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Lyr Req: Billy of Tea

Wotcha 13 Apr 00 - 05:14 AM
Bob Bolton 13 Apr 00 - 06:54 AM
Bill D 13 Apr 00 - 06:55 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Apr 00 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Rob Bannister 25 Jun 14 - 07:35 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Jun 14 - 09:06 PM
Nigel Parsons 26 Jun 14 - 08:58 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jun 14 - 03:44 AM
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Subject: Billy of Tea
From: Wotcha
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 05:14 AM

Another fine Aussie song I came across, and apparently well liked, is "Billy of Tea." No lyrics in the database. Is this a traditional song, or a "modern" creation? Appreciate any info and lyrics, The chorus goes something like this:

You can talk of your whiskey
There's something much nicer
IT sits on the fire, beneath the gum tree
There's nothing much nicer
Than a Billy of Tea.


Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: ADD: Billy of Tea
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 06:54 AM

G'day Wotcha,

Oddly enough I posted this chorus (roughly) to the Lapsang Souchong thread about 5˝ hours before you posted this!

Anyway, this is the original (published) version from the 1897 Native Companion Songster - a collection of songs gathered by an author and published (a sort of 19th century DT). The lyrics (which have driftyed a little since the first stanza appeared on Dave de Hugard's Travelling Down The Castlereagh LP circa 1968) are:

THE BILLY OF TEA
Anon. (Air@'Bonnie Dundee")

You may talk of your whisky or talk of your beer,
I've something far better awaiting me here;
It stands on that fire beneath the gum-tree,
And you cannot much lick it-a billy of tea.
So fill up your tumbler as high as you can,
You'll never persuade me it's not the best plan,
To let all the beer and the spirits go free
And stick to my darling old Billy of Tea.

I wake in the morning as soon as'tis light,
And go to the nosebag to see it's all right,
That the ants on the sugar no mortgage have got,
And immediately sling my old black billy-pot,
And while it is boiling the horses I seek,
And follow them down perhaps as far as the creek;
I take off the hobbles and let them go free,
And haste to tuck into my Billy of Tea.

And at night when I camp, if the day has been warm,
I give each of the horses their tucker of corn,
From the two in the pole to the one in the lead,
And the billy for each holds a comfortable feed;
Then the fire I start and the water I get,
And the corned beef and damper in order I set,
But I don't touch the grub, though so hungry I be,
I will wait till it's ready-the Billy of Tea.

From The Native Companion Songster.

The tune, Bonnie Dundee is very effective but calls for a good range of voice. The Bushwackers dipped out and used only the first (low) part (as on Dave's short piece, a filler at the end of one side).
I'm sure you will also get the later words - or else I will get around to that version as well.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy of Tea
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 06:55 PM

a neat song! I found it in a book of Aussie songs a number of years ago and have used it a couple of times to give a different twist to a "drinking songs' workshop....I think I'll go polish it up....


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Subject: Lyr Add: BILLY OF TEA (from The Bushwackers)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Apr 00 - 07:28 PM

G'day Wotcha,

I posted this (original) version in the other thread ("Lapsang Souchong") when I realised that you had raised this query independently of my posting the first stanza.

I have also posted the better known 'modern' version, from the Bushwackers, circa 1974, in the same thread.

Regards,

Bob Bolton



Thread #20316   Message #211404
Posted By: Bob Bolton
13-Apr-00 - 07:15 PM
Thread Name: BS: Lapsang Souchong
Subject: Lyr Add: BILLY OF TEA

G'day Again,

Phil jl:

Here are the words you requested of Enda Kenny's Song

EARL GREY
Can't stand the stuff ? I like to steer clear of grey areas.

Is it perfume? Is it tea?
Whatever it is it does nothing for me
Should I drink it? Or dab it on?
Can I swap it for a coffee or has all the water gone?

It is hot it is wet.
It is eau de toilette
Is it from the House of Lipton or Chanel?
I only want a cup of tea not this stuff you've given me
If you think I'm going to drink it go to

Help me
Someone call a doctor, call a nurse!
Call an ambulance I'm poisoned
And I think it's getting worse
I only wanted a cup of tea
But I fear that my last mouthful will be the death of me

It is hot it is wet
It is eau de toilette
To my mind it is more toilette than eau
If you want to spoil your day
Add the oil of Earl Grey
I'm reliably informed it's bergamot....

What a mouthful !
Is it perfume? Is it wee?
Whatever it's supposed to be it doesn't taste like tea
Should I drink it or dab it on?
Can I swap it for a coffee or has all the water gone?

It is hot it is wet
It is eau de toilette
Is it Twinings? Is it Tetley? Let me see
Go ahead make my day
But please don't make me drink Earl Grey
All I want is a proper cup of tea


While I am at it, here are the more 'modern' words to Billy of Tea (as sung by the Bushwackers, early 1970s.

BILLY OF TEA

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

So fill up your tumbler as high as you can,
And don't you dare tell me it's not the best plan.
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 soon as it's light,
Go to the nose bag to see it's alright,
That the ants on the sugar no mortgage have got,
And straight away sling my old black billy-pot.

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

REPEAT 1.

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.

The fire I make; 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 till it's ready?the billy of tea.

REPEAT 2, REPEAT 1 TWICE

Their tune is a flattened out version of the first half of Bonnie Dundee, the original collected tune (from back when the 'folk' could still sing!).
Regards,
Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy of Tea
From: GUEST,Rob Bannister
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 07:35 PM

I thought - and maybe the Bushwhackers spread the rumour themselves - that this was originally written as an ad for Bushells tea, but I can't find anything on any Bushells site.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy of Tea
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 09:06 PM

G'day Rob,

Given the the claim: " ... Bushells - Our Cuppa Since 1883 ..." it's quite possible that Bushells had a hand in the origins of the song ... but that needs a lot of trawling through old newsprint ...

However, given the spill of fresh song versions and 'oldest found ...' coming out of recent "Trove" searches ... from OCRed and linked scans of 19th century newspapers - someone may find the definitive answer!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLOW - MEN AT WORK (Max Boyce)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 08:58 AM

Of course, and ideal opportunity to re-post a Max boyce song:

SLOW - MEN AT WORK
Max Boyce
ttto: So early in the morning

There is a band of loyal men
Who come in their lorries but they don't say when.
What they do, well I just can't say ?
They're either coming or they're going away.

    Chorus:
    And they keep their billy-cans brewing,
    They keep their billy-cans brewing,
    They keep their billy-cans brewing
    And they brew a little more each day!

But it's a dangerous job both cruel and hard;
They risk their lives when the floods are bad.
One drowned last week whilst clutching his spade;
He slipped and he fell in the tea he'd made!

Have you seen them working on the road,
Sweating and toiling with a heavy load?
Seen them working with no thought of tea?
Well if you have you don't live by me!

They say that Rome wasn't built in a day,
And there was one big long delay.
The reason was and it's a fact,
The council had the main contract!


Copied from "Max Boyce: his Songs & Poems"
Published by Panther Books (1976) 586 04621 6


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAN O' TEA (Matt McGinn)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 03:44 AM

Another to add to the Brew
Jim Carroll

The Can o' Tea
Matt McGinn

CHORUS: Noo the champagne flows, the wineglass glows
The shipyard gates'll have tae close
They say it's a' because o' me
And I cannae hae my can o' tea
Doo ri amaday, my can o' tea

For forty years, and fourteen mair,
The men that worked wi' Donald Blair
They've aye had a middle o' the mornin' plan
To stop at ten, to bile their can

But Donald he was awfu' wise
Although he always closed his eyes
He never ever gied us leave
So he'd have a trump card up his sleeve

This mornin' Donald came tae me
He pointed tae my can o' tea
Then he let oot an awfu' roar
He says, young man, get oot that door

But the men said I'd been victimised
For the union a' had organised
So when I laid doon my can o' tea
A thoosand men marched oot wi' me


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