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The Folk I Knew "Out Back" (1924)

(For the "Longreach Leader").

Mr. P. J. Irvine, who has recently returned to Longreach after an absence of several years--
first at the war, and then, in the south on his return from the war forwards the following:--

There are towns toward the sunset,
Where the nightlghts shine like stars;
Where I've joined with rough bush comrades
In their bush songs at the bars.
Just some little Western townships,
Where i've rested with my pack;
And the comrades were the folk I knew
In days I spent "Out Back"

Where the winds croon through the hollows,
And arouses sleeping trees;
Where scent of sweet mimosa
Intermingles with the breeze;
Where the bell-bird and the magpie,
Make sweet music round your, track;
Where, you're met with smiling faces
, By the folk I knew "Out Back."

All my truant thoughts are straying,
And my heart begins to yearn,
For the tall white gums and pine wood;
For the bracken and the fern;
And my tired legs are aching
Just to cross saddle hack,
And to join the picnic parties
Of the folk I knew "Out Back"

I long to hear the glasses "clink"
And toast the healths again,
Of shearer-man, and shed-hand,
And the sun-tanned cattle men.
For when in town, from shed to camp,
The best brands leave the rack;
It's a customary greeting with
The folk I knew "Out Back."

And, to-night the cool, winds haunt me;
As they sweep upon their way;
And to me they bring a message--
For these cool winds seem to say,
Whether in "small" town dwelling;
Station home, or sheep man's shack,
With the folk you-knew 'Out Back' "


From the Queensland newspaper the Longreach Leader Friday 11 July 1924, p. 15.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory