolan)

My uncle Fred retired last week at the age of 82
So we thought it only proper to prepare a little do
My uncle Fred's a lawyer and he works in Sydney town
At the offices of Brindle, Bogle, Trimble, Cock and Brown

It had always been intended I should follow in his steps
And not become a parson or else one of Waltons' reps
So I studied for my exams though it nearly split my head
And soon I took my proper place alongside Uncle Fred

Uncle Fred is 82 today
Time to take his specs off and put his books away
Time to say farewell to Torrens title and the courts
And no more thinking complicated excise duty thoughts

Mr Bogle brought the gin and Bogle brought the beer
But Trimble, Cock and Brown had not been round for many years
The office girls appeared in pearls and some with purple eyes
And, in the usual fashion, I was sent to get the pies

A wooden chiming clock was bought at very great expense
And a little card with flowers on cost petty cash 10 cents
At the office bar, with a pencil jar, the cashier lost his head
And drank lemonade and a razor blade to the health of uncle Fred

Uncle Fred is 82 today
Time now for the Law Society's pension fund to pay
No more hereunto, aforesaid, thee and thou
But time to pay attention to the herein after now

Mr Bogle had begun his speech in praise of uncle Fred
When he choked upon a cherry and he turned a fearful red
They beat him on the back until his teeth fell on the floor
And in the pandemonium no one saw the office door

But standing there as large as life was a banker known as Max
For whom old Fred had once prepared a scheme for saving tax
He said, 'So Fred is leaving, I am glad he hasn't gone
'Cos I just got out of jail this week and I'd like to join the fun

Uncle Fred is 82 today
Time to say goodbye to all his friends up in Long Bay
No more telling clients that adultery is wrong
And tracking correspondents down and wishing he was young

After Max came Mr Phelps who lives at Wollongong
He bought a flat in Wollstonecraft but Fred had got things wrong
Then poor Herbert Wilkins' missus shedding floods of tears
On a speeding charge he'd gone to Fred and he'd got him 14 years

But then a hush fell over all as from the ground beneath
Came smoke and flames and 20 names framed in a fiery wreath
'God bless you Fred from the grateful dead', Satan's chorus sang,
'For down in hell are the clientele that you managed to get hanged'

Uncle Fred, you're 82 today
Time to hang your wig up and to give the game away
Time to leave your office in the middle of the town
With the compliments of Brindle, Bogle, Trimble, Cock and Brown

Youtube clip

A tribute concert to the great man:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 09:33 AM

Gidday, Richard

I copied a post from this thread http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=79383 but it only had 5 verses, I hadn't noticed. A later post on that thread lists the entire song copied from John's first book - which I have & just used to count the verses, so I know there are 8.

I'll ask Joe if he can add the extra verses to my original post so it's perfect!

The Randwick Races
(Words: John Dengate - Tune: "The Galway Races")

We arrived at Randwick races, by taxi from Clovelly.
I had money in my trousers, boys, and schooners in my belly.
Well the bookies saw us coming and they panicked in a crisis;
They tinkered with the odds and they shortened all their prices.
CHORUS:
       With my whack, fol the do, fol the diddley idle day.

Well the hunger it was gnawing and the thirst was in us rising
While the crowd's excited roaring reached a level quite surprising.
Oh, we swallowed several middies and demolished pies and sauces
And we set to work comparing prices, jockey's weights and horses.
CHORUS:

Denis Kevans said, "I reckon we will finish rich as Pharaoh
If we back the chestnut filly from the district of Monaro.
She's a trier, she's a flier, never knock her or decry her -
She's sixty-six to one; when she wins we'll all retire."
CHORUS:

There was every kind of punter from illiterates to scholars;
I struggled through the betting ring and wagered twenty dollars -
Then the horses were away; from the barrier they thundered
And we hoped that very day to collect the thirteen hundred.
CHORUS:

We shouted in despair; Denis Kevans tore his hair,
O'Dea began to swear at the filly from Monaro.
She was struggling in the pack and our very hearts were bleeding;
She was falling further back and the favourite was leading.
CHORUS:

It seems the filly heard us for suddenly she sprinted.
She raced around the ruck with a purpose quite unstinted.
At the ledger she was third, oh you should have seen her flying;
I got so damned excited that I choked upon my pie, singing –
CHORUS:

They stormed into the straight like cavalry invading;
The filly was improving and the favourite was fading:
"She's won it by a nose ... but a protest has been entered;
The stewards have upheld it; curse the day they were invented!'
CHORUS:

We walked back to Clovelly from the blasted Randwick races,
With ulcers in our bellies, boys, and gloom upon our faces.
We cursed the filly's jockey and we cursed the Randwick stewards
Then drowned our disappointment in a flood of amber fluids.
CHORUS:


