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Wooyeo Ball

The verses written by Vox Silvis, Euabalong, 1888, are:-

O, who has not heard of the Wooyeo Ball,
Where the clans of the Lachlan, the great and the small,
Come bent on diversion, from far and from near,
To shake off dull care at least once a year.

The lairds of fat wethers assembled, in force,
And with them their dames; as a matter of course,
While here may be seen the spruce manager, too.
With the best of good fellows, the gay Jackeroo.

There were maidens in plenty - some two or three score,
Some weaners, some two-tooths, it may be some more,
And their fleeces so puffy, so fluffy and clean,
Hid the daintiest creatures that ever were seen.

The bachelors seemed to be frisky and stout.
But the old fellows suffered immensely from drought.
If the water was scarce, sure the whisky was there,
And the way they tucked in was a caution, I'll swear.

There was music and dancing, and going the pace.
Some went at a canter, some went at a race;
There was bobbing and sliding, and twisting and gliding,
And, to vary the measure, some couples colliding.

Much hugging and squeezing - of course on the sly -
And tender emotions when bidding "Good-bye."
The men swore they were all as right as a trivet,
As they gulped down their 20th nip of "Glenlivet."

O, the Wooyeo Ball was a wonderful sight,
As the dancing went on thro' the whole blessed night,
And many there were who will love to recall
The fun that they had at the Wooyeo Ball.


Published in the Sydney Stock and Station Journal Tuesday 8 March 1921 p. 2. under the title "WOOYEO BALL Memories of '88"

Mr. David Hawkins, Barmedman, writes:-
"Arrival at Lake Cargellico yesterday brought back to my mind the Annual Amateur Race Meeting and Ball at Wooyeo, a few miles from The Lake, and the township races on the following day. Most of the old fossils are gone, but to the younger generation, there, is still a remembrance of that gathering. The enclosed poetry by Vox Silvis, Euabalong, splendidly pictures the ball.

"When one remembers the distance from rail - no motor cars; good old horses and buggies, drags and an odd gig or sulky were relied upon to bring picnickers from far and near to these functions - they were a great success, Visitors came from Sydney and Melbourne to rail-end, thence by road. Visitors from Young, Wagga, Junee, Grenfell, Forbes, The Bland, all along the Lachlan River to far below Hay, besides the Humbug Creek residents and thereabouts. Those days are gone, but the recollection is sweet. I do not know (never did know who Vox Silvis was, but he knew what he was writing about. Amongst the owners and riders at the last Wooyeo meeting are: Messrs. Brewer. J . E. and Bros., C. W. T. Brown. Moulder, Bob MacPherson (Fullerton. ) A. E. McLeod, Orrs, Scabdal, Killaloo, Keepsake, Hurrah, Crown Mynosmene, Rob Roy, etc.,

Mr. P. J. Cox, of Merringreen, was a visitor to Wooyeo for many years. He gathered from and about Wagga, many buggy loads of sports and fair ladies, who joined him at Merringreen, and He at the lead showed them about 60 or 70 miles of beautiful country through Merringreen. Youngara, Bygaloree, Gorman's Hill West, and Wargambegal to The Lake. He always had a good horse or two in training : Society, Memento. Student, Britisher (after wards sold to Martin Loughlan). Alarm Bell, Vermont, Muldoon. Mulcare, Gladness, Valentine, and Killalloo. Keepsake, bred or owned by him, won in every State in the Commonwealth, as well as New Zealand, Tasmania, and India."

The fame of the Wooyeo Ball and the race meeting is mentioned in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald of Monday 29 April 1889 p. 5.

The Central Amateur Race Club held their annual meeting on Thursday at Wooyeo. Rain appeared imminent throughout the day ; but, fortunately for the success of the meeting, none fell. Fair fields saddled for each event, and the racing was on the whole very good. The great attraction of the meeting, the ball, was held in the evening in Wooyeo woolshed, which was tastefully decorated for the occasion, and this, as usual, proved a great success. During the evening a party of gentlemen announced their intention of con- tributing 65 towards the prize for the principal event at next meeting. The racing resulted as follows :
MAIDEN PLATE.-Killaloe, 1 ; Jimmy, 2; Little John, 3.
BRACELET.-Rob Roy, 1 ; Killaloe, 2 ; Darebin, 8.
LADY"S GIFT.-Tambourine, 1 ; Judge, 2.
HURDLER.-Rob Roy, 1 ; Elton, 2; Modesty, 3.
MEMBERS' GIFT.-Jimmy, 1.
HACK RACE.-Tambourine, 1.

Stewart and Keesing published in their Old Bush Songs under the title 'The Wooyeo Ball' with the note: "From Rob Webster's The First Fifty Years of Temora This song was dated 1888, and the place named was Euabalong" (see Euabalong Ball in this collection)


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory