STATION LIFE – a miscellany
Warren Fahey sings ‘Garrawilla’. A song collected by John Meredith. There are very few songs in praise of the boss – this one is an exception.
The next song, taken from a Sydney-published magazine, is typical of the satirical songs composed to take the ‘mickey’ out of local issues and politicians.
Song of the Australian Squatter
Tune: Rory O’More
Damn Coolgardie, damn the track
Damn it there and damn it back
Damn the country, damn the weather
Damn the goldfields altogether
On Bourke’s heat
The only message from the dead
That ever came distinctly through
Was send my overcoat to hell
It came to Bourke in 92
Jingle for first issue.
The Bulletin, the Bulletin,
The journalistic javelin
The paper all the humour’s in
The paper to inspire and grin
The Bulletin, the Bulletin
Horses & The Bulletin
Whalers, damper, swag and nosebag, Johnny cakes and billy tea
Murrumburrah, meremendicoowoke, youlabudgeree
Cattle duffers. Bold bushrangers diggers, drovers, bush race courses,
And on all the other pages horses, horses, horses, horses
The Australian Pastoralists’ Review
This next item needs to be read in conjunction with the following piece which is ‘an answer’ from the pasturalists. It also carried a note ‘unionism is not always strength’. As they say ‘Them’s fightin’ words!’
The above extracted from a labour organ. We now publish the Conclusion
The Industry Conclusion
By Jimmy The ringer
A poem that invokes the legendary outback station, The Speewa.
By Jimmy The ringer
From ‘The Riverina, People and Property’. R. Ronald. 1902
When Burrabogie Station, in the Riverina, was auctioned in February, 1882, the auctioneer was heard to open his address with ‘Gentlemen! I am not trying to sell you a station. I am offering you a principality!’
The Queensland Punch Magazine had a fascination for the ‘famed Barcoo’ and provided it with mythical status along the lines of the Speewah. It also published several songs highlighting the Barcoo lifestyle.
Warren Fahey recites ‘The Free Selector’s Daughter’ by Henry Lawson.
Warren Fahey sings ‘The Freehold on the Plain’
The Bonnie Barcoo
The Queensland Punch Magazine
Punch Christmas Chronicle
“When it was known that he could play the piano he at once became in great request, and after ‘vamping’ for varous singers, who either sang of their lost loves, or sea songs full of loud ‘yo ho’s’, he was called upon to contribute something to the hilarity of the evning. he at once complied by singing some verses which he had made at Hillton, which he called The Song of the Jackaroo’
The Song of the Jackaroo
(Tune: A Bushman’s Life For me)
I have collected fragments of this song twice and its localised pioneering story seems to have been widely popular.
The Australian Star – 1878 (Extracted from the Tramp columns)
“The bushman is about the greatest humbug I have come across for many along day. He is so long-winded when he once starts a yarn there is no telling when he will stop. Last night after we had turned in he nagged and talked Jack and me to sleep. I awoke sometime in the middle of the night, and he was still talking away and quoting scraps of poetry. The last few days he has been constantly asking
Will winter never pass? A child said peering through the pain.”
He always said he had been “born hard-up” and “That there is nothing poetical about sundowning.”
There was a squatter so mean if it were possible he’d kill half a sheep at a time.
Going up to the kitchen we will deposit our swags and, if the cook is in a good mood, we will have a mug of tea, light our pipes, and then stroll up to Government House in quite a careless fashion., and inquire for the boss. Jack is always spokesman. “Good evening, sir, Any chance of a job?” “No, I am full-handed at present.” “Oh, I suppose we can stay tonight?’ and stay we do. Sometimes, for a change, Jack will ask if anyone is sick on the station; and when asked wha6t he asks such a question for, will answer “Well, if the man is very bad I would camp in the creek, and wait for him to die, then there might be a chance of a job.’
Australian Melodist No 21
The ‘Duff’ was a popular part of our bush eating tradition and came in all shapes and sizes and, one suspects, tastes. The Christmas Plum Duff inspired the original magic pudding.
[Parody on “Golden Love”)
Mitchell Library – Mitchelmore Mss papers.
Joseph McGraw & Co sold Burrabogie station by auction in Feb 1882. At the sale the auctioneer called out “Gentlemen, I am not trying to sell you a station. I am offering you a principality!”
Australian Journal – July 1871
This appears to be the original of the song also known as ‘The Old Man Kangaroo’. This version is related to the version sung by Simon McDonald and offers some new verses. John Meredith collected a version quite different in text from Jack Lee where the character is called Bill Chippen
Tailing a Kangaroo
Attributed to Tom Tallfern
Simon McDonald, Creswick, Victoria, sings ‘Old Man Kangaroo’. Recorded by Norm O’Connor & Mary-Jean Officer, 1950s. NLA.
The Hamilton Spectator: Anon – 1865
The New Chum in the Country
hardback Book – dated