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Stewie Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia (959* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 23 Oct 20

Thanks for the Manifold link. Together with a few other Darwin folkies, I spent a wonderful afternoon in a pub with the great man back when the world was young.

Graham Jenkin also put a tune to this beaut ballad:


Two women watched on a windy pier
(Three turns and a line to pass)
And one was the drunken skipper’s dear
And one was a sailor’s lass
The full o’ flood and the fall o’ tide
There’s little to guide between
But ways are wide where the seas divide
Wi’ places to bide between

The sun rose red, but the night fell grey
?Cheer’ly men, her load-line’s low?
Who drinks tomorrow may thirst today ?
Cheer’ly men, still cheerily ho

They trailed her out from the rowdy pier
They turned her nose to the sea
They lent their lungs to a burly cheer
And speeded her merrily
Her skipper rolled to his bunk dead-tight
Her mate in the scuppers lay
With a starboard red and a green port light
To gladden them on their way


They lit their lamps on the lonely pier
As the twilight brought the rain
And the skipper’s dear laughed long and clear
But the other laughed in pain
For woman is woman and man is man
And the flesh it pricketh sore
He carries his burden as best he can
She carries her load and more


Two women turned from the windy pier
One hurried her home to weep
But the skipper’s dear she was married next year
To a bank account — and sheep
The ship that sailed as the ship went down
(Three turns and a rope to pass)
Is posted ‘Lost’ and the grass goes brown
On the grave o’ the sailor’s lass

Final chorus:
The dank ooze silts where the deep hulks lie ?
Cheer’ly men, her load-line’s low
?For men may drown and women will die
?Cheer’ly men, still cheerily ho

Tune: pp87-90 'The Great Australian Balladists'.

Edwin James Brady


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