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Well I'm on my way down to the quay where the good ship Nell doth lay To command a gang of navvies I was ordered to engage. I thought I would stop in for a while before I sailed away, To take a trip on an immigrant ship to the shores of Botany Bay. Chorus: Farewell to your bricks and mortar, farewell to your dirty lies. Farewell to your gangways and your gang planks, and to hell with your overtime. For the good ship Ragamuffin is lying at the Quay, To take old Pat with a shovel on his back to the shores of Botany Bay. The best years of our life we spend working on the docks, Building mighty wharves and quays of earth and ballast rocks. Though pensions keep our jobs secure, I shan't rue the day When I take a trip on an immigrant ship to the shores of Botany Bay [CH] Well, the boss came up this morning and he says, "Why, Pat, hello, If you don’t mix that mortar quick, to be sure you'll have to go." Well, of course he did insult me and I demanded all me pay, And I told him straight I was going to emigrate to the shores of Botany Bay. [CH] And when I reach Australia, I'll go and search for gold. There's plenty there for digging up, or so I’ve been told. Or maybe I'll go back to me trade, eight hundred bricks I'll lay For an eight hour shift and an eight bob pay on the shores of Botany Bay. [CH]
Well I’m a rambling lad, and me story it is sad, If ever I get to Lachlan I should wonder, Cos I spent all me brass in the bottom of the glass, Now across the western plains I must wander. Chorus: Now it’s all for me grog, me jolly, jolly grog. It’s all for me beer and tobacco. ‘Cos I spent all my tin in a shanty drinking gin, Now across the western plains I must wander. Well I’m stiff and stoney broke and I’ve parted from me moke, And the sky is looking black as flaming thunder, And the shanty boss is blue since I haven’t got a sou, And that’s the way they treat you down and under. [CH] I’m crook in the head and I haven’t been to bed Since first I touched this shanty with my plunder. I see centipedes and snakes, and I’m full of pains and aches And I feel it’s time to push for way out yonder. [CH] I’ll take to that Old Man Plain and I’ll cross it once again Until me eyes the track no longer see, boys And my beer and whisky brain search for sleep but all in vain And I feel as if I had the Darling Pea, boys. [CH] So go hang yer grog, your hopeless bloody grog, Your beer that’s loaded with tobacco; Grafting humour I am in so I’ll put the peg right in And I’ll settle down once more for some hard yakka. [CH]
Billy of Tea 04:08
You can talk of your whiskey, talk of your beer, There's something much nicer that's waiting us here. It sits on the fire beneath the gum tree: There's nothing much nicer than a billy of tea. So fill up your tumbler as high as you can, And don't you dare tell me it's not the best blend. You can let all your beer and your spirits go free, I'll stick to my darling old billy of tea. [Tom Blackman's Waltz instrumental break] I rise in the morning as soon as it's light And go to the nosebag to see it's alright, That the ants on the sugar no mortgage have got And straight away sling my old black billy pot. And while it is boiling the horses I seek, And follow them down as far as the creek. I take off their hobbles and let them run free, Then haste to tuck into my billy of tea. [Tom Blackman's instrumental break] And at night when I camp, if the day has been warm, I give to my horses their tucker of corn. From the two in the pole, to the one in the lead, A billy for each holds a comfortable feed. Then the fire I make and the water I get, And corned beef and damper in order I set. But I don't touch the grub – though so hungry I be – I wait 'til it's ready; the billy of tea.
Edimge 02:07
Lyrics, as sung in English: Morning, and the tide is low. Let's go out to the reef. Come on brother, we must go, For the fish await in the deep.
There is a shed near Edmonton, Where beef-boning is done, It's been the ruin of many a poor girl, And Lord I know I'm one. My father was a slicing man, My mother worked the scales, They weighed and sliced in every shed, From here to New South Wales. My matadors are wearing thin, My boots will wear out soon, For I must wear them them every day In this cold boning room. The boners they are cheeky, They think that we are bold, They think we wear pants just for them, And not because we're cold. And if I cut my fingers, No hospital for me, Just wheel me down to Woree pub, And there just let me be. There is a shed near Edmonton, Where beef-boning is done, And I know that I'll go there again, For Lord I need the mon.
Oh, listen for a moment, lads, And hear me tell me tale. How o'er the seas from England's shore I was condemned to sail. The jury says, “He's guilty, sir.” And says the judge, says he: “For life, Jim Jones, I'm sending you Across the stormy seas.” “And take my tip before you ship to join the iron gang, Don't get too gay at Botany Bay Or else you'll surely hang. Or else you'll surely hang”, says he, and after that, Jim Jones, high upon the gallow trees, the crows will peck your bones.” “You'll have no chance for mischief then, Remember what I say. They'll flog the poaching hide off you Down there at Botany Bay.” The waves were high upon the seas, The winds blew down in gales. I would rather drown in misery Than come to Botany Bay. The waves were high upon the seas, The pirates came along, But the soldiers on our convict ship Were full five hundred strong. They opened fire and somehow drove That pirate ship away. I'd rather join those buccaneers Than come to Botany Bay. All day and night our irons clang Like poor galley slaves. We toil and toil and when we die Must fill dishonoured graves. Oh but by and by I'll break me chains; Into the bush I'll go And join the bold bushrangers there, Jack Donahoe and Co. And some dark night, when everything Is quiet in the town, I'll shoot the tyrants one and all, I'll shoot the bastards down. I'll give the law a little shock, Remember what I say: They'll yet regret that they sent Jim Jones In chains to Botany Bay.
Who hasn't heard of Euabalong Ball, Where the lads of the Lachlan, the great and the small, Bent on diversion from far and from near To shake off their troubles for just once a year. CHORUS: Euabalong Ball is a wonderful sight, With the lads and the lasses up dancing all night. And it's many a lad who will blush to recall The polkas he danced at Euabalong Ball. The boundary-riders were friskin' about, And the well-sinkers seemed to be feelin' the drought. If water was scarce, there was whisky to spare, What they never swallowed, they rubbed through their hair. [CHORUS] There were sheilas in plenty, some two or three score, Some two-tooths, some weaners, and some maybe more, With their fleeces all scented and fluffy and clean, Such fine-looking shearlings you ever did see. [CHORUS] The music set up was going a pace. Some went at a canter and some at a race. There was slippin' and slidin', some staggerin' and glidin', And to vary the pace, there were couples collidin'. [CHORUS] Much huggin' and squeezin', of course, on the sly, And tender emotions when waving good-bye. But many who shouldn't. but got drunk and stayed, Woke with regret the very next day.
Bluey Brink 02:35
There once was a shearer, by name Bluey Brink, A devil for work and a devil for drink. He could shear his two hundred a day without fear, And drink without winking four gallons of beer. Now Jimmy the barman, who served out the drink, He hated the sight of this here Bluey Brink. Who stayed much too late and who came much too soon; At morning, at evening, at night and at noon. One morning when Jimmy was cleaning the bar With sulphuric acid he kept in a jar, Along came Old Bluey bawling with thirst, “Whatever you've got, Jim, just hand me the first.” Now, it ain't put in history, and it ain't down in print, But Bluey drank acid with never a wink, Saying, “That's the stuff, Jimmy, why, strike me stone dead, This'll make me the ringer of Stevenson's shed.” Now all the next day, as he served out the beer, Poor Jimmy was sick with his trouble and fear. Too worried to argue, too anxious to fight, Seeing the shearer a corpse in the night. But early next morning as he opened the door, And along came old Bluey howling for more; With his eyebrows all singed and his whiskers deranged And holes in his hide like a dog with the mange. Says Jimmy, “And how did you like the new stuff?” Says Bluey, “It's fine but I ain't had enough. It gave me great courage to shear and to fight, But why does that stuff set me whiskers alight?” “Well, I thought I knew drink, but I must have been wrong, For that stuff you gave me was proper and strong. It set me to coughing, and you know I'm no liar But every damn cough sets me whiskers on fire.”
