Australian Folk Songs

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The Numerella

Air - "Nelly Gray."

There's a nice green gully on the Numerella Shore
Which I've ridden over many a day ;
Under Free-selection there I'll have acres by the score,
And unyoke my team from the dray.

To my bullocks I will say, - Here for ever you may stay ;
You will never be impounded any more,
For you're running, running, running on your owner's piece of ground,
Free-selected on the Numeralla Shore.

When the moon's behind the mountain, and the stars are very bright,
My horse I will saddle and away ;
I'll duff the squatter's cattle in the darkness of the night,
And the calves I'll brand ere the day.

Oh my dear little calf, at the squatter we will laugh,
For he'll never be your owner any more ;
While you're running, running, running on the duffer's piece of ground,
Free-selected on the Numerella Shore.

And when we've got a swag, we will steal the squatter's nag,
To drive them to the nearest market town.
And when we've got the cash, Oh, won't we cut a dash.
And laugh at having done the squatter down.

And won't the bullocks bellow when to work they seldom go,
And they think they won't be wanted any more,
While they're running, running, &c., &c.

Then, as to growing grain on the bleak Maneroo Plain,
Where we've free-selected from our master's run,
Old hands up here will say, - 'Tis a game will never pay,
So we'll go it for no work and lots of fun.

To my bullocks I will say, - Here for ever you may stay,
For you'll never be wanted any more;
Your master'll get a living much more easily by thieving
Than by farming on the Numerella Shore.

Is my judgment getting blunted, that I cannot see my way ?
Are there no vessels loading any more ?
Oh ! it's now no use debating, for I only have to say, -
Farewell to the Numerella shore !

To Jack Robertson I'll say, - You've been leading us astray ;
You will never be believed any more.
And when next you take an airing, try nothing half so daring
As a visit to the Numerella Shore.


From The Sydney Morning Herald 20 February 1861 p. 8.

COCKATOO JACK. Maneroo Plains, Valentine's Day.

This song was reprinted three weeks later in The Launceston Examiner 7 March 1861 p. 3.

Ron Edwards writes "There has always been confusion about the title of this song. According to a map prepared by the Division of National Mapping c.1960 Numeralla is a township in South-east New South Wales on the Umaralla River, just to the east of Cooma." Edwards gives a number of titles for versions of the song that suggest its popularity: New Marilla Shore, The Neumerella Shore, Numerella Shore, Noomanally Shore, By The Eumerella Shore, Good Old Maranoa, Umeralla Shore, The Eumarella Shore


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory