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Eureka stockade 150 years old (songs about)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Isle of France


Fergie 10 Mar 04 - 04:43 PM
alison 10 Mar 04 - 06:11 PM
JennieG 11 Mar 04 - 01:28 AM
Bob Bolton 11 Mar 04 - 02:50 AM
JennieG 11 Mar 04 - 06:12 AM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Mar 04 - 06:28 AM
freda underhill 11 Mar 04 - 06:47 AM
Fergie 11 Mar 04 - 07:26 AM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Mar 04 - 07:59 AM
Bob Bolton 11 Mar 04 - 07:12 PM
Hrothgar 12 Mar 04 - 04:58 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 04 - 06:49 AM
Fergie 12 Mar 04 - 07:02 AM
Bob Bolton 12 Mar 04 - 08:14 AM
cobber 12 Mar 04 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,HEELY in the USA 12 Mar 04 - 12:46 PM
Fergie 12 Mar 04 - 04:49 PM
Joybell 12 Mar 04 - 06:02 PM
JennieG 12 Mar 04 - 10:59 PM
freda underhill 12 Mar 04 - 11:17 PM
Joybell 13 Mar 04 - 06:00 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 04 - 06:58 PM
Joybell 13 Mar 04 - 07:33 PM
Hrothgar 14 Mar 04 - 05:25 AM
cobber 20 Mar 04 - 11:49 PM
cobber 27 Mar 04 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,megp 27 May 04 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,bev.magill @bigpond.au 14 Jun 04 - 10:17 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM
Bob Bolton 14 Jun 04 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Fred and willma brachs 24 Oct 04 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,mark gregory 31 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM
Sandra in Sydney 31 Oct 04 - 06:23 AM
rich-joy 06 Nov 04 - 01:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Nov 04 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,Rachel 12 Nov 04 - 08:04 PM
rich-joy 03 Dec 04 - 02:45 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Dec 04 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,CeeJay 03 Dec 04 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,John in Brisbane 03 Dec 04 - 09:27 AM
Joybell 03 Dec 04 - 06:57 PM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Dec 04 - 08:04 PM
Joybell 03 Dec 04 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,the old pooperoo 03 Dec 04 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,CeeJay 03 Dec 04 - 11:12 PM
Joybell 04 Dec 04 - 03:23 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Dec 04 - 07:39 AM
Ooh-Aah2 04 Dec 04 - 03:39 PM
Joybell 04 Dec 04 - 06:35 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Dec 04 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,CeeJay 04 Dec 04 - 09:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Dec 04 - 06:19 AM
Joybell 05 Dec 04 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,CeeJay 05 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,shirin 08 May 06 - 04:18 AM
John O'L 08 May 06 - 05:26 AM
Hrothgar 08 May 06 - 07:09 AM
John O'L 08 May 06 - 07:14 AM
mark gregory 21 Mar 12 - 10:43 PM
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Subject: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Fergie
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 04:43 PM

Unless I am mistaken this is the 150th anniversary of the battle of Eureka Stockade (Dec. 1854 Australian goldfields near Ballarat). I am looking for traditional songs about this event, and the characters involves but I can find nothing in the D.T. can Mudcatters Help
Regards
Fergus


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BATTLE OF EUREKA (Helen G. Palmer)
From: alison
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 06:11 PM

we just had the re-enactment of the Battle of vinegar Hill, in Sydney... it was excellent...... 200 years old...


there is a very good song called "The Ballad of Eureka"

The Ballad of Eureka
(Helen G. Palmer)


1. They're leaving ship and station, They're leaving bench and fold,
And pouring out from Melbourne To join the search for gold.
The face of town and country Is changing ev'ry day,
But rulers keep on ruling The old colonial way.

2. "How can we work the diggings And learn how fortune feels
If all the traps forever Are yelping at our heels?"
"If you've enough," says Lalor, "Of all their little games,
Then go and get your licence And throw it on the flames!"

3. "The law is out to get us And make us bow in fear.
They call us foreign rebels Who'd plant the Charter here!"
"They may be right," says Lalor, "But if they show their braid,
We'll stand our ground and hold it Behind a bush stockade!"

4. There's not a flag in Europe More lovely to behold,
Than floats above Eureka Where diggers work the gold.
"There's not a flag in Europe More lovely to the eye,
Than is the blue and silver Against a southern sky.

5. Here in the name of freedom, Whatever be our loss,
We swear to stand together Beneath the Southern Cross."
It is a Sunday morning. The miner's camp is still;
Two hundred flashing redcoats Come marching to the hill

6. Come marching up the gully With muskets firing low;
And diggers wake from dreaming To hear the bugle blow.
The wounded and the dying Lie silent in the sun,
But change will not be halted By any redcoats gun.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: JennieG
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 01:28 AM

There's also a song called "Cross of the South" that starts (I think):
'Twas the 3rd of December, the year fifty-four,
When the men of Eureka rebelled.

I'll check out my song stash and see if I have it. Google doesn't help.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 02:50 AM

G'day JennieG,

It generally starts:

T'was the month of December ...

and was written by Ken Cook for his musical play Stockade ... This was subsequently shot as a cheap 16mm movie - that got bumped up to 35mm print for general cinema release after some wowser complained about the brothel scene ... nobody would remember it otherwise!

(Ken Cook also wrote the successful play/film Wake in Fright ... and a wild beastie potboiler called Pig! [book] or Razorback (...?) [film].

In the currently running DT Study thread on (Jack) Donahoe Ballads I have skirted around The Drifting Smoke of the Mountains a highly innacurate "ballad" setting Donahoe on horseback ... in the Burragorang Valley. I would be pretty certain that Cook actually wrote that as well ... though he presented it as "collected".

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: JennieG
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:12 AM

You're right Bob, it was the month of December, I have found the book with the words, dots and chords. I'll post them when I have the time to type it all out, probably at the weekend. Wake in Fright was also a book.
Ballarat might be an interesting place to be on 3rd December next!
Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:28 AM

Fergie - if you're also interested in recent songs try The Eureka Suite by John Munro. c. 1999, Larrikin (Festival Records).

There are 12 songs in the suite & it features Eric Bogle, John Schumann, John Munro, The Goldrush Band, Kat Kraus, Mike O'Callaghan & Dave Moss.

I could have been listening to Eric Bogle & John Munro in concert tonight, but decided to have a night at home instead as I'll be out the next 2 nights & was also out Mon & Tues.

sandra (now listening to the CD & Eric sings the first track!)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FIGHT AT EUREKA STOCKADE (H Lawson)
From: freda underhill
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:47 AM

Here is a Henry Lawson poem about the stockade

The Fight at Eureka Stockade
(Henry Lawson)

"Was I at Eureka?" His figure was drawn to a youthful height,
And a flood of proud recollections made the fire in his grey eyes bright;
With pleasure they lighted and glisten'd, tho' the digger was grizzled and old,
And we gathered about him and listen'd while the tale of Eureka he told.

"Ah, those were the days," said the digger, "twas a glorious life that we led,
When fortunes were dug up and lost in a day in the whirl of the years that are dead.
But there's many a veteran now in the land - old knights of the pick and the spade,
Who could tell you in language far stronger than mine 'bout the fight at Eureka Stockade.

"We were all of us young on the diggings in days when the nation had birth -
Light-hearted, and careless, and happy, and the flower of all nations on earth;
But we would have been peaceful an' quiet if the law had but let us alone;
And the fight - let them call it a riot - was due to no fault of our own.

"The creed of our rulers was narrow - they ruled with a merciless hand,
For the mark of the cursed broad arrow was deep in the heart of the land.
They treated us worse than the negroes were treated in slavery's day -
And justice was not for the diggers, as shown by the Bently affray.

"P'r'aps Bently was wrong. If he wasn't the bloodthirsty villain they said,
He was one of the jackals that gather where the carcass of labour is laid.
'Twas b'lieved that he murdered a digger, and they let him off scot-free as well,
And the beacon o' battle was lighted on the night that we burnt his hotel.

"You may talk as you like, but the facts are the same (as you've often been told),
And how could we pay when the license cost more than the worth of the gold?
We heard in the sunlight the clanking o' chains in the hillocks of clay,
And our mates, they were rounded like cattle an' handcuffed an' driven away.

"The troopers were most of them new-chums, with many a gentleman's son;
And ridin' on horseback was easy, and hunting the diggers was fun.
Why, many poor devils who came from the vessel in rags and down-heeled,
Were copped, if they hadn't their license, before they set foot on the field.

"But they roused the hot blood that was in us, and the cry came to roll up at last;
And I tell you that something had got to be done when the diggers rolled up in the past.
Yet they say that in spite o' the talkin' it all might have ended in smoke,
But just at the point o' the crisis, the voice of a quiet man spoke.

" `We have said all our say and it's useless, you must fight or be slaves!' said the voice;
" `If it's fight, and you're wanting a leader, I will lead to the end - take your choice!'
I looked, it was Pete! Peter Lalor! who stood with his face to the skies,
But his figure seemed nobler and taller, and brighter the light of his eyes.

"The blood to his forehead was rushin' as hot as the words from his mouth;
He had come from the wrongs of the old land to see those same wrongs in the South;
The wrongs that had followed our flight from the land where the life of the worker was spoiled.
Still tyranny followed! no wonder the blood of the Irishman boiled.

"And true to his promise, they found him - the mates who are vanished or dead,
Who gathered for justice around him with the flag of the diggers o'erhead.
When the people are cold and unb'lieving, when the hands of the tyrants are strong,
You must sacrifice life for the people before they'll come down on the wrong.

"I'd a mate on the diggings, a lad, curly-headed, an' blue-eyed, an' white,
And the diggers said I was his father, an', well, p'r'aps the diggers were right.
I forbade him to stir from the tent, made him swear on the book he'd obey,
But he followed me in, in the darkness, and - was - shot - on Eureka that day.

" `Down, down with the tyrant an' bully,' these were the last words from his mouth
As he caught up a broken pick-handle and struck for the Flag of the South
An' let it in sorrow be written - the worst of this terrible strife,
'Twas under the `Banner of Britain' came the bullet that ended his life.

"I struck then! I struck then for vengeance! When I saw him lie dead in the dirt,
And the blood that came oozing like water had darkened the red of his shirt,
I caught up the weapon he dropped an' I struck with the strength of my hate,
Until I fell wounded an' senseless, half-dead by the side of `my mate'.

"Surprised in the grey o' the morning half-armed, and the Barricade bad,
A battle o' twenty-five minutes was long 'gainst the odds that they had,
But the light o' the morning was deadened an' the smoke drifted far o'er the town
An' the clay o' Eureka was reddened ere the flag o' the diggers came down.

"But it rose in the hands of the people an' high in the breezes it tost,
And our mates only died for a cause that was won by the battle they lost.
When the people are selfish and narrow, when the hands of the tyrants are strong,
You must sacrifice life for the public before they come down on a wrong.

"It is thirty-six years this December - (December the first) since we made
The first stand 'gainst the wrongs of old countries that day in Eureka Stockade,
But the lies and the follies and shams of the North have all landed since then
An' it's pretty near time that you lifted the flag of Eureka again.

"You boast of your progress an' thump empty thunder from out of your drums,
While two of your `marvellous cities' are reeking with alleys an' slums.
An' the landsharks, an' robbers, an' idlers an' -! Yes, I had best draw it mild
But whenever I think o' Eureka my talking is apt to run wild.

"Even now in my tent when I'm dreaming I'll spring from my bunk, strike a light,
And feel for my boots an' revolver, for the diggers' march past in the night.
An' the faces an' forms of old mates an' old comrades go driftin' along,
With a band in the front of 'em playing the tune of an old battle song."

Henry Lawson 1890

(nb The date of the battle at the Eureka Stockade was actually the 3rd of December, 1854).


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Fergie
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 07:26 AM

G'day and hello all
I'm looking for a couple of "Eureka" songs to sing at my local singing circle here in Dublin. The Ballad of Eureka by Helen G. Palmer seems appropriate, but I don't have the tune can somebody help?
There is nowhere in Dublin that stocks Aussie folk CDs, I had a lot of vinyls that I bought when I lived in Sydney but alas they have "disappeared" over the paast twenty years. I have tried to replace a copy of the Reedy River suite that was among my most treasured L.P.s but no success and all my Bushwhackers have gone walkabout, "but there is no use in complaining, I'll never say die" My daughter Sara who was born in Woolamooloo nearly 25 years ago is backpacking across Asia, and will arrive in Aus. in a month or so (I brought her to Dublin when she six months old, and she has lived here since, so this will be her first visit back to her Motherland) she will get some discs for me so I am looking forward to her return on the double. I sent her off to Aus. with knowledge of my favourite Australian poem, (which by the way is reputed to be one of the shortest poems ever written)

Ode to Australia.

Australia,
Australia,
t'will never fail'ye.

Ooops! there's the bell got to go teach some seventeen year olds Engineering
S'long
Fergus


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 07:59 AM

Fergus

There are several sites where you can buy on-line (if you are so inclined) otherwise Sara can call them when she gets here.

www.tradandnow.com (no shop, 180 titles, Wollongong 4225 3792)

www.folktrax.com (Adelaide, South Australian Folk Centre), I can't find a phone no.

www.angeltrain.com.au (ACT)

Most Aus folk music is independent so is not found in shops. The only shop I know is the Albion Park Post Office (several house south of Sydney). Try www.illawarrafolkclub.org.au for more info.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 07:12 PM

G'day again,

freda: I think Sydney singer / songwriter / tunesmith Phyl Lobl has done a very good job of editing Henry Lawson's long verse down to a singable length (I think it's on her CD Alcyone) ... and she set a tune to it. I'll scan in the edited song version and post it ... sometime!

fergie: I'll check to see if I have the tune in a book ... I certainly know the song well, but that's by osmosis! If you can't get a published version, you can PM me and I can send a scan of the appropriate page - or an image from a setting in my music program.

I have a song I wrote ... based on the fact that the Southern-English-collected song The Isle de France, which has a peripheral connection with the convict era in Australia, was half-collected in Australia. John Manifold found a woman who knew the tune from her father, who sang a version about a convict sailing "home" after release, but being shipwrecked on the south coast of Victoria ... from where he made his way to the Goldfields and was involved in the Eureka Uprising. Manifold's Penguin Australian Songbook has the tune with the English-collected words. As there has never been any subsequent trace of this Australian version ... I wrote my own, using the known tune (and we used to sing it in Selectors Bush Band).

It might be worth a look (if I dig it out quickly enough, I might sing it at the "James Craig" Shanty session (probably not tonight!).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Hrothgar
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 04:58 AM

It is, of course, politically incorrect to express the opinion that the rebels at Eureka were a bunch of foreign miners who wanted to exploit Australia's resources, and take their profits back whence they came, without paying the legal Australian taxes.

If Peabody Coal Co want to do it, it's quite rightly regarded as a crime. If it's a bunch of Irishmen, it's different ....


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 06:49 AM

Hrothgar
If your contribution is motivate by genuine opinion then it is illinformed. It might profit you to read a little concerning the issues and events that lead the miners to such action. It might also profit you to read of the verdicts reached by the courts when some of the miners were put on trial for their actions, and further it might be informative for you to know of the political and social reforms that were introduced as a direct result of this watershed event in the history and development of the Australian nation.
Kind regard
Fergus


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Fergie
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 07:02 AM

HI
The posting prior to this one was contributed by me but for some reason my pc dropped my cookie an I ended up as a GUEST.
Fergus


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Subject: Lyr Add: Fight at Eureka / Isle of France (Aust)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 08:14 AM

G'day yet again,

freda: Phyl points out that she didn't do the original trimming and tune - that was done by Royston Nicholas in 1974. Phyl did some morer trimming and modifying ... and I'll let her explain (notes from her CD Alcyone)

The Fight at Eureka Stockade
(Henry Lawson/Royston Nicholas adapted Phyl Lobl)

I added a verse to the original adaptation by Royston Nicholas, which I've heard only via other singers. Because Lalor & Carboni didn't get a suitable mention I added mine. I wanted to make a song more relevant for primary school kids studying the topic 'Gold In Australia'. There are some other changes to the original, which is available in a number of publications.

'We were all of us young on the diggings, in the days when the nation had birth —
Light-hearted, and careless, and happy, the flower of all nations on earth;
But the creed of our rulers was narrow — they ruled with a merciless hand,
For the mark of the cursed broad-arrow, was deep in the heart of the land.

The troopers were most of them newchums, with many a gentleman's son;
Riding on horseback was easy, hunting the diggers was fun.
They roused the hot blood that was in us, the cry came to roll up at last;
I tell you that something had got to be done when the diggers rolled up in the past.

We were all of us young on the diggings, in the days when the nation had birth —
Light-hearted, and careless, and happy, the flower of all nations on earth.


They say that in spite of the talking it all might have ended in smoke,
But just at the point of the crisis Peter Lalor* quietly spoke.
'We have all had our say and its useless, you must fight or be slaves my friends
If its fight, and you're wanting a leader, I'll lead you right on to the end'.'

We built a stockade at Eureka, we fashioned a flag full of stars.
The weapons we gathered were meagre, pikestaffs, poles and some bars.
They marched in their hundreds from Creswick. Carboni and Lalor were there —
Resolved to make changes, determined to see that the laws of Australia were fair.

CHORUS

Surprised in the grey of the morning, half-armed and the barricades bad,
A battle of twenty-five minutes was long 'gainst the odds that we had,
The light of the morning was deadened as the smoke drifted over the town,
And the clay of Eureka was reddened ere the flag of the diggers came down.

But it rose in the hands of the people,
High on a breeze it is tossed.
It remembers the mates who had died for a cause
That was won when the battle was lost.

CHORUS

* ORIGINAL:' … the voice of a quiet man spoke
'We have had all our say and it's useless, you must fight or be slaves!' said the voice;
'If it's fight, and you're wanting a leader, I'll lead to the end — take your choice!'

* The added verse is No.4.

Fergie:

Here are the words I wrote to "create" the missing Australian words to The Isle de France:

Isle of France

Tune Trad.               New Words: Bob Bolton

As the sun went down and the moon advanced,
A storm swept up on the "Isle of France".
That ship was swept on to hidden shoals,
I alone was saved of one hundred souls.

On a speedy barque, named for that fair isle,
I was sailing home, freed from durance vile,
To my old home town and to all I know,
When vengeful fate struck this heavy blow.

I fought the waves, fled the savage shark,
On a broken spar from our shattered barque.
I came ashore, in the dark of night,
Fifty miles west of Port Phillip light.

I was found and saved by a party bold,
Bound for Ballaarat, there to search for gold.
So I went with them, sharing good or ill:
Staked a digger's claim, south of Bakery Hill.

But the gold was scarce and the licence fee,
Was a pound too much for a man like me;
So with Lalor, Vern, and Black and Hayes,
A flag of stars, at Eureka raised.

That Sunday morn, we were scarce awake,
When the Redcoat troops did our stockade take.
Full thirty miners lay in their gore;
They thought they'd crushed us for evermore!

But the Miner's Right, we have won at last.
It's history now, the reforms have passed.
But remember how the reform was made
At Eureka Lead, in a bush stockade.

(I'll send off the MIDI and my "sheet music" version direct to Joe Offer & MMario.)

Regards,

Bob

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: cobber
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 08:29 AM

Hi Bob and others. Does anyone remember the album Shirley Jacobs did with Ade Monsborough in the early seventies, called The Legend That Is Lawson. I'm coming down out of the hills for the winter so I'll have access to it in a week or so. It had a marvellous setting of the Eureka song. The settings were a bit too "jazzy" to suit the taste of most folkies at the time, in other words you couldn't get the same effect with simple chording, but there were several other songs that really shone. It came out on RCA and if you get a chance it's worth a listen.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,HEELY in the USA
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 12:46 PM

GUys, Thanks for the cheer for the day. I have been delighted to visit Ballarat and see where my relatives started out. I have 4 Grandparents in the Stockade - their signatures were on the manifesto. Best wishes on gathering these tunes. I have on a ring of Ballarat gold from 1853. THanks Heely in VIrginia


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BALLAD OF EUREKA
From: Fergie
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 04:49 PM

Thanks everybody for the contributions. I visited the school library today and among the poetry section I found a book The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads edited by Russel Ward published 1964.
It contained the following song by Victor J Daly no air or tune was given.

A Ballad of Eureka

Stand up, my young Australian,
In the brave light of the sun,
And hear how Freedom's battle
Was in old days lost - and won.
The Blood burns in my veins, boy,
As it did in days of yore,
Remembering Eureka,
And the men of 'Fifty-four.

The Tyrants of the Goldfields
Would not let us live in peace;
They harried us and chased us
with their horse and foot police.
Each man must show his licence
When they choose, by fits and starts;
They tried to break our spirits,
And they almost broke our hearts.

There comes a time to all men
When submission is a sin;
We made a bonfire brave, and
Flung our licences therein,
Our hearts with scorn and anger
Burned more fiercely than the flame,
Full well we knew our peril,
But we dared it all the same.

On Bakery Hill the Banner
Of the Southern Cross flew;
Then up spoke Peter Lalor,
And with lifted hand spake he:-
'We sware by God above us,
While we live, to work and fight
For Freedom and for Justice,
For our Manhood and our Right.'

Then, on the bare earth kneeling,
As on a chapel-floor,
Beneath the sacred Banner,
One and all, that oath we swore:
And some of those who swore it
Were like straws upon a flood,
But there were men who swore it
And who sealed it with their blood.

I said, my young Australian,
That the fight was lost - and won -
But, oh, our hearts were heavy
At the setting of the sun.
Yet, ere the year was over,
Freedom rolled in like a flood:
They gave us all we asked for -
When we asked for it in blood.

The bitter fight was ended,
And with cruel coward-lust,
They dragged our sacred Banner
Through the Stockade's bloody dust.
But, patient as the gods are,
Justice counts the years and waits -
That Banner now waves proudly
Over Six Australian States.

God rest you, Peter Lalor!
For you were a whiteman whole;
A swordblade in the sunlight
Was your bright and gallant soul.
And God reward you kindly,
Father Smith, alive or dead:
'Twas you that gave him shelter
When a price was on his head.

Within the Golden City
In the place of peace profound
The Heroes sleeps, Thread softly:
'Tis Australia's Holy Ground.
And evermore Australia
Will keep green in her heart's core
The Memory of Lalor
And the men of 'Fifty-four.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 06:02 PM

Putting aside Hrothgar's point, and it's a valid one, about whether the events at Eureka were really about freedom at all, I want to mention another aspect of Eureka.
There was a TV documentory aired recently, and it's my view that there will be more like this one, about the the Eureka Stockade being an Irish rebellion. The Irish, it was said, had better reason than most to fight for liberty. Some of the words used in this documentory were actually straight out of the American constitution.
Certainly Lalor and others were Irish BUT - The facts are that, the men involved were a very mixed bunch of from not only the British Isles but also from America and Europe where there had already been a number of freedom movements. (A war in the case of America) In fact the man who gave the speech that lead directly to the events at Eureka was German. Lalor and his deputation were all for waiting.
At the time the greater percentage of gold miners, in the area, were actually Cornish. The Eureka flag was designed by a Cornishman and is based on the Cornish flag. The Cornish motto is "One and All" - a fitting idea for a trade union. (Not that I am suggesting that Eureka was a Cornish plot either). The miners' petition that lead up to the events at the Eureka Stockade was signed by hundreds of miners who had come from all over the world. To suggest that the idea of freedom is somehow an Irish idea alone is nonsense. To suggest that the idea of men and women, fighting together for fair conditions in the workforce is an Irish idea alone is also nonsense.
I do wish that the fashion for Irishness would go away. With apologies to Great-great Grandma Sarah. Joy


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Subject: Lyr Add: CROSS OF THE SOUTH (Kenneth Cook)
From: JennieG
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 10:59 PM

Cross of the South
Words by Kenneth Cook, Melody Traditional Irish (seems remarkably to me like Kelly the boy from Killane)

'Twas the month of December, the year fifty-four
When the men of Eureka rebelled.
And they swore that the flag they had made for themselves
Ever proudly aloft would be held.
The miners took arms in the stockade that day,
The bold word passed from mouth to mouth
'We will stand by this flag and the stars that it bears,
White stars of the Cross of the South'.

The hot blood of the heroes ran fast in their veins,
There was but one man they obeyed.
The hero of heroes they chose from their ranks
Peter Lalor their hero they made.
Peter Lalor said, 'We must stand by our guns,
Fear not the cannon's fierce mouth!
For I see the soldiers are gathering now
To tear down the Cross of the South'.

Captain Thomas charged the Eureka Stockade,
Three hundred troops by his side.
Fire and steel met them there and they fell back again,
But the first of the miners had died.
The smoke from the battle had scared cleared away
When the soldiers came charging once more,
The miners were killed as they stood 'round their flag
Or fell from the wounds they bore.

Bold Peter Lalor lay shot on the grund
Where the soldiers had left him for dead,
And the flag that he loved lay there by his side,
The white stars all stained with red.
Peter Lalor he rose on his knees in the dust,
Wild words poured from his mouth:
'You can murder us all in black tyranny's name,
But you can't kill the Cross of the South'.

There is a small museum in Ballarat called 'Montrose Cottage' which when we were there had a very good exhibit on "The Women of Eureka', worth seeing if you are in the area. The original flag is in the Ballarat City Art Gallery.

Cheers
JennieG who didn't (as far as is known) have any forebears connected with Eureka


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: freda underhill
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 11:17 PM

thanks Bob - i have that CD and will have another listen..

Cornish? we'll have to tell Carrl about that!

best wishes

freda

ps beginning to get excited about the National


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Mar 04 - 06:00 PM

Me too freda. The National will be fun.
My great-great grandfather, two of his sons and several members of our extended family (my great-grandfather was too young at the time) all signed the miners' petition that was part of the lead-up to Eureka. It's on display at Ballarat too - or was last I heard. Little bit of trivia about that petition - the signatures from the miners at Beechworth were stolen along with a shipment of gold. They were being transported by coach and it was held up by bushrangers. The mail including the signatures was never found. Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 04 - 06:58 PM

It's worth pointing out that these 'noble miners' were a bunch of racists who constantly indulged in violence against the large population of Chinese on the goldfields. The Chinese used their ancient mining skills very effectively in their new surroundings causing great resentment and jealousy among the European diggers, especially when the Chinese used their skills to find gold in areas that had been thought to be worked out. Things got so bad that the 'evil' old colonial government was forced to appoint officers to ensure the well-being of the Chinese population in mining areas and defend them against the rinky-dinky you-beaut true-blue miners, who were very loud on rights and freedom, as long as it applied to whites only.The famous Eureka flag was for years the banner of the 'Australia for the white man' brigade, and symbolic of the racist Australian working man's paranoid fear of immigrants entering the country and 'stealing' their jobs.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Mar 04 - 07:33 PM

It's also worth pointing out that all of the settlers destroyed for ever the land they claimed as their "right". The Aboriginal people already living there in relative harmony with the land were not allowed any "rights". Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Hrothgar
Date: 14 Mar 04 - 05:25 AM

I have actually read about Eureka and the surrounding circumstances, Fergus.

The proposition that the laws were unjust has some validity, but the fact remains that they were the law of the land. Now, anyone who wants to change the law of the land has several options for changing it. Violent and bloody rebellion is well down on my list of favoured alternatives.

If the miners were citizens, they might have had some opportunity to change the law through influencing the government through democratic means. However, the franchise at that time was greatly restricted for a start, and even if the franchise was as wide as it is today, most of the miners might not have had the residential qualification required. I do assume that in most cases British citizenship would not have been a problem, especially for the Irish (whether they wanted it or not).

The only apparent alternative, therefore, was peaceful public protest. That peaceful protest was possible and productive, though slow, in that day and age is demonstrated by the Chartist protest of 1848. The closest the Ballarat miners came to peaceful protest, as far as I remember, was burning down Bentley's pub without actually killing anyone.

Some might say that the Irish were reacting in some way to the treatment they and their people had received at home. This might or might not have been a cause for grievance, but it does not excuse their starting a war here.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: cobber
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 11:49 PM

It's hard to say at this distance what was right or wrong, but I often think that if it was just about greed and money, none of the miners would have been ready to die for it. It was more about having to pay a heavy licence fee without any say in how the fields were being run. After the fight, most of what the diggers wanted was granted, so there must have been something in their claims. A few years ago, someone found all the official documents from the time which had been stored in the toilets at one of the government buildings, I believe the jail or police headquaters. Someone got permission to explore these which apparently was not too pleasant as they had been used as targets by some of the more playful users of the toilet. Among the correspondence were letters to and from the officials at Ballarat and one of the interesting things that came to light was that the government forces were sailors taken from ships that were in dock at the time. Does anyone remember any more of this?


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: cobber
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 05:42 AM

The above should have read, "the government forces included" nor "were". Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,megp
Date: 27 May 04 - 11:26 PM

i think womens liberation rights should hae been invented in this
time because of the way they were treated(sexism).


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,bev.magill @bigpond.au
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 10:17 AM

I also have a ring from Ballarat. My proof is the spelling inside the ring is Ballarrat. I simply wish to know more of it's origin


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM

Bev, I've seen books on Australian antiques & jewellery, including goldfields jewellery. Your local library might be able to help you find them.

There is probably also a Ballarat historical society. Again you could try your librray, or maybe do an internet search.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 08:04 PM

G'day bev.magill,

Have a close look at the engraving inside the ring. The official name (1851) was "Ballaarat" - so it may be that the first 'r' of your reading is actually an 'a'. The name was, apparently, a local Aboriginal language (Wuywurung ... ?) word for "resting place" ... at least, until all those white fellas started feverishly digging for gold!

I do have a publication on goldfields jewellery - aimed mostly at collectors/investors. I'll see if I can dig it out, but that is mainly interested in the larger pieces, especially those featuring distinctive goldfields motifs. The vast bulk of goldfields jewellery was knocked up by local, colonial, goldsmiths and was more notable for gold content than for high design. Most of this was melted down for its gold value when the money ran out!

A small piece, with probably more sentimental attachment ... such as a ring might have ... would be a likely survival - but of more personal than intrinsic value.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,Fred and willma brachs
Date: 24 Oct 04 - 07:47 PM

fuckyou


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Subject: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,mark gregory
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM

There are 20 songs and poems relating to or about Eureka at

http://eureka150.net/songs.htmlhttp://eureka150.net/songs.html

and there are probably another dozen or so I've yet to discover

regards

mark


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 06:23 AM

hello, Mark

thanks & welcome to Mudcat

sandra


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: rich-joy
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 01:38 AM

keep refreshed


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 02:11 AM

Keep your powder dry...


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 08:04 PM

I said, my young Australia,
That the fight was lost - and won -
But, oh, our hearts were heavy
At the setting of the sun.
Yet, ere the year was over
Freedom rolled in like a flood
They gave us all we asked for
When we asked for it in blood


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: rich-joy
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 02:45 AM

refresh for GUEST, ceejay ...

(perhaps some Mudcat Elf can join the threads?!)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 08:52 AM

Peter Hicks, father of one of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, was asked to march in the dawn march this year, thereby causing great fuss. Much complaining about 'bringing politics into Eureka Stockade Celebration....

Which is amusing when you realise just WHY the miners made a (political) fuss about human rights, and that pretty well most political reform in Australia flowed as a result of the incident - universal suffrage, vote for women, etc, many of them before other countries did so too...

And Peter Hicks, amusingly enough, is actually a descendant of one of the original protesting miners.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,CeeJay
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:20 AM

Thanks R-J for directing me to this thread. I hadn't expected to find a discussion on the history of the Eureka Stockade episode itself in this section of the forum, but then I notice that it started off discussing songs about the event.
Isn't it interesting that any suggestion of an Irish dimension to the story is still so obviously resented in some quarters, even from some who would abhor the 'racism' of the miners? A manifestation of the old 'croppies lie down' attitude resurfacing in the first decade of the 21st century? You've had your turn at being 'fashionable' now back to your proper place.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,John in Brisbane
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:27 AM

I find the anniversary of the 'Uprising' to be of greater significance than any other day that Australians have deemed to be worthy of Poblic Holidays - the real test of how important a celebration is to Australia.. I'd give the flick to Queen's Birthday, Australia Day. These two in particular I find particularly odious and are the complete antithesis of the values that I cherish. Eureka Stockade certainly was the real nursery of independent political thought in Australia and the manifestation that average people who were prepared to fight for their democratic rights could actually make a real difference.

Regards, John

PS I went to secondary school in Ballarat.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 06:57 PM

The documentory to which I referred, Ceejay, claimed more than "a suggestion of an Irish dimension" to the Eureka story. It seemed to be claiming that it was an Irish uprising. That the idea of freedom and democracy was an Irish invention.
Of course Irish miners played a part at Ballarat but they were alongside miners from at least 100 other countries.

A bit of balance here! That's all I'm seeking.
I'll happily wear the "unfashionable" lable but I'll not wear the "racist" one.
I think we've seen a bit of balance actually. Now that the big day is upon us.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 08:04 PM

I do believe that some of the Euraka miners knew about 'Vinegar Hill' - also a large Irish contingent there, which funnily enough had been transported by the English for making trouble about much the same things over there... :-)


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 08:49 PM

They knew about the American constitution too. Also about the various freedom movements in Europe.
A bit of a deviation here but speaking of looking from different angles. To quote Geoffrey Blainey (Royalauto Nov 2004):
"Some politicians even argue that Ballarat in 1854 was the birthplace of democracy in Australia. Such an argument is pretty hard to accept. South Australia, with a quiet and law-abiding population and no goldfield worthy of the name, gained what we call democracy at exactly the same time as Victoria.
    "Eureka had another effect which is rarely noticed. Lalor's appeal to arms led to the loss of many lives, and a painful military defeat for the rebels. While his words and actions persuaded many to this day that rebellion is sometimes the only course of action, it probably persuaded an even larger number of Australians that governing by debate [rather] than by force is the wisest mode of government."
A bit more to ponder. Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,the old pooperoo
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:00 PM

One fact is consistently overlooked:
the miners were NOT WORKERS. they were self-employed entrepeneurs (beloved of george bush & john howard). their core grievance was that the crown was charging them too much for the use of crown land. after the rebellion, they were dealt with leniently by a government that was obviously sympathetic to small business.
this event is dear to the hearts of those who define democracy in terms of business opportunity, ie political conservatives, and this is why a growing number of neo-cons are claiming the eureka incident as a cause of their own. o p


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,CeeJay
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 11:12 PM

G'day Joybell,sorry if I misunderstood you, what was the title of that documentary you found so biased?
BTW, does anyone know how many of the 30 miners and the five soldiers/police that were killed that morning were actually Irish?


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 03:23 AM

Hello CeeJay, The documentary was on the ABC a few months back. Don't recall the title, sorry. As I said, since it was aired the news reports about the celebrations have been less speculative and mostly a bit more accurate. The magazine article from which I quoted came later too.
I was cross about what I saw as the rewriting of history to fit a current fashion. I would have been just as cross if it had been claimed that Eureka was an American uprising or a German one. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 07:39 AM

Actually, the old pooperoo (above) is not that far from the point... :-)


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Ooh-Aah2
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 03:39 PM

I too went to secondary school in Ballarat (Ballarat and Clarendon College actually!) I remember being forced to swim in the pool next to the Eureka monument.

I have problems with the Eureka rebellion. The miners were apallingly racist, and spent a great deal of their time calling for the Chinese to be barred from the goldfields - the Chinese, with centuries of technical know-how, were adept at extracting gold where the white miners couldn't (especially mullock heaps) to their great jealousy and frustration. For decades the Eureka flag featured at the head of 'The Bulletin' magazine alongside the disgusting slogan 'Australia for the white man'. It has been called 'the first flag of white racist Australia.' It was the 'wicked' old colonial government who provided special officers to protect the Chinese (most of them refugees - nothing changes) from the white miners who were constantly threatening to run them off the gold-fields. The claims I heard recently about Eureka being a model of multiculturalism are revoltingly hypocritical - the miners came from all over the place, true, but they were all white and overwhelmingly racist.

The claims re. advancing democracy made for the miners are utterly ridiculous. The incident actually set democracy in Victoria back significantly - according to a program on Radio National that was on recently, the biggest reaction was embarrassment and humiliation. It was realised that the hard core of the miners were Irish and Americans persuing their private hatreds against the British, and not representative of the vast majority of loyal Victorians at all. Meanwhile the other states progressed happily to democracy without any blood being spilt. New Zealand, with an extremely small Irish component compared with Australia, remarkably strong loyalty to Britain and no bloody rebellions had full sufferage for men AND women before almost anyone else in the world. Eureka, schmeureka.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 06:35 PM

Ooh-Ah2, Welcome. You are quite right. We heard that Radio National broadcast too. Wasn't it Geoffrey Blainey with Phillip Adams? The ABC is so valuable. We worry about it a lot in these times. I got rather side-tracked over one particular bit of history rewriting, but it wasn't the important bit. Thank you for bringing us back to the really important part. You and the old pooparoo are so right.
(My particular problem is that every time I open my mouth and sing someone says, "What a lovely old Irish song." or some such. I get a bit weary of hearing how everything has Irish roots.)
It's so good to have people speaking up for facts. The idea that it's not the truth that's important, but the what people feel takes us into realms I'd rather we didn't go. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 07:15 PM

The Trade Union Movement and the Labour Party were violently Racist too untill fairly recently when they dropped the White Australia Policy - "Australia for the White Man" was the slogan...


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,CeeJay
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 09:29 PM

Surely accusing the miners at Eureka of being racist is a bit of an anachronism? Society at large in those days was incredibly racist in comparison to our own still less than perfect time. You have only to go to the archives of any newspaper of the 1850s to see that.

Perhaps its true that the Irish miners were just out to 'have a go' at the hated English, and not all that interested in democracy or liberty, but then it would have to be conceded that Irish experience of obtaining justice from the imperial power was probably different to that of other colonists from more favoured parts of the United Kingdom. Could it be that the Victorian colonial parliament of the day, controlled as it was by large landholders and elected on a property franchise, were reluctant to grant democracy to the miners because so many of them were 'Irish riff raff'and dubious types from other countries? Was Eureka then, one more instance of the Irish, having apparently no choice but to be part of Britain's empire, showing their determination to not accept second class status within it?


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 06:19 AM

Well since the Thoroughbred English Gentlemen' were behaving like arrogant powermad thugs, any reasonable low class person on the receiving end would have not liked them very much....

Peter Hicks led off the 3 am lantern parade - the organisers had asked him to be the 'leading light' this year....


I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Joybell
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 07:38 PM

Ceejay, My ancestors were Cornish, English and Irish. All were diggers, wives of diggers, children of diggers. All were poor. The Cornish ones had been poor miners before they came to Australia. They all settled in the (then)tent city of Bendigo (near Ballarat) In researching my family history, which includes reading old newspappers and diaries I've not found any sort of focus (racist or otherwise) directed particularly towards the Irish, of the type you describe.

The other point to note is that the proportion of Irish on the Central Victorian goldfields was relatively small. (actually as it was elsewhere). We've been told otherwise I know, but the facts are that it was much easier, quicker and cheaper to get to America from Ireland.
Just why I'm arguing about not letting the Irish have Eureka, I can't imagine. It's just that I dislike the rewrting of history. Cheers Joy


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,CeeJay
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM

I find it difficult to follow your argument, Joybell, as you continually refer to sources without naming any of them. I don't think I argued that racism in 19th century society was directed at one particular group.

My own view of Eureka is that the miners in general were incensed at the various restrictions on them by government, particularly the licence fee and the manner of its collection, but the majority could not bring themselves to outright armed confrontation with the authorities. Probably the traditions which they had brought with them to Ballarat from their various countries of origin played a big part in this. We know that many were British, American and Canadian and there was a fair admixture of nationals from European countries which had recently undergone revolutions or had 'liberalising' movements. Interestingly, it was the Americans, a people with a tradition of armed rebellion against 'lawful authority', who formed the best armed detachment among the more militant miners but they seem to have been either conned or otherwise persuaded to absent themselves on the crucial morning. So it was the Irish who formed the core of that militant group which stayed inside the stockade and provided the 'blood sacrifice' that has perpetuated the name of 'Eureka'. Note that I say 'the core', I do not claim that the Irish were the only ones to stay put, nor even that they were the majority of that group, but that they gave it its impetus.

Peter Lalor's older brother, James Fintan Lalor was a revolutionary in Ireland and famously declared, 'the land of Ireland for the people of Ireland'. Although Peter was quite a lot younger we may well imagine that revolutionary ideals were familiar to him as a young man of education. Thus however reluctantly it is said that he mounted the stump, once up there he addressed the meeting in terms of what he believed to be right. Nothing he said was likely to have been objectionable to the great majority of those present, among whom were Chartists, Communarians and others who had in their recent lives experienced the European 'Year of Revolutions' of 1848. Certainly he would have struck a chord with most of the Irish in his audience who would have had recent memories of the O'Connellite Home Rule movement and its breakaway 'Young Irelanders', as well as the Famine of 1845 - 1851. Along with these may have been a leavening of the 'larrikin' element who are always ready to stoke the fires of civil disorder for their own purposes, be they nefarious or merely a need for excitement.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: GUEST,shirin
Date: 08 May 06 - 04:18 AM

couls someone please do me a favour?? i am doing a high school assignment on the cross of the south and i really need a copy of the song. would you be kind enought to either, put the song on the site, tell me what site i can get it from, or post a reply , and ill tell u my email
thank you so much,
shirin


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: John O'L
Date: 08 May 06 - 05:26 AM

The Cross of the South seems to be an American Civil War song.

Can't find anything relevant to Eureka I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 May 06 - 07:09 AM

See post 10.59 12 Mar 04

Cross of the South
Words by Kenneth Cook, Melody Traditional Irish


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old
From: John O'L
Date: 08 May 06 - 07:14 AM

My mistake. Powerful song it is too.


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Subject: RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old (songs about)
From: mark gregory
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:43 PM

found this one today

... published in four local newspapers one of them twice ... is this
the first Eureka Poem Competition ?

The Broadford Courier and Reedy Creek Times Friday 27 April 1894 p.5
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58881092

Oakleigh Leader Saturday 28 April 1894 p.3
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66216171

The Caulfield and Elsternwick Leader Saturday 28 April 1894 p.3
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66877690

Queenscliff Sentinel, Drysdale, Portarlington & Sorrento Advertiser
Saturday 5 May 1894 p.2
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74273830

Queenscliff Sentinel, Drysdale, Portarlington & Sorrento Advertiser
Saturday 4 August 1894 p.2
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74274365

EUREKA.
(By the Rev. T. J. Hyder. Awarded first prize in the Hibernian Society
competition for a poem on the subject).

Men came with hearts of hope and pitched their tents
Across the ranges of the trackless bush,
Driving the silence northward to the plains.
They wrought and wrested from the stubborn earth
Her stores of gold, smiling at Want and Care.
Then came stern faces frowning Freedom down
Commissioners with arbitrary powers,
And force to harry all the busy field
With licence-hunting, till black blood was made,
And men, treated like brutes, showed rage as brutes.
The savage natures stirred the milder up,
Revolting at the burden and the shame;
For it was open scandal to the Crown
That honest toil was forced to pay a fee
Exorbitant for right to earn its bread.
The law smote men upon the sweating face
With whips of scorpions. Were they wretched slaves
That brother men should shoot and fiercely hunt,
And ride them down with armed horse and force ?
The freeborn to produce a paper right
To that eternal right of man, his right
To liberty ! What freeborn man could stand
And suffer sabre blow, and bayonet thrust
Oppressing and coercing, without rage
And brave revolt ? To be downtrodden, cursed,
Pursued like beasts, and chained to trees and logs; -
Confined at tyrants' will—these were the wrongs
That made Eureka's bloody work, and tore
The shackled liberty of manhood free.
The diggers made no open breach, though men
Had torn down kingdoms for injustice less.
One day a boist'rous fellow in his cups
Demanded drink, and furious words ensued
At Bentley's, the Eureka Inn, ill-famed,
And Bentley cleft the man between the eyes,
Smiting him dead, himself not held to blame.
That gross collusion, murder bribing law,
Set fire to all the miners' honest hearts.
Then out there poured ten thousand angry men,
Who, at the Inn, broke through the long restraint,
Wreckt the vile den and gave it to the flames,
The murderer escaping for his life.
Then came injustice grosser still. Three men
Were seized and tried for rooting out the plague,
And prisoned. Swift remonstrance rose
To plead before stern Hotham ; but he drove
The deputies away with unwise words.
The diggers rose, and swore before Just God
To strike for Freedom. Licences were burnt,
And all Eureka burst into revolt.
Men, desperate, took arms ; and to conceal
The daily drill set up a frail stockade
About that sacred acre on the hill,
The Stockade of Eureka. A leader came,
A man of Celtic blood and honest hand,
And he, grown great for Freedom, never flinched
The awful call of Duty, but in love
Of glorious Liberty gave all his heart,
He, standing up before insulted man,
Thus nobly spoke ;—" I shall not shrink;
I mean
To do my duty as a man ; and once
I pledge my hand, I will defile it not
By treachery, nor by mean cowardice,
Render that hand contemptible."* Then he
Upreared the Southern Cross as Freedom's flag
Full eighty feet; and, rising dominant,
Swore those Five Hundred there beneath the flag
To stand and strike for Freedom. He himself
First reverent kneeling, swore in glowing words,
By that most sacred Standard, to defend
Their rights and liberties. Then thrilling rose
The loud " Amen," five hundred hands upstretched
Towards the Standard. But, like Gideon's host,
They dwindled down, till but a third stood round
Brave Lalor when the desperate fight began.
That '54 December opened fierce
With furnace heat; the night came on with storm
And sheets of rain; offended Heaven poured
The lightning down, and God's great power was seen
In awful light. Upon the second day
A demonstration in the silvery dawn
In force came menacing the Bakery Hill;
But like a threatening wave rolled back again.
Next day, the third, at dawn, a sentry fired
Upon the troops advancing : bugle-blasts
Rang out, and on the soldiers rushed with cheers,
Just twice the force within the mean Stockade,
With threatening horsemen as a grim support.
A furious fire began the deadly work.
Men fell in sudden death, while Lalor urged
The remnant into holes. The bayonet charge
Was on them. Lalor fell with shattered arm,
And loyal comrades hid him under slabs,
While shouting, swearing, in the redcoats swept,
Tearing the flimsy barrier down; and then
They smote to death the few who fought, and drove
The helpless rebels, overmatched, with blows
Into their camp, and tore the Standard down.
......................
Lalor, a price upon his life escaped.,
A one-armed man, and sheltered from the storm.
But men rose up throughout the land and forced
The bitter curse to cease, and pardon came,
And righteous laws proclaimed the Freedom found.
He who had led the right against the might
God set as legislator, crowning him
With strength and infinite esteem, and made
His wisdom power amidst the sons of men,
Till he was lifted up to rule them all.
Thus was Eureka lost and Freedom won.

*Lalor's own words.


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Mudcat time: 25 September 1:10 PM EDT

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