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 05:18 AM

Sandra in Sydney 17 Sep 20 - 04:16 AM Randwick Races
There are more verses. Do you have them, Sandra? I learnt the song from a recording so there will be some differences from the words in my head and those originally written, but I can post mine if you don't have them.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 11:16 PM

FALZIBAD
(Fred Smith)

Falzibad, the post-modern muslim
Had a thing for those modern women
Started out feeling sentimental
Left us feeling so existential

Falzibad, Falzibad (after each stanza)

Falzibad though he was Islamic
Liked his vinegar pure balsamic
Playing tennis like Boris Becker
Kept forgetting to pray to Mecca

Falzibad he went to Karachi
Met a woman like Greta Scacchi
Sang her the song of the mariachi
All the mullah got very touchy

Muslim boys should not sing in Spanish
‘Falizad’, they said, ‘you are banished
To a land where there’s no falafel’
As for english, well he knew stuff all

So Falzibad he went into exile
Selling rugs and imported textiles
Driving down to the hippy market
In a porsche and there he’d park it

All the women said, ‘Hey habibi
You’re the one we’ve seen on tv
But we find you more appetising
Than the rugs you’ve been advertising’

Falzibad he went to a disco
Spanish quarter of San Francisco
Wound up with a Latino dancer
Woke up wondering where his pants were

And as he awoke from his bender
There were kisses wet, warm and tender
The dancer’s body was long and slender
Some uncertainty as to gender

Falzibad he was a chick magnet
Pulled them in like he had a dragnet
Plain to see he’d forgotten Allah
Lying there in the massage parlour

God so terrible, god so frightening
Struck poor Falzibad down with lightning
’That’ll teach you’, he said, ‘for messin’
‘Round with women without my blessin’’

One of my favourite Fred Smith songs. I reckon the best recording of it is on his album with the Spooky Men's Chorale - 'Urban Sea Shanties' - but that track is not available on YT.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 10:02 PM

In 1840, around two-thirds of New Zealand was still covered in forest and this provided the basis for a strong indigenous timber industry for more than 100 years. A fine timber industry song, 'The Mill', was first published in Neil Colquhoun’s excellent ‘Song of a Young Country’ in 1977. It is attributed to a C.H. Winter about whom nothing is known.

THE MILL
(C.H. Winter attributed)

Beside a clump o’ needlewood we anchored down the mill
The engine’s by the blue-clay tank and further up the hill
The men are marking out the trees and the chips are on the wing
So early in the morning you can hear the axes ring

(Chorus)
With a jigger and a jemmy and a shigger and a shammy
And the sawdust in the sky
I keep thinking will he gimme up all of me money
Or wait till the big ‘uns lie

We’ve laid the bench and trued the saw and given her one spin
The benchman eyes his pet with pride and pats the packing in
He chocked the engines rolling wheels and backed the watercart
And heaped a stack of shortening wood in readiness to start

Chorus

We have no tearing vertical, we run no twin saws here
No clanking winches, swinging cranes, no wealth of yankee gear
No office clerk with collar white, no gangs of many men
We run a simple clearing mill and number nine or ten

Chorus

We grease the transports, oil the trucks, the benchman gives a sign
The engine starts, the big belt flaps and saw begins to whine
The sun comes out a scorcher and the bullocks raise the dust
The waterbags gets covered and our throats begin to rust

Chorus

The hill is looking strange and bare, the bigger trees are cut
And through the gaps we catch a sight of some gum digger’s hut
The ground is scoured by dragging logs, the grog is put to rout
And now it’s just a few more days and we’ll be all cut out

Chorus

At first, some timber was milled near the logging site. Logs were jammed into position on a platform over a pit. They were then cut by 2 men using a crosscut saw, one standing on top of the log and one beneath. Pit-sawing, however, could not keep up with demand for timber and, after 1865, steam-driven mills were developed with steam generated by burning wood waste. The logs were hauled by bullock teams or rolled by means of timber jacks.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 09:38 PM

The late John Munro lived for a time here in Darwin towards the end of his life. He was a very fine musician and singer, but I must admit that not many of his original songs sparked my clod. However, I really loved this one.

SNOWDROP
(John Munro)

It’s minus six as Alex stands in line
The grim procession that’s motionless in time
He’ll wash and share some bread
But there’s no warmth, there’s no bed
At Sanitation Station Number 9
And he thinks about the harsh words with his son
But there’s no way back, the damage has been done
His thinking’s not so clear now
From the vodka and the beer now
And not a living soul goes where he’s gone

And when all the snows have melted
All the papers blown away
There you are, there you are
Just another snowdrop blooming in the spring
A silent voice without a song to sing
And this brave new world you fought for
Didn’t turn out like you thought
For all the lost and lonely snowdrops in the spring

Now Alex knows a place where he can go
A quiet stair-well where there’s shelter from the snow
And as he makes a bed, does he think what lies ahead
Or is lying down his head all that he knows
There’s money now but Alex wouldn’t know
But the news is good, the papers tell us so
But for all the lies he stood for, now all the news is good for
Is a blanket that won’t quite keep out the cold

And when all the snows have melted
All the papers blown away
There you are, there you are
Just another snowdrop blooming in the spring
A silent voice without a song to sing
And this brave new world you fought for
Didn’t turn out like you thought
For all the lost and lonely snowdrops in the spring

Alex sleeps and sleeps and never dreams
And passes out of life somewhere between
The darkness and the light, the daytime and the night
Unnoticed, unremarked, unloved, unseen

And when all the snows have melted
All the papers blown away
There you are, there you are
Just another snowdrop blooming in the spring
A silent voice without a song to sing
And this brave new world you fought for
Didn’t turn out like you thought
For all the lost and lonely snowdrops in the spring

I transcribed the lyrics from John's singing on Eric Bogle's 2009 album 'The Dreamer'. Corrections welcomed.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 07:26 PM

THE DUST OF URUZGAN
(Fred Smith)

In the ring they called me ‘Warlord’ my mother calls me ‘Paul’
You can call me ‘Private Warren’ when you're filing your report
As to how I came to be here, this is what I understand
In this hospital in Germany from the dust of Uruzgan

I had just turned twenty eight, just bought a new car
When you joined the first Battalion of the Big 1 RAR
We were next up for deployment into South Afghanistan
To combat the insurgence in the dust of Uruzgan

It took seven months of training just to get into the joint
There were push-ups and procedures, there was death by powerpoint
Then the RSO&I course in Ali Al Salaam
But nothing can prepare you for the dust of Uruzgan

Me and Benny sat together flying into Kandahar
Sucked back on our near beers in the Camp Baker Bar
Then up at 05:30 and on the Herc and out
In twenty flying minutes, we were in to Tarin Kowt

We shook hands as the boys ripped out from MRTF one
And pretty soon were out patrolling in the Afghan summer sun
Walking through the green zones with a Styer in my hand
Body armour chafing through the dust of Uruzgan

We started up near Chora working fourteen hours a day
Mentoring a Kandak from the Afghan 4th Brigade
Down through the Baluchi into eastern Dorafshan
Working under open skies in the dust of Uruzgan

It's a long, long way from Townsville not like any place you’ll see
Suddenly you're walking through from the fourteenth century
Women under burkhas, tribal warlords rule a land
Full of goats and huts and jingle trucks in the dust of Uruzgan

And the Education Minister can neither read nor write
And the Minister for Women runs a knock shop there at night
They've been fighting there forever over water, food and land
Murdering each other in the dust of Uruzgan

There's nothing about the province that's remotely fair or just
But worse than the corruption is the endless fucking dust
It's as fine as talcum powder on the ground and in the air
And it gets into your eyes and it gets into your hair

And it gets in to your weapon and it gets in to your boots
When bureaucrats all show up there, it gets in to their suits
It gets in the machinery, it foils every plan
There's something quite symbolic about the dust of Uruzgan

Still the people can be gracious and they’re funny and they’re smart
And when the children look into your eyes, they walk into your heart
They face each day with courage and each year without a plan
Beyond scratching for survival in the dust of Uruzgan

But the Taliban are ruthless, they keep the people terrorised
With roadside bombs and hangings and leaving letters in the night
And they have no useful vision for the children of this land
But to keep them praying on their knees in the dust of Uruzgan

It was a quiet Saturday morning when the ’2 Shop’ made a call
On a compound of interest to the east of COP Mashal
We had some information, they were building IEDs
So we cordoned and we searched it in accord with SOPs

I was on the west flank picket, propped there with Ben
There to keep a watchful eye out while the other blokes went in
We knew what to look for from the TTPs we'd learned
But the Nationals were moving back and forth without concern

We'd been standing still for hours when I took a quick step back
Kicked a small AP mine and everything went black
I woke up on a gurney, flat out on my back
I had to ask them seven times just to get the facts

I lived to tell the story through a simple twist of fate
The main charge lay ten foot away from the pressure plate
You see the mine was linked by det cord to a big charge laid by hand
Hidden under Benny by the dust of Uruzgan

I was a Queensland champ Thai Boxer now I look south on my knee
And all I see is bed sheets where my right foot use to be
Benny's dead and buried underneath Australian sand
But his spirit's out there wandering through the dust - the dust of Uruzgan

