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Lyr Add: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)

GUEST,Arkie 19 Nov 00 - 08:43 PM
Amos 19 Nov 00 - 08:45 PM
Naemanson 19 Nov 00 - 09:10 PM
DonMeixner 19 Nov 00 - 09:51 PM
Amos 19 Nov 00 - 09:57 PM
DonMeixner 19 Nov 00 - 10:18 PM
Alan of Australia 19 Nov 00 - 11:24 PM
DonMeixner 19 Nov 00 - 11:29 PM
Alan of Australia 19 Nov 00 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Arkie 20 Nov 00 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,Arkie 21 Nov 00 - 12:16 AM
GUEST 21 Nov 00 - 01:00 AM
Anglo 21 Nov 00 - 02:02 AM
Percustard 25 Jun 02 - 01:56 AM
Hrothgar 25 Jun 02 - 08:03 AM
Stewie 25 Jun 02 - 08:18 AM
Percustard 25 Jun 02 - 07:48 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Jun 02 - 08:33 PM
Hrothgar 26 Jun 02 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Dale 26 Jun 02 - 10:38 AM
Amos 26 Jun 02 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Ernest C 26 Jun 02 - 02:54 PM
Stewie 26 Jun 02 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Dale 26 Jun 02 - 07:48 PM
Bob Bolton 26 Jun 02 - 08:11 PM
Stewie 26 Jun 02 - 08:44 PM
Hrothgar 27 Jun 02 - 05:34 AM
Bob Bolton 27 Jun 02 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Arkie 28 Jun 02 - 01:36 AM
Art Thieme 28 Jun 02 - 11:30 AM
Stewie 28 Jun 02 - 08:13 PM
Art Thieme 29 Jun 02 - 12:56 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Sep 03 - 03:50 AM
Bill D 13 Sep 03 - 11:11 AM
Arkie 18 Aug 11 - 12:42 PM
Joe Offer 18 Aug 11 - 11:38 PM
Sandra in Sydney 19 Aug 11 - 02:29 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: HOW GILBERT DIED (A. B.
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 08:43 PM

I stumbled on this poem by Banjo Paterson some time ago and have been intrigued by it. All I know is that John Gilbert was a bushranger and subject of at least three poems by Peterson. Has it been given a tune and has it been recorded? Also can anyone add anything to the history or mythology of John Gilbert?

HOW GILBERT DIED
(A. B. "Banjo" Paterson)

There's never a stone at the sleeper's head,
There's never a fence beside,
And the wandering stock on the grave may tread
Unnoticed and undenied;
But the smallest child on the Watershed
Can tell you how Gilbert died.

For he rode at dusk with his comrade Dunn
To the hut at the Stockman's Ford;
In the waning light of the sinking sun
They peered with a fierce accord.
They were outlaws both -- and on each man's head
Was a thousand pounds reward.

They had taken toll of the country round,
And the troopers came behind
With a black who tracked like a human hound
In the scrub and the ranges blind:
He could run the trail where a white man's eye
No sign of track could find.

He had hunted them out of the One Tree Hill
And over the Old Man Plain,
But they wheeled their tracks with a wild beast's skill,
And they made for the range again;
Then away to the hut where their grandsire dwelt
They rode with a loosened rein.

And their grandsire gave them a greeting bold:
"Come in and rest in peace,
No safer place does the country hold --
With the night pursuit must cease,
And we'll drink success to the roving boys,
And to hell with the black police."

But they went to death when they entered there
In the hut at the Stockman's Ford,
For their grandsire's words were as false as fair --
They were doomed to the hangman's cord.
He had sold them both to the black police
For the sake of the big reward.

In the depth of night there are forms that glide
As stealthily as serpents creep,
And around the hut where the outlaws hide
They plant in the shadows deep,
And they wait till the first faint flush of dawn
Shall waken their prey from sleep.

But Gilbert wakes while the night is dark --
A restless sleeper aye.
He has heard the sound of a sheep-dog's bark,
And his horse's warning neigh,
And he says to his mate, "There are hawks abroad,
And it's time that we went away."

Their rifles stood at the stretcher head,
Their bridles lay to hand;
They wakened the old man out of his bed,
When they heard the sharp command:
"In the name of the Queen lay down your arms,
Now, Dunn and Gilbert, stand!"

Then Gilbert reached for his rifle true
That close at hand he kept;
He pointed straight at the voice, and drew,
But never a flash outleapt,
For the water ran from the rifle breech --
It was drenched while the outlaws slept.

Then he dropped the piece with a bitter oath,
And he turned to his comrade Dunn:
"We are sold," he said, "we are dead men both! --
Still, there may be a chance for one;
I'll stop and I'll fight with the pistol here,
You take to your heels and run."

So Dunn crept out on his hands and knees
In the dim, half-dawning light,
And he made his way to a patch of trees,
And was lost in the black of night;
And the trackers hunted his tracks all day,
But they never could trace his flight.

But Gilbert walked from the open door
In a confident style and rash;
He heard at his side the rifles roar,
And he heard the bullets crash.
But he laughed as he lifted his pistol-hand,
And he fired at the rifle-flash.

Then out of the shadows the troopers aimed
At his voice and the pistol sound.
With rifle flashes the darkness flamed --
He staggered and spun around,
And they riddled his body with rifle balls
As it lay on the blood-soaked ground.

There's never a stone at the sleeper's head,
There's never a fence beside,
And the wandering stock on the grave may tread
Unnoticed and undenied;
But the smallest child on the Watershed
Can tell you how Gilbert died.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 08:45 PM

Wow! What a tale. And, I guess, relatively true? Anyone know?

A


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: Naemanson
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 09:10 PM

That is quite a tale. I noticed a few details that would indicate either the age of the poem or the authenticity of the event.

For the water ran from the rifle breech...
And they riddled his body with rifle balls

This indicates that not only are the bushrangers using rifled muskets but the troopers are as well. A modern poet might have talked of bullets instead of balls. The water indicates that someone has soaked the gunpowder in a muzzle loading weapon.

But you guys probably already knew all of that.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: DonMeixner
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 09:51 PM

I expect you meant "A. B. "Banjo" Paterson. A favorite poet of mine. Look for his poems "Lost" and one about a horse auction, the title escapes me now.

Don


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN GILBERT (BUSHRANGER)(Banjo Paterson)
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 09:57 PM

Here's a bit more on the old Bushranger, by the same author around 1905:

John Gilbert (Bushranger)

[He and his gang stuck up the township Canowindra for two days in 1859.]

  (Air: "Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.")

  John Gilbert was a bushranger of terrible renown,
For sticking lots of people up and shooting others down.
John Gilbert said unto his pals, "Although they make a bobbery
About our tricks, we've never done a tip-top thing in robbery.

 "We have all of us a fancy for experiments in pillage,
Yet never have we seized a town, or even sacked a village."
John Gilbert said unto his mates "Though partners we have been
In all rascality, yet we no festal day have seen."

 John Gilbert said he thought he saw no obstacle to hinder a
Piratical descent upon the town of Canowindra.
So into Canowindra town rode Gilbert and his men,
And all the Canowindra folk subsided there and then.

 The Canowindra populace cried "Here's a lot of strangers!!!"
But immediately recovered when they found they were bushrangers.
And Johnny Gilbert said to them, "You need not be afraid:
We are only old companions whom bushrangers you have made."

 And Johnny Gilbert said, said he, "We'll never hurt a hair
Of men who bravely recognize that we are just all there."
The New South Welshmen said at once, not makingany fuss,
That Johnny Gilbert, after all, was "Just but one of us."

 So Johnny Gilbert took the town (including public houses),
And treated all the "cockatoos" and shouted for their spouses.
And Miss O'Flanagan performed in manner quite gintailly
Upon the grand pianner for the bushranger O'Meally.

