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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Stewie Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia (981* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 11 Oct 20


LOVE'S REQUEST
(Traditional)

Thy form it is airy and slight, love
Its graces are free from restraint
Thy hair sheds a halo of light, love
Round features like those of a saint
Oh, to bathe in the light of thine eyes
What destiny sweeter could be
But visions of doubt will arise, love
Could you make me a damper for tea?

Thy mouth is a fountain of song, love
Whence melody flows like a stream
To list to thee all the day long, love
Would be pleasure too sweet for a dream
But my courage to ask for thee fails, love
To accept my hand, oh would you stoop
And again, if I brought you the tails, love
Would you make me some kangaroo soup?

And so then I bid thee farewell, love
And my claims to another I yield
But you will not grieve, I can tell, love
There are others than me in the field
You can sing, you can play, you can dance, love
But your feelings I don't mean to hurt
Your charms you would greatly enhance, love
Could you make me a Crimean shirt?

As printed at p226 of Ron Edwards 'The Big Book of Australian Folk Song'. Ron's note:

'Love's Request' is a gently ironical song, based on the form of the popular love song of the
day, but with a sting in its tail. It is from 'The Native Companion Songster 1889' and is to the tune of 'We have lived and loved together' by Nicolo. Crimean shirts, mentioned in the last line, were introduced into Australia during the period of the gold rushes and, together with cabbage tree hats, became the mark of the bushman of the period.


Martyn Wyndham-read recorded it and penned a new penultimate stanza:

Oh to be with you out in the day, love
With pride I’d take hold of your hand
And at night with the stars shining brightly
We would dance to a shearers’ bush band
But I wonder at times if your heart, love
Would take me to be your good mate
And again, if I asked you right now, love
Would you wash all the dishes and plates?

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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