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Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)

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THE MULE SONG
THE MULLIGAN GUARDS


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Kerrigan Boys (Edward Harrington) (12)


MMario 24 Oct 00 - 09:11 PM
aussiebloke 24 Oct 00 - 10:22 PM
MMario 25 Oct 00 - 08:39 AM
Bob Bolton 26 Oct 00 - 01:12 AM
MMario 26 Oct 00 - 08:45 AM
Bob Bolton 27 Oct 00 - 04:04 AM
MMario 27 Oct 00 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,old bob 09 Sep 09 - 05:34 AM
Rowan 09 Sep 09 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Anne McMenamin 27 Nov 09 - 10:32 PM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Nov 09 - 01:03 AM
The Doctor 28 Nov 09 - 10:39 AM
GUEST 19 Feb 10 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,greg streeter 11 Feb 17 - 09:05 PM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Feb 17 - 10:30 PM
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Subject: ADD: MY OLD BLACK BILLY (Harrington/Jeffries)
From: MMario
Date: 24 Oct 00 - 09:11 PM

MY OLD BLACK BILLY
(lyrics ? Edward Harrington Music Roy Jeffries)

I've humped my blue-y in all the states
With my old black bill-y the best of mates;
For years I've camped and tramped and toiled
Ov-er roads that are rough and hill-y;
with my high-ly sen-i-ble in-dis-pens-a-ble,
Old Black Bill-y

Chorus:
My old black bill-y, my old black bill-y;
whe-ther the wind is warm or chill-y,
I al-ways find when shad-ows fall,
My old black bill-y's the best mate of all!

I've carried my swag on the parched Paroo,
Where water is scarce and the houses few:
On many a track on the great outback,
Where the heat would drive you silly;
I've carried my sensible, indispensable,
Old Black billy.

When my tamping days are o'er.
And I drop my swag at the Golden Door,
Saint Peter will stare when he sees me there,
Then he'll say, "Poor wandering Willie,
Come in with your sensible, indispensable,
Old Black Billy."

found by John in Brisbane. midi to Alan of Oz and NWC file to DickG.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: aussiebloke
Date: 24 Oct 00 - 10:22 PM

Thanks for that - great song...


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: MMario
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 08:39 AM

yeah, I really liked it when John sent it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 01:12 AM

G'day MMario,

Just kvetching, but the 3rd line of the 1st stanza should be :

For years I've camped and toiled and tramped

The third line always has an internal rhyme (making it a limerick form).

This is a lovely song for the end of an evening ... one lead singer and all in for the chorus ... just a quiet mouth organ in the background ... It would bring a tear to a glass eye!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: MMario
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:45 AM

Bob - yes, that makes more sense, but I assure you I copied the lyric as posted directly from the sheet music.

oh well....


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 04:04 AM

G'day again MMario,

I don't know from which sheet music you copied the words, but I just looked back to the place where the song first came to public attention - at least in the folk revival that was about to happen. The song was a favourite in Reedy River, Dick Diamond's 1953 play about the aftermath of the great Shearers' Strike of 1891.

In the accompanying song book the note says " This version was collected from a shearer in Melbourne, and after it had been used in "Reedy River" for some time, the original published work by Edward Harrington to Roy Jeffries' tune was discovered.

The credits are then given as:
Words: Edward Harrington. Music. Traditional
Maybe there is a set of collected words where the unnamed 'shearer' gets it wrong, but Harrington followed the rhyme scheme I have noted... and that is how I sing it.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: MMario
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 09:09 AM

Probably whoever published my copy screwed up. I did double and triple check it. Honest. (including after you brought it up) And I don't have an edit button to fix it.

Hopefully your comments will lead to it being fixed before inclusion in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: MY OLD BLACK BILLY
From: GUEST,old bob
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 05:34 AM

im iin year 7 and this year where doing reedy river i play old bob the person who sings this song i love my part and think iit great.

regards old bob


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: Rowan
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 06:25 PM

I now forget who I first heard singing this song (as described by Bob Bolton) but I certainly remember where it was. In 1966-67 we were building the MUMC Hut on Mt Feathertop (where the recent search was conducted for one of Victoria's Govt Ministers) and, around the campfire after dinner, it was sung by one of the club members there that weekend. I've sung it ever since, both around campfires and in the Sydney Opera House; it always seems to have the same effect on audiences as it had on me the first time.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: GUEST,Anne McMenamin
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 10:32 PM

Can someone let me have a copy of the sheet music, please?


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 01:03 AM

"Old Black Billy' was included in the 1952 musical "Reedy River" (many editions) & also published in "My Old Black Billy and Other Songs of the Australian Outback" by Jefferies, Roy (music) and Edward Harrington (words). Melbourne, Allan and Co, 1940.

Searches on 'Libraries Australia' or 'Music Australia' can locate copies in libraries.

Combined catalogues of Australian libraries

Music Australia - Australia's Music: Online, in Time

A copy of "My Old Black Billy and Other Songs of the Australian Outback" is currently available from Books & Collectables


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: The Doctor
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 10:39 AM

I have two recordings of it, one on 'Australian Folk Night' and the other on 'Folksongs of Australia', both times sung by Denis Gibbons. Both LPs come up occasionally on eBay, the latter more frequently.


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 07:46 AM

mick
'

that' my old black billy is the best mate of all
is the wording from 1961 as taught to schools on the radio on
TIME FOR JUNIORS IN N.S.W. HOPE THATS HELPFUL from an old boy


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: GUEST,greg streeter
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 09:05 PM

to who it may concern i have acopy of this lp made by diaphon with C cecil Grevas singing and yes yes yes it is absolutely a beautiful song may sell it is in vey good condition contact me lottyandgreg@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Add: My Old Black Billy (Edward Harrington)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Feb 17 - 10:30 PM

liner notes from Diaphon's Reedy River Mudcat thread 1960's Australian Folk Albums (tho this album came out in the 50s)

it is a great album. Cec was a member of the Bushwhackers who performed in Reedy River, 63 years later he is singing in a choir, as is another performer from the chorus of the 1953 Sydney production of Reedy River.
Alex Hood is the last member of the Bushwhackers still performing at festivals.


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