 And every stranger passing by they took, and when they got him
They robbed him of his money and occasionally shot him.
And Johnny's enigmatic feat admits of this solution,
That bushranging in New South Wales is a favoured institution.

 So Johnny Gilbert ne'er allows an anxious thought to fetch him,
For well he knows the Government don't really want to ketch him,
And if such practices should he to New South Welshmen dear,
With not the least demurring word ought we to interfere.
 

                                                                                                       Old Bush Song


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: DonMeixner
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 10:18 PM

The other poem is called, "In The Droving Days" Lost, by Banjo Paterson

Incase the link fails, go here. http://dingo.uq.oz.au/~mlwham/banjo/lost.html

Don


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 11:24 PM

G'day,
Gilbert was one of the Ben Hall gang, see also The Streets Of Forbes, but note that the DT version could do with some correcting.

The poem above has been recorded as a song by "Wallis & Matilda". They made some albums of Paterson's poems set to music. Their name is an obvious play on Words, "Waltzing Matilda" being a Paterson song. W&M also recorded a version of "Lost" as a song.

And let's finally get the name Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson spelt right :)

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: DonMeixner
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 11:29 PM

I spelted it right Alan, the computer stutters on "T"s is all.

Don


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STREETS OF FORBES
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 11:31 PM

Here's a better version:-

THE STREETS OF FORBES

Come all you Lachlan men, and a sorrowful tale I'll tell
Concerning of a hero bold who through misfortune fell
His name it was Ben Hall, a man of good renown
Who was hunted from his station, and like a dog shot down.

Three years he roamed the roads, and he showed the traps some fun
A thousand pounds was on his head, with Gilbert and John Dunn
Ben parted from his comrades, the outlaws did agree
To give away bushranging and to cross the briny sea.

Ben went to Goobang Creek, and that was his downfall
For riddled like a sieve was valiant Ben Hall
'Twas early in the morning upon the fifth of May
When seven police surrounded him as fast asleep he lay.

Bill Dargin he was chosen to shoot the outlaw dead
The troopers then fired madly, and filled him full of lead
They rolled him in a blanket and strapped him to his prad
And led him through the streets of Forbes to show the prize they had.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 12:16 AM

Thanks all; lets certainly get Banjo's last name spelt right. I know better. I just let my brain disengage while I typed.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 21 Nov 00 - 12:16 AM

Refresh. Did Stan Coster also record this?


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 00 - 01:00 AM

This is a neat story. Will have to learn it. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: Anglo
Date: 21 Nov 00 - 02:02 AM

One of my "birthday" songs. Songs mentioning 5th May are all about death. Italian Red Wine (Guthrie - one of the Sacco & Vanzetti songs) is another. (Just in case you wanted to know
:-)


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died
From: Percustard
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 01:56 AM

Ben didnt go to Goobang Creek.

It was Goobang Mick that did him in.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Hrothgar
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:03 AM

Don't let geography get in the way of a good song.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:18 AM

There's an even better bush ballad relating to the death of Ben Hall that has some similarities with 'How Gilbert Died'. It is often attributed to Will Ogilvie - and I would like it to be so as he is my favourite bush poet - but is disagreement among the experts about its provenance. Nevertheless, it is a beauty which I have recited over many years. Some kind soul has posted it to the net:

Click Here

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Percustard
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 07:48 PM

Hey Hrothgar,

It aint geography I'm worried about.

The actual words are:

Ben went to Goobang Mick (not Goobang Creek).

Simple mistake.

A bit like saying "shouldn't of" instead of "shouldn't have" they sound the same but one is right and the other is wrong.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:33 PM

G'day Mark,

Yes ... that's just a common example of the way things get muddled as the song moves away from the people who were there. Ben certainly did not go to Goobang Creek ... the night of the ambush he had gone in the other direction ... but was betrayed by Goobang Mick.

