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Mrs Susan Colley

Mrs Susan Colley

Bathurst Home for the Aged
Recorded 1973




Mrs Colley was 92 when I recorded her. She had been recorded earlier by Alan Scott however new material did come to light. I also consulted the Gresser manuscript at the Mitchell as Mr Gresser had got Mrs Colley to write down the words to many of her songs in 1962-4. There are several items not recorded by Alan Scott and some, like Woolloomooloo, have a chorus that Mrs Colley did not sing to Alan.

“We used to go to the dances at Duramann just out of Bathurst. I was a good dancer and I could waltz with anybody or dance with them and have the concertina in my arms and play it as we went about. The dances went on all night, dark to daylight, and we were sorry when they ended, you know.

At The Gate Each Shearer Stood

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Sydney Road

(Tune: Pop Goes The Weasel)
(great depression ditty)
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Harry Dale

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The Old Macquarie
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Chinee song

Come and makee walkee
Two fish bamboo
Three fish bamboo
Ya ya ya
Singa singa singee
Chinaman very goodee
Mary marry likee himee
Fanny likee singee song chinese bye and bye
Great big pigtail hanging down her backee
Flipperty floppity he can do
Kai aye sigh aye

(to the tune of The Girl I left behind Me)

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The Rustic Bridge By The Mill

Part of song

Concertina tunes played by Mrs Colley

  • The Girl I Left behind
  • Heel & Toe Polka
  • The Boys Won’t Leave The Girls Alone
  • Gathering up the shells on the seashore
  • Ye Banks & Braes of Bonny Dee
  • Varsovienna
  • Waltz
  • Irish washerwoman
  • Click go the shears
  • Don’t sell my mother’s picture in the sale

A Starry Night For A Ramble

That’s a starry night for a ramble

All through the flowery dells
Through the bush and the bramble
A kiss but never tell
Then rolling home in the morning, boys
Very nearly tight
Can’t come up to a ramble
Upon a starry night

Save My Mother’s Picture from the Sale

F/L I’ve been thinking of the day, that has long since passed away.
Complete song

Maiden’s Prayer

I wish, I wish, but I wish in vain,
I wish I was a maid again,
But a maid again, I ne’er shall be
‘Till apples grow on an orange tree

The Nightingale

They sent a press gang to be made
To press my love on the Nightingale
My cruel parents have tried to show
To the sea my love would go
They sent a press gang to prevail
And pressed my love on the Nightingale
On the eighteenth day of November last
The wind it blew a most terrible gale
To the bottom of the sea went the Nightingale

The Dream

For one evening as late as I rambled
Down by a clear crystal stream
Where I laid myself down in primroses
And I quickly fell into a dream
I dreamt of a beautiful fair one
Whose equals I nee’r saw before
She was dressed in the rose and green shamrock
Bright emerald of Erin’s green shore
In rapturous joy I awoken
I found it was only a dream
For the beautiful fair one had vanished
And I long for

Maggie Darrow

Sail home straight as an arrow
My yacht sheets are on the crested sea
Sail now to sweet Maggie Darrow
In her dear little home
She’s waiting for me

I Got drunk Again

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I remember the names of my father’s bullocks and he never used to hit them. He’d give them a dig with the handle of his great long whip and say, “whoa Lumpy, Gee trooper and they’d do just what he said. His wagon was called the trolley and its name was ‘The Fremantle Forrester’. (nb: Gresser mentions this as a property). There was also one called the killaburra wallaby.

Wild Colonial Boy

Mrs Colley’s version of the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ contains the elusive chorus that has sometimes been called ‘The West Australian’ version. Despite saying the central character was John Dowling she actually sang Jack Donahue in the first verse and Doolin in the fourth. The words for the song are significantly different to most other collected versions.
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Maiden’s Prayer

Down Went the Captain

Down Went The Captain, down went the crew
The first and the second mate and little middy too

Down in the locker, down in the watch house
Couldn’t find the door
That’s where I was last night and the night before

Sailor’s Grave

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Dying Stockman

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