Oh, the night is dark and stormy and the sky is clouded o'er, Our horses we will mount and ride away, To watch the squatter's cattle through the darkness of the night And we'll keep them on the camp till break of day. Chorus: Cos we're going, going, going to Gunnedah so far, Soon we'll be in sunny New South Wales. And we'll bid farewell to Queensland and its swampy coolibah - Happy drovers from the sandy Maranoa. With our fires burning bright through the darkness of the night, And the cattle keeping quiet, well, I'm sure That I wish for two o'clock, when I call the other watch - This is droving on the sandy Maranoa. [CHORUS] With our beds made on the ground we are sleeping oh so sound, We're wakened by the distant thunder's roar, And the lightning's vivid flash followed by an awful crash - This is droving on the sandy Maranoa. [CHORUS] We're up at break of day and we' soon be on our way, We always have to go ten miles or more. But it don't do to loaf about for the squatter will come out - He's rough on drovers from the sandy Maranoa. [CHORUS] We'll soon be on the Moonie and we'll cross the Barwon too, Then out upon the rolling plains once more. Then we'll shout, “Hurrah for Queensland” and its swampy coolibah, And the cattle that come off the Maranoa.
Oh hark, the dogs are barking, I can no longer stay; The men have all gone mustering, and it is nearly day. And I must be off my morning light before the sun shines, To meet the Roma shearers on the banks of the Condamine. Oh Willy, dearest Willy, oh let me go with you! I'll cut off all my auburn fringe, and be a shearer too. I'll cook, and count your tally, love, while ringer-o you shine, And I'll wash your greasy moleskins on the banks of the Condamine. Oh Nancy, dearest Nancy, with me you cannot go! The squatters gave us orders, no woman should do so, And your delicate constitution is not equal to mine, To withstand the constant tigering on the banks of the Condamine. Oh Willy, dearest Willy, then stay at home with me! We'll take a vast selection, and a farmer's wife I'll be. I'll help you husk the corn, love, and cook your meals so fine. You'll forget the taste of mutton on the banks of the Condamine. Oh Nancy, dearest Nancy, please do not hold me back! Down there the boys are waiting, and I must be on the track. So here's a goodbye kiss, love; back home I will incline, When we've shorn the last of the jumbucks on the banks of the Condamine.
The crew are asleep and the ocean's at rest, And I'm singing this song to the one I love best. Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry, Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry. There are fish in the sea, there's no doubt about it, Just as big as the ones that have e'er come out. Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry, Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry. Little fish, when she's caught, she fights like a whale, As she thrashes the water with her long, narrow tail. Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry, Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry. The anchor's away, and the weather is fine, And the captain's on deck laying out other lines. Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry, Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry. The crew are asleep and the ocean's at rest, And I'm singing this song for the one I love best. Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry, Yo ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry.
Farewell and adieu to you Brisbane Ladies, Farewell and adieu, you girls of Toowong. For we've sold all our cattle and it's northwards we travel, But we hope we will see you again before long. Chorus: And we'll rant and we'll roar like true Queensland drovers, Rant and we'll roar as onwards we push, Until we return to the Augathella Station, It's flaming dry going through the old Queensland bush. Oh, the first camp we make is down by the river. We'll off with our swags and we'll lay the place flat. We'll bed down the herd and before the sun rises We'll move them again and we'll cross the Blackbutt. [CHORUS] So mount up your horses, let's ride into town, boys. We'll stop at the pub and we'll drink the place dry. We'll spend all our money on shanty-town women, And before the sun rises, away we will ride. [CHORUS] The girls are so pretty; they look so enchanting, Bewitching and graceful, they join in the fun, Of a waltz and a polka and all types of dancing To the old concertina of Jack Smith the Don. [CHORUS] So fill up your glasses, let's drink to our lasses, Let's sing the last chorus, shout farewell to all. And if you return to the Augathella Station, Why, don't you drop by here and pay us a call. [CHORUS]
Wild Boy 03:15
Oh, my father he died and he left me his estate, I married a lady whose fortune was great. Through keeping bad company I spent all me store, Oh, I've been a wild boy, but I'll be so no more. There was Tom, Bill and Harry, Betsy and Sue, And two or three others belonged to the crew, We'd stay out 'til midnight and make the town roar, Oh, I've been a wild boy, but I'll be so no more. I was always too fond of treating ladies to wine, 'Til my pockets grew empty - too soon, I would find, Twenty pounds in one night, yes, I've spent that and more, Oh, I've been a wild boy, but I'll be so no more. Oh, it's first down to Newgate a prisoner I went. I had on cold irons, I had to lament, And I had to seek comfort on the the cold of the floor, Oh, I've been a wild boy, but I'll be so no more. Oh, it's next down to Newgate a prisoner I stand, And what I have longed for is now out of hand, And if I gain my liberty as I had before, Oh, I'll be a good boy and go roaming no more. Here's bad luck to all married men who visit strange doors. I've done so myself, but I'll do so no more, I'll go back to my family - back to me wife, And I'll be a good boy all the days of my life.
Farewell to old England forever, Farewell to me rum culls as well, Farewell to the well known Old Bailey, Where I once used to cut such a swell. CHORUS: Singing too-ra-li ooral-li addity, Singing too-ral-li ooral-li ay, Singing too-ra-li ooral-li addity, And we're bound for Botany Bay. There's the captain as is our commander, There's the bosun and all the ship's crew, There's the first and the second class passengers, Knows what we poor convicts go through. [CHORUS] Taint leaving old England we cares about, Taint cos we mis-spells what we knows, But because all we light fingered gentry, Hops around with a log on our toes. [CHORUS] For seven long years I'll be staying here, For seven long years and a day, For meeting a cove in an alleyway, And taking his ticker away. [CHORUS] Oh had I the wings of a turtle dove, I'd soar on me pinions so high, Right back to the arms of me Polly love, And in her sweet presence I'd die. [CHORUS] Oh all you young Dookies and Dutchesses. Take warning of what I've to say. “Mind all is your own as you toucheses, Or you'll find us in Botany Bay.” [CHORUS]
In South Australia I was born, Heave away, haul away. South Australia round Cape Horn, Bound for South Australia. CHORUS: Heave away you ruler kings, Heave away, haul away Heave away, you'll hear me sing, Bound for South Australia. There's one thing there that grieves my mind, Heave away, haul away, That's leaving Nancy Blair behind, Bound for South Australia. [CHORUS] I'll tell the truth and tell no lie, Heave away, haul away I'll love that girl 'til the day I die, Bound for South Australia. [CHORUS] As I was walloping around Cape Horn, Heave away, haul away, I wished to God I'd never been born, Bound for South Australia. [CHORUS] And now I'm on a foreign strand, Heave away, haul away, With a bottle of whiskey in my hand, Bound for South Australia. [CHORUS] I'll drink one glass to the foreign shore, Heave away, haul away. And another to the girl I adore, Bound for South Australia. [CHORUS] So fare thee well and fare thee well, Heave away, haul away, And sweet news to my girl I'll tell, Bound for South Australia. [CHORUS]


Australian traditional and bush folk songs.


released January 26, 2014

Engineered by Bryce Moorhead.
Produced by Bryce Moorhead and Steve Towson.
The Kunkala Station Band are Steve Towson (lead vocals, guitar, drums and more), Les Buschel (guitar, backing vocals), Luke Mysliwy (violin, backing vocals), Kimbeaux Dawson (flute), Mitch Humphrys (double bass, guitar, backing vocals), Ness Glenn (cello, backing vocals).
Profile photo by Staples. Banner art by TB (Mr. T + MC.T + WHO).


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Steve Towson Rosewood, Australia

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