Later on, people learning the song orally ... and not knowing about the details, would have assumed that "Goobang Mick" should be "Goobang Crick" (normal 'bush' pronunciation) because they knew that there was a Goobang Creek - either by knowing the area or by looking at a map. It's by no means the biggest change that has occurred in the 'folk process'!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Hrothgar
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 04:41 AM

Stewie,

I also reckon the Will Ogilvie (and I recken he wrote it, too) one is meant to be recited. I've never heard it sung.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE STABLE (Banjo Paterson)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 10:38 AM

Well, Gilbert and Hall are not exactly the main characters here, but I guess we wouldn't have this good story without them!

But first, a NOTEWORTHY LINK A collection of complete Australian literary and historical texts from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries ~~ compliments of The University Of Sydney. Here you'll find the complete texts of 8 books by Paterson as well as 9 by Lawson, and many, many others as well ~~ in PDF form.

Another to pay strict attention to is the first on the list by the well known Anonymous ~~ Old Bush Songs, edited by Paterson, though that information does not show until you open the file.

As usual, here is the no liability disclaimer for inadvertent html errors. As far as the spelling of O'Mealley/O'Maley is concerned, Paterson uses the shorter form, while most other references I could find list the longer. Dale

IN THE STABLE

Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson
From Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses, 1902

WHAT! You don't like him; well, maybe—we all have our fancies, of course:
Brumby to look at you reckon? Well, no; he's a thoroughbred horse;
Sired by a son of old Panic—look at his ears and his head—
Lop-eared and Roman-nosed, ain't he?—well, that's how the Panics are bred.
Gluttonous, ugly and lazy, rough as a tip-cart to ride,
Yet if you offered a sovereign apiece for the hairs on his hide
That wouldn't buy him, nor twice that; while I've a pound to the good,
This here old stager stays by me and lives like a thoroughbred should:
Hunt him away from his bedding, and sit yourself down by the wall,
Till you hear how the old fellow saved me from Gilbert, O'Maley and Hall.

. . . . .

Gilbert and Hall and O'Maley, back in the bushranging days,
Made themselves kings of the district—ruled it in old-fashioned ways—
Robbing the coach and the escort, stealing our horses at night,
Calling sometimes at the homesteads and giving the women a fright:
Came to the station one morning—and why they did this no one knows—
Took a brood mare from the paddock—wanting some fun, I suppose—
Fastened a bucket beneath her, hung by a strap round her flank,
Then turned her loose in the timber back of the seven-mile tank.

Go! She went mad! She went tearing and screaming with fear through the trees,
While the curst bucket beneath her was banging her flanks and her knees.
Bucking and racing and screaming she ran to the back of the run,
Killed herself there in a gully; by God, but they paid for their fun!
Paid for it dear, for the black-boys found tracks, and the bucket, and all,
And I swore that I'd live to get even with Gilbert, O'Maley and Hall.

Day after day then I chased them—'course they had friends on the sly,
Friends who were willing to sell them to those who were willing to buy.
Early one morning we found them in camp at the Cockatoo Farm
One of us shot at O'Maley and wounded him under the arm:
Ran them for miles in the ranges, till Hall, with his horse fairly beat,
Took to the rocks and we lost him—the others made good their retreat.

It was war to the knife then, I tell you, and once, on the door of my shed,
They nailed up a notice that offered a hundred reward for my head!
Then we heard they were gone from the district; they stuck up a coach in the West,
And I rode by myself in the paddocks, taking a bit of a rest,
Riding this colt as a youngster—awkward, half-broken and shy,
He wheeled round one day on a sudden; I looked, but I couldn't see why,—
But I soon found out why, for before me, the hillside rose up like a wall,
And there on the top with their rifles were Gilbert, O'Maley and Hall!

'Twas a good three-mile run to the homestead—bad going, with plenty of trees—
So I gathered the youngster together, and gripped at his ribs with my knees.
'Twas a mighty poor chance to escape them! It puts a man's nerve to the test
On a half-broken colt to be hunted by the best mounted men in the West.
But the half-broken colt was a racehorse! He lay down to work with a will,
Flashed through the scrub like a clean-skin—by heavens we flew down the hill!
Over a twenty-foot gully he swept with the spring of a deer
And they fired as we jumped, but they missed me—a bullet sang close to my ear—
And the jump gained us ground, for they shirked it: but I saw as we raced through the gap
That the rails at the homestead were fastened—I was caught like a rat in a trap.
Fenced with barbed wire was the paddock—barbed wire that would cut like a knife—
How was a youngster to clear it that never had jumped in his life?

Bang went a rifle behind me—the colt gave a spring, he was hit;
Straight at the sliprails I rode him—I felt him take hold of the bit;
Never a foot to the right or the left did he swerve in his stride,
Awkward and frightened, but honest, the sort it's a pleasure to ride!
Straight at the rails, where they'd fastened barbed wire on the top of the post,
Rose like a stag and went over, with hardly a scratch at the most;
Into the homestead I darted, and snatched down my gun from the wall,
And I tell you I made them step lively, Gilbert, O'Maley and Hall!

Yes! There's the mark of the bullet—he's got it inside of him yet
Mixed up somehow with his victuals, but bless you, he don't seem to fret!
Gluttonous, ugly, and lazy—eats any thing he can bite;
Now, let us shut up the stable, and bid the old fellow good night:
Ah! We can't breed 'em, the sort that were bred when we old 'uns were young. . . .
Yes, I was saying, these bushrangers, none of 'em lived to be hung,
Gilbert was shot by the troopers, Hall was betrayed by his friend,
Campbell disposed of O'Maley, bringing the lot to an end.
But you can talk about riding—I've ridden a lot in the past—
Wait till there's rifles behind you, you'll know what it means to go fast!
I've steeplechased, raced, and "run horses", but I think the most dashing of all
Was the ride when the old fellow saved me from Gilbert, O'Maley and Hall!


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 10:45 AM

God, what a beautiful quatrain:

You may ride at a man's or maid's behest

When honour or true love call


And steel your heart to the worst or the best,


But the ride that is ta'en on a traitor's quest


Is the bitterest ride of all.

These guys are as good as Kipling! (Well, you can't kipple in this weather anyway!).

A


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: GUEST,Ernest C
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 02:54 PM

Will Ogilvie, for those who have not read far enough.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 06:20 PM

Hrothgar,

I couldn't agree more. The characteristic that distinguishes bush ballads from bush songs is that the former are meant to be recited. Indeed, in most cases, to impose a tune on a bush ballad would be detrimental to it. As Bob Bolton has pointed out in another context, that is why very few Paterson pieces can be turned into songs whereas many of Lawson's poems seem tailor-made for songs. Of course, that hasn't prevented a tune being attached to 'Clancy of the Overflow' and some day some lunatic will probably try to put one to 'The Man From Snowy River' - Bob will no doubt come along and tell me it has been done already.

In respect of the poem in question, here is comment from the late John Manifold:

Paterson's 'How Gilbert Died' is well known, and deserves to be. Its technique is literary; there would be no excuse for confusing it with folksong, even if the author's name were lost. But its emotional bias is pure 'folk'; it is pro-bushranger to a degree unequalled by any previous literary ballad. Some of its facts are oddly inaccurate; but the inaccuracy is relative, not absolute. In detail, the facts given about Gilbert's death which are inaccurate in that context become accurate when you substitute Hall's name for Gilbert's. The hour of the attack, the black-tracker, the darkness, the riddling of the body with bullets, which are all wrong for Gilbert, are all correct for Hall. .... It seems that Paterson was misinformed, but in a very unusual way. Where, for instance, did he pick up the notion (which he retained, it seems, all his life) that John Kelly was Gilbert's grandfather as well as Dunn's? I think he must have picked it up as a child at Binalong State School, where he claims to have sat alongside young 'Gilberts'. That is not strictly possible, as Gilbert died unmarried. But it is entirely possible that he sat alongside young Dunns, and learned from them a childish jumble of the genuine traditions. ['Who Wrote the Ballads' pp63-64]

Manifold pointed out also that 'The Death of Ben Hall' - and in respect of its authorship he said that he was not 'the man to rush in where Edward Harrington fears to tread' - is also 'shockingly inaccurate'. Citing Clune's account, he wrote that Hall 'had two horses, died with his boots on, and had been only two nights on the property of Goobang Mick (who was a selector at the time, not a stockman) at the other end of the district from Gunning'.

He goes on to comment that 'it accepts the hypothesis of betrayal' whereas the 'traditional ballads are chary of alloting blame'. In respect of the challenge - 'a sergeant sprang to his feet and roared, in the name of the Queen, Ben Hall' - 'no traditional ballad mentions a challenge' and 'one of them denies any challenge was given'. Paterson, who confused the 2 heroes, 'gives the police challenge in similar terms' in 'How Gilbert Died'.

Manifold suggested 'Death of Ben Hall' may have been 'inspired by nothing more first-hand than the newspaper reports'. He concluded: 'Something more than mere foreigness to the district is implied by the astounding fact that this gifted but unknown balladist has constructed the dramatic climax on an absolute impossibility. Could anyone imagine poor Goobang Mick, of all people, inviting the people of Forbes to drink with him, blood money or not?' ['Who Wrote the Ballads' pp65-66].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 07:48 PM

Uhhh, Stewie, I'm not Bob, but " it has been done already." Slim Dusty has had a version out for quite a few years. It runs 7+ minutes, and in my opinion is quite nice. I like it for any number of reasons. I bought his Australia is his Name album, Philo Rounder 1119, 1987, soon after it was released in the US. (As you can see from the link, it is now available only on cassette.)

That album was my first introduction to Mr. David Kirkpatrick and his music, AND also the poetry of A. B. Paterson. I had seen and greatly enjoyed the film, "The Man From Snowy River", (I bought a VHS copy when it became readily available) but until I bought the record, I had no idea of the origin of the story line nor understood the importance of the minor character of Banjo Paterson in the movie. I thank Slim Dusty for that, and all the things that have fallen into place since then ~~ the music of his daughter Anne Kirkpatrick, the poetry of Henry Lawson, and so many other things that it has led me to.

Now maybe I had best enter this before Bob tells you " it has been done already."


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 08:11 PM

G'day Stewie ... and Dale,

It's interesting that the more relaxed Country styles seems to do a better job of bending Paterson into tunes than does the earnest style of the committed folkie!

I think I would be inclined to recite Paterson far more than attempt to sing his verses (although the Wallis & Matilda tune for Clancy of the Overflow has become something of a standard) and that's not so true of Lawson.

Regards,

Bob Bolton

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 08:44 PM

Thanks, Dale. I will take your word for it that Slim's rendition is 'quite nice'. However, I will not resile from my position. Like Bob, I would recite Paterson's ballads. 'The Man From Snowy River' is the archetype of the heroic style of bush balladry and I believe the imposition of a tune can only detract from its poetic force and Paterson's craftsmanship. I think Graham Jenkin has summed it up pretty well: 'The basic material the poet works with is the spoken word, and the result of his inspiration and craftsmanship is a structure demanding such subtle nuances of tone, timing, intensity, and expression, that only the human speaking voice can do it justice. Music has its own disciplines - particularly those of pitch and time - and while a competent singer can give a real amount of dramatic expression to a song, it is equally true that in putting any set of words to music, something must be lost in the compromise, as the music imposes its own tones and rhythms on the poem'. ['Songs of the Great Balladists' Rigby 1978, p132]

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Hrothgar
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 05:34 AM

And we still have a great puzzle - Lawson, as far as I know, never had any claim to be a musician, but his poetry fits sooo easily to music. This makes him different from just about all the other major Australian bush poets.

Has anybody figured out the answer to that one?


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 08:19 AM

G'day Hrothgar,

Henry Lawson certainly was not a musician, in the playing sense, since he had a serious hearing defect, but he often referred to his poems as songs (as Paterson does in the case of one of his poems that does sing well - the one that we call Travelling Down the Castlereagh ... and he called The Bushman's Song). I think Lawson had something closer to "Bush Songs" in mnd, while Paterson mostly had Kiplingesque ballads as his model.

Anyway, he discussion of Slim Dusty's version of The Man from Snowy River sent me off to listen to it once more. I have all 7 minutes and 30 seconds of it on a 1982 2-CD set from EMI: #8146732, Australia, Our Land Our Music ... still available ... but I have only seen it recently as two separate CDs. Warren Fahey's 1997 compilation, on their 2-CD set: #7243 8 14852 2 4, Australia, Our Land Our Music, Volume 2 is a much better constructed, thematic look at a wider range of Australian music (I mean - do you really want 5½ versions of Waltzing Matilda in one compilation!) - but I have not been able to find that one lately. (A pity; it's one of the few compilations I would not be embarrassed to give as a gift to an overseas friend.)

Anyway, Slim's version does work - even if it veers a bit towards recitative, with guitar backing - relieved by tune modulations and backing changes. I think it shows up a definite point about Country Music - the listeners are prepared to listen ... to the whole story... in a way that Pop Music abandoned decades back. Folk style falls in an ill-defined ground somewhere between, depending on age, national alliance and venue. I think that Australians share with Americans this underlying respect for 'news' presented in song. Our common ancestors came from traditions which elaborated on style, because the content was already well known to the listeners: family, friends and near neighbours.

When these same people found themselves in then open spaces of one 'new world' or another, they acquired a mobility, both geographic and social, that was unimaginable at home. Every new contact was a bearer of possibly vital news of conditions, advantages or perils on the road ahead - and song shouldered its share of this burden, along with 'yarns' and verse. This endured, indeed endures still in country regions of Australia, but the great mass of the population has gravitated to the big cities ... and 7½ minutes is two drinks, a mobile 'phone call and a quick check of the SMS message bank.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 01:36 AM

Nice to see this back again. Thanks to all. I'm still intrigued by this piece as the day I found it, but its nice to have the spaces filled in.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 11:30 AM

Alan,

Your version of "STREETS OF FORBES" is NOT in my copy of The Collected Poems Of A.B. Paterson (Angus and Robertson -- publisher-- 1959) does not contain this poem.

Are you certain that it is by Paterson?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 08:13 PM

Art, 'Streets of Forbes' is not by Paterson. According to John Manifold in his note in 'Penguin Australian Songbook', the 'poem was written - or at any rate written down - by Hall's brother-in-law John McGuire, an eyewitness of the ghastly procession'. The version in Manifold's book is from the singing of Mrs Ewell of Bathurst. 'McGuire's manuscript has been reprinted by Clune ['Wild Colonial Boys'] and by Stewart and Keesing'. The version Alan posted is the Manifold one which Manifold noted differed [from the McGuire manuscript] 'in a few lines (for the better, I think)'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 12:56 AM

Stewie,

Thank you. These are fine poems, aren't they? They do often seem to demand tunes be put to 'em. I always have thought that so many of the Aussie songs and bush poems are better than or at least equal to the U.S.'s lumber camp ballads and cowboy songs, the British whaling songs and ballads etc. etc.

Art


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 03:50 AM

The link mentioned above has now relocated

A collection of complete Australian literary and historical texts from the 18th,

Robin


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Subject: RE: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 11:11 AM

many Paterson works also located at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/authorstart?P

(along with Lawson & others)

wonderful resources!


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Subject: How Gilbert Died - Youtube
From: Arkie
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 12:42 PM

A couple of entries of How Gilbert Died have made it to youtube. One sort of sung and the link to the one that is recited.

How Gilbert Died


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 11:38 PM

I really like this one, sung by Chloe and Jason Roweth. Who are/were the Black Police?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: How Gilbert Died (Banjo Paterson)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 02:29 AM

Aboriginal Trackers


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