Sally Sloane was one of Australia’s most important contributors to our folk treasury. A beautiful singer she was extensively recorded by John Meredith in the late 1950s. I met Sally at the Bush Music Club and became friendly with her and Fred and, in the seventies, I visited her Lithgow home with Graham Seal and recorded an interview and several songs. I was delighted to get these recordings however I would recommend anyone wanting to listen to Sally’s repertoire to consult the Meredith Collection at the National Library Folklore Archive.
I have not reproduced all of the songs I recorded with Sally, just some of the ones that differ from the Meredith recordings.
Maid of Fainey
“you know there are bits in it I can’t remember where her body was tied up in a sack and mangled with many a dreadful wound. The cook, I think, mangled her up and put her in the bag. Her mother dreamt the same dream for three weeks and the neighbour with his pickaxe is part of it too. Anyhow they dug the ground and there they found where she was “
Ballad of Ben Hall
“I hate to hear Ben hall’s reputation scandalised. He wasn’t a bad fella.
Kelly’s mother, they put her in jail, you know, when she was going to have one of her babies. Every time there was something wrong Ned was supposed to have done it. The damned old Chinaman he told a lot of lies and got him put in you know and burnt his house down and god knows what they didn’t do to him. It’s a pity he didn’t get a few more of them.”
Red Rose Top
Bound for Charles Town
I’ve Been a Wild Boy
Adieu lovely Nancy
Young Man Cut Down in my Blossom
Christ was Born in Bethlehem
The Old Oak Tree Murder
Bonny Bunch of Roses-o
I’ll not go down the stairs more or comb back my yellow hair
In my little grey home in the west
There’s a flea over here and another one, there’s another one there, and another one there….
There was an old woman at Bathurst who had a dancing class and she used to sing that when they danced: there’s another one, and another one
My Son, Teddy
My son teddy was tall and slim
With a tooral ah fol de liddle o