Mudcat Café message #3897108 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3897108
Posted By: Richard Mellish
03-Jan-18 - 08:19 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
I hesitate to devote too much of this thread to one particular song, but I would like to pursue the origin of Maid of Australia a bit further.

> There's also nothing in the song to indicate that the writer had ever been nearer Australia than Norwich. It reads much more like some sort of male wish-fulfilment fantasy than as a record of an actual event.

For my money it could equally well be either.

What I can't buy is the idea of the action (real or imagined) taking place anywhere other than Australia. It is clearly the first (and probably the last) encounter between the narrator and the maid, so she isn't a "Maid of Australia" that a returned convict has brought back to England with him. And in at least one version she is swimming in "a stream in my native Australia".

Jim, can you please point me to where I can read Bob Thomson's work?