Australian Folk Songs

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The Drover

(Supplied by S. Mendelsohn, Nanango.)
Air--"True British Sailors."

Farewell and adieu to you, Brisbane ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you, girls of Toowong;
We have sold all our cattle and cannot now linger,
But trust we shall see you again before long.

Chorus. We sing and we shout like true Queensland natives
As merrily, merrily onward we push
Until we return to the Old Cattle Station--
What joy and delight is a life in the bush!

The first camp we make is called the Good Luck;
Caboolture and Kilcoy, then Colinton Hut;
We pull up at Stone-house, Bob Williams's paddock,
And soon the next morning we cross the Black Butt.

On, on, past Taromeo to Yarraman Creek, boys;
It's there we will make a fine camp for the day.
When the water and grass are both plenty and good boys,
The life of the drover is merry and gay.

The camp is all snug and supper is over,
We lounge round the fire enjoying a smoke,
While yarning of Home, or the life of a drover,
Till all join in chorus to Grandfather's Clock.

Next night through Nanango--the jolly old township.
"Good day to you, lads," with a hearty shake hands,
"Come on; this is my shout! Well, here's to your next trip,
And we hope you will step in to-night at our dance!"

Oh, the girls look so pretty--the sight is entrancing--
Bewitching and graceful they join in the fun
Of waltz, polka, first set, and all other dancing,
To the old concertina of Jack Smith, the Don.

Though far I have travelled through Russia and Finns-Land,
Have met the famed damsels of Poland and Spain;
More lovely and fair are the darlings of Queensland;
You may search the wide world for their equals in vain.

Now drink to our Lasses in right hearty fashion,
Come, sing the loud chorus--sing farewell to all;
And when we return from the Old Cattle Station
We'll always be pleased to give you a call.


From The Queenslander Saturday 7 July 1894.

Flotsam and Jetsam.
Songs of the Bush.

[We purpose giving, under this heading, as many of the well-known Australian bush songs as can be gathered together. There are many such songs that have never appeared in print, but have been handed on from man to man as news was circulated before the days of newspapers, and in many cases the names of the authors are unknown or doubtful. We shall be glad to receive copies of any favourite bush songs which our readers can supply, with (if known) names of authors and the tunes to which they are usually sung. When two or more versions of one song are received the one which is apparently most correct will be used. The names, or noms de plume, of senders will be published with the verses.]


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory