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Stewie Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia (959* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 08 Oct 20


THE WAKAMARINA
(C.Thatcher/N.Colquhoun)

On the banks of the Wakamarina a walk
Out from Nelson about thirty miles
A splendid gold yield’s been discovered, a field
Where dozens are making their piles
Well they work with a pan in the river-bed sand
And in many a crevice I’m told
With knives they can dig out the nuggets so big
A nice easy way to get gold

Chorus
I am waiting for fresh information and yes
If the gold is all there you will see
I’m off to the golden location I guess
It’s the Wakamarina for me

It’s affecting just pretty well all of the city
Provisions have gone up in price
And servants and tradesmen have started to fade
To the diggings, all scorning advice
Milkmen give customers warning and most
Are leaving their usual walks
And off to the Wakamarina the cart
And old Dobbin are walking the chalks

The crews all desert from the ships and I’ve heard
That the skipper on board vainly grieves
To help to discharge the ship’s cargo it’s hard
But he’s got to turn up in shirt-sleeves
Blacksmiths and bakers get cheeky when they
Get to think of the new golden ground
And butchers are talking of raising by fourpence
Pleuro to a shilling a pound

The rush will soon clear out Otago I hear how
For passengers ships advertise
Each steamer will bring up a cargo of dinkum
Victorian diggers – no flies
They are the men that can drop on the metal
And when from Dunedin they come
They’ll all get the gold from the river I’m told
There’ll be nothing left for a new chum


As printed in ‘Song of a Young Country’. Colquhoun shortened and made minor alterations to Thatcher’s original text. He also supplied a tune. Thatcher intended it to be sung to ‘Twig of the Shannon'.

Youtube clip

Colquhoun’s note:

They sang their songs while panning for nuggets along the river banks … From where many of these songs came, we’ll never know except that they are ‘folk’ - examples of the parody-process that takes hold of anonymous verse. But some are clearly introduced by the ‘pop star’ of the day – the goldfields entertainer. Most famous of these was Charles Thatcher who sang his own topical song to Irish ballad-tunes. 'Song of a Young Country' p31.

--Stewie.


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