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The Banks Of The Condamine (1894)
[Horse-breaking Version]

(Supplied by "FAITHFUL JOE," Nanango.)
AIR--"Willie Riley."

"Hark! hark! the dogs are barking;
My love, I must away;
The lads are all horse-breaking,
No longer can I stay.
I am bound for the camp, my love;
'Tis many a weary mile--
To join the jolly horse-breakers
On the banks of the Condamine."

"Oh! Willie, dearest Willie,
Don't leave me here behind
To fret and rue the hour
That e'er you learned to ride;
For parting with my own true love
Is like parting with my life;
Why don't you be a selector ?
And I will be your wife ?

"I'll cut off all my yellow locks
And go along with you;
I'll put on a pair of moleskins
And be a rider too.
I'll cook and boil your billy
While at riding you do shine,
And wash your dirty moleskins
On the banks of the Condamine."

"Oh! Nancy, dearest Nancy,
With me you cannot go;
The boss he has gave orders
No females there must go.
Your waist is far too slender,
And your fingers are too small;
And you could not ride an outlaw
If one to you should fall.

Well here's my curse to riding,
And the day it first began,
For it has deprived our Queensland
Of many a bright young man ;
It's stolen from us our own true loves,
And husbands for a time,
Let us pray for these who're riding
On the banks of the Condamine.

And when the riding's over,
And home we can return
To onr sweethearts and our wives
Whom we've left behind to mourn,
We'll embrace them in our arms, my boys--
It's those who are so fine ;
And we'll tell them of the riding
On the banks of the Condamine.


From The Queenslander Saturday 4 August 1894. p. 212.

This song was 6 weeks later reprinted in the Launceston Newspaper the Tasmanian Saturday 15 September 1894 p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory