Australian Folk Songs
songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home

play MIDI

Brisbane Ladies

Farewell and adieu to you Brisbane ladies
Farewell and adieu to you girls of Toowong
For we've sold all our cattle and have to be moving
But we hope we shall see you again before long

We'll rant and we'll roar like true Queensland drovers
We'll rant and we'll roar as onward we push
Until we get back to the Augathella station
It's flaming dry going through the old Queensland bush

The first camp we make we shall call it the Quart Pot
Cabbolture then Kilcoy and Collington's hut
We'll pull up at the Stone House, Bob Williamson's paddock
And early next morning we cross the Blackbutt

Then onto Taromeo and Yarraman Creek lads
It's there we shall make our next camp for the day
Where the water and grass are both plenty and sweet lads
And maybe we'll butcher a fat little stray

Then onto Nanango that hard-bitten township
Where the out of work station hands sit in the dust
And the shearers get shore by old Tim the contractor
I wouldn't go by there but I flaming well must

The girls of Toomancy they look so entrancing
Those young bawling heifers are out looking for fun
With the waltz and the polka and all kinds of dancing
To the racketty old banjo of Henry Gunn

Then fill up your glasses and we'll drink to the lasses
We'll drink this town dry then farewell to all
And when we return once more to Augathella
We hope you'll come by there and pay us a call


Printed in Stewart & Keesing Old Bush Songs with the note: "Reconstructed from a version in the Boomerang of 28th February 1891, and from a version collected by Mercedes Birkbeck, of "Old Glenmore", via Rockhampton, Queensland, from Mrs E. Ware, of Kelvin Grove, Brisbane." This version from the singing of A.L.Lloyd whose tune and fourth verse make it distinct from other versions: Then onto Nanango that hard-bitten township Where the out of work station hands sit in the dust..... Like a number of Bush Songs 'Brisbane Ladies' derives from a sailors song in this case 'Spanish Ladies'. Ron Edwards writes that a version appears in the Hurd collection (1894-1900) "with a note 'Supplied by S.Mendelsohn, Narango.' The song was written by Saul Mendelsohn, who was a storekeeper there, he died in 1879. The original title of the song was The Drover but in recent years it has always been known as Brisbane Ladies".


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory