Mr Sullivan was 79 years old (in 1973) and a friend of ‘Cyclone’ Jimmy who, he said, composed the two following songs about racehorses. However, Mr Sullivan also suggested that ‘Cyclone’ had written ‘A Bushman’s Farewell To Queensland’ which, considering its circulation and early appearance, was unlikely. Possibly all items were traditional and in ‘Cyclone’s repertoire which led Jim Sullivan to assume he wrote them. Michael Sullivan added that the Jimmy in the song referred to Jimmy Patterson, the jockey rather than Jimmy Connors another jockey.
In later correspondence it was noted that all three songs had been printed in the ‘Beaudesert Times’ in the 1950s, as part of Chas Elleray’s ‘History of Racing in the Beaudesert District’.
“Whenever requested to sing or recite, ‘Cyclone’ Jimmy, after exclaiming ‘Dash it all!” would inevitably commence with ‘The Bushman’s Farewell’, followed immediately by his most popular composition, ‘On the Afterlife’. Later he would sing of recite ‘Willy Stone’, also frequently requested.”. I am not sure of the correct spelling of the horse’s name however I believe it is spelt Musselmun.
Mr Sullivan added: “‘Willy Stone’ is another horse racing song. He was fatally thrown when the horse he was exercising on a Brisbane road suddenly shied. The Stone Family was well known and highly respected old-time Brisbane racing identities. One of his brothers, John Stone, won renown as a trainer of stayers, including the redoubtable ‘Fitzgrafton’.”
(Tune; The Tramp)
Laurel Have It