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Station Life



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

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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



The Bulletin

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!’


P.U. Ticket

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The above extracted from a labour organ. We now publish the Conclusion


The Industry Conclusion

By Jimmy The ringer
March 1888

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A poem that invokes the legendary outback station, The Speewa.


By Jimmy The ringer

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Some Auction
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!’


Queensland Punch

April 1890
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
(Tune: Bonnie Dundee)

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Punch Christmas Chronicle

January 1893

“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)

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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.


Olden “Duff”

[Parody on “Golden Love”)

Lance Lenton

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Burrabogie Station


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

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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

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