Now I'm going back to Townsville, it's the city of my birth
Some go back to Ballarat and some go back to Perth
I'll be living with my mother who's still trying to understand
Why we're spending blood and treasure in the dust - in the dust of Uruzgan

Youtube clip

Fred noted:

In July 2009, passing through the United Arab Emirates on my way into Afghanistan, I attended a memorial service for Ben Ranaudo, a young guy from Springvale, Victoria. This was the first of over a dozen memorial services and ramp ceremonies I went to in my 18 month stint working for Foreign Affairs in Uruzgan Province, Southern Afghanistan. You never really get used to them, but I had just arrived and was unprepared. In the months that followed, through conversations with staff in the headquarters of the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force, I developed some understanding of what happened on the morning of 18 July, 2009, when Ben was killed. I read the unclassified version of the Commission of Inquiry Report into the incident when it was released in December that year, and found myself imagining an interview between the colonel who wrote the report and one of Ben’s mates, a guy called Paul.

You can find explanations of acronyms in the glossary at this site which details Fred's Afghanistan experiences:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 01:48 AM

now we are 200!


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 01:47 AM

DEVLIN'S GENERAL STORE, words: © John Warner 19/10/93
tune: John Warner/Margaret Walters

Where can I get a cross-cut saw?
Devlin's General Store.
You can get a cross-cut saw
And anything else you're looking for,
It's been there since '94,
Has Devlin's General Store.

Where can I go to collect me mail?
Devlin's General Store
There you can collect your mail
That came from Melbourne town by rail
You can get a cross-cut saw [etc]

Where can I get a dozen eggs?
Devlin's General Store
You can get a dozen eggs
A washing line, some dolly pegs
There you can collect your mail [etc]

[And so on until the last verse:]

Where can I get some sly grog, mate?
Devlin's General Store,
You can get some sly grog, mate,
We just sold some to the magistrate,
* You can get a length of fuse
Several types from which to choose
You can get some gelignite,
Samsonite or dynamite,
* You can get some 12 gauge shot,
Powder, wadding, they've got the lot
You can get a liquorice strap,
A tupenny bunger, a rabbit trap,
You can get a carbide lamp,
A miner's pick or a ha'penny stamp,
You can get a set of spurs,
Flannel underwear, his or hers,
You can get a dozen eggs,
A washing line, some dolly pegs,
There you can collect your mail
That came from Melbourne town by rail,

You can get a cross-cut saw,
And anything else you're looking for,
It's been there since '94,
Has Devlin's General Store.


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Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Sep 20 - 01:32 AM

From Phyl - I wrote it because my father Roy Vinnicombe went to the Somme aged 18 and was injured a couple of years later. He recovered or I would not be writing this e-mail. He went to WW 2 when I was 3 and was invalided home but died when I was 8.

A recording of my lyrics accompanied on Uilleann pipes played by Declan Affley is freely available on my web site website The recording was made somewhere in the 80’s I think. It was performed at a concert in the Sydney Town Hall.

BATTLE OF THE SOMME, Sung by Phyl Lobl with Pipe accompaniment from Declan Affley

Words: Phyl Lobl   Tune: Pipe Major William Laurie adapted by Phyl Lobl.


The lark in the evening she drops to the ground now
Bidding farewell to the long summer day.
High on a ridge hear a gun hit the silence,
Flames like a flower brighten the sky.
Dugouts are quiet we wait for the morning
Feeling a thrill as the battle draws near.
As dawn with her pale flush, silvers the grey sky
Sharp tongues of shell fire call up the day.

Glory, vain glory, you beckoned us onward,
Kitchener’s call and your light led the way.
Then just when we seem to be near
You turn into darkness
Splashed with the mud and the pain of the day.

The lines they are formed and the orders are given
While General Haig sends his prayers to the sky.
As we move onward our bayonets before us
We know that those prayers were no better than lies.
Rising and twisting the smoke curls above us
I see by the green glow there's gas in its domes.
We stumble and fall through the craters and shell holes,
Watching the bombs turning trenches to tombs.

We're over the rise now, the line is before us,
Enemy gun fire taking its toll
What hope have the bayonets and the rifles we carry
Against a machine gun here on the Somme.
Day's nearly done now the battlefield empties,
The living are hidden the dead lying still.
The wounded are calling for someone to save them
But no one can help them, no body will.

*‘What's to be said of the life-time of man now,
Shifting from sorrow to sorrow again.
You button up one cause for man kind's vexation
Only to find there's another undone.'*
Each generation has freedom to fight for,
Choose between gun fire or words for your tools.
Freedom's a phantom but reason could find her.
Honour and glory a haven for fools.

• Words between the stars are a direct quote from the book.
The rest are mine distilled from the revelations of people Guy Chapman interviewed for his book.


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