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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Richard Mellish Lyr Add: Wallaby Stew (18) RE: Lyr Add: Wallaby Stew 23 Jun 20


I think it was Severn who sang this in yesterday's Mudcat Singaround, with words more or less as in the DigiTrad. I noticed many differences from the song as I know it so I thought I might as well post my version. I got it from a recording of one of Bert Lloyd's Folksongs of Australia radio programmes but I've made some changes.

Besides a few very small changes, my version swaps the second halves of verses 2 and 3, so that "that ain't all that's up the spout" at the end of verse 2 sets the scene for verse 3 telling of the doings of Bess's young man (who "certainly worked on her") as well as the doings of Mother's shearer cove, both leading to "the family will have grown a bit".

Poor Dad he got five years or more as everybody knows
And now he's stuck in Maitland Jail broad arrows on his clothes
He branded old Brown's clean skins and he never left a tail
Now I'll relate the family's fate since Dad got put in jail

So stir the wallaby stew, make soup of the kangaroo tail,
I'll tell you things is pretty crook since Dad got put in jail.

Our sheep all died last springtime, from footrot and the fluke
Our cow got shot last Christmas by my drunken brother Luke
The buggy's bust, the wheat has smut (rust?) and the place is up for sale
And that ain't all that's up the spout since Dad got put in jail

Our Bess got stuck on some young bloke but he's gone we don't know where
He worked around the shearing shed and he certainly worked on her
And Mother has a shearer cove for ever within hail
The family will have grown a bit since Dad got put in jail

They let Dad out before his time to give us a surprise
He came and took a look around and gently cursed our eyes
He shook hands with the shearer cove and reckoned things looked stale
Then he slowly spat on the old dirt floor and battled back into jail


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