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Gumtree Canoe

I'll sing you a ditty a sweet little song
It will just take a moment it wont keep you long
I will sing of the days when our love was so new
And we sailed down the Murray River boys
In a gum tree canoe

We rowed we rowed o'er the water so blue
Like a feather we would float along
In a gum tree canoe

My hand on my banjo my toe in my oar
I work all the day and I sing as I go
At night time I turn to my Julia so true
And we sail down Murray River boys
In a gum tree canoe

I once left the river and went on the land
To set myself up as a cocky so grand
But the life didn't suit me it made my heart sore
So I went to the Murray River boys
And my Julia so true


Printed in Gumsuckers' Gazette April 1963 The song was sent to Frank Nicholls of the Billabong Band in Melbourne in 1957. Frank Nicholls wrote "It was sent to us by Mrs J. Wilson, who we met at one of our functions. The song was remembered by members of her family who learned it from Freddie Bolton". The Folk Lore Society of Victoria collected another version from Max Dyer of Benambra. Warren Fahey recorded Jim Cargill singing a version which is on Larrikin record Bush Traditions.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory