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Lyr Req: Stringybark Creek

DigiTrad:
KELLYS, BYRNE AND HART
LONNIGAN'S WIDOW
NED KELLY'S FAREWELL TO GRETA.
POOR NED


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browny 05 Jun 00 - 07:41 PM
Pene Azul 05 Jun 00 - 07:54 PM
Helen 05 Jun 00 - 08:08 PM
browny 05 Jun 00 - 10:34 PM
Pene Azul 05 Jun 00 - 10:36 PM
John in Brisbane 06 Jun 00 - 12:39 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Jun 00 - 01:25 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Jun 00 - 04:33 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Jun 00 - 04:43 AM
Roo 06 Jun 00 - 07:12 AM
John in Brisbane 06 Jun 00 - 08:08 AM
browny 06 Jun 00 - 08:37 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Jun 00 - 09:05 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Jun 00 - 09:13 AM
Alan of Australia 06 Jun 00 - 09:39 AM
browny 06 Jun 00 - 09:13 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Jun 00 - 12:15 AM
Pene Azul 07 Jun 00 - 12:35 AM
Max Tone 27 Oct 00 - 07:22 PM
Bob Bolton 28 Oct 00 - 02:49 AM
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Subject: the words to stringybark creek
From: browny
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 07:41 PM

the opening words are a seargent and three constables o mansfield town

the song is about ned kelly and a vow for the coppers to hunt them down

any assistance is greatly appreciated


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Pene Azul
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 07:54 PM

If you're looking for "Lonnigan's Widow" it's here.

PA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Helen
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 08:08 PM

Hi Browny

This is in the DT database:

LONNIGAN'S WIDOW (Sheil Silverstein)

Now four jolly troopers from Mansfield town Set out to hunt the Kelly boys down They searched through the wombat for most of the week And they camped on the banks of the Stringybark Creek

It was written for the dreadful flop of a movie called Ned Kelly starring Mick Jagger

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: browny
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:34 PM

to pene azul helen many thanks for a prompt reply. i did not know that version existed. however the version i seek i'm pretty sure starts

a seargent and three constables rode into mansfield town

the words of lonnigan's widow fit so i assume that this has been rearranged by the bushwackers band once again many thanks browny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Pene Azul
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:36 PM

I looked on the web for other versions with no luck. I'll give it another shot.

PA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 12:39 AM

There are two versions in Penguin Australian Folksongs Vol 1 - the tunes are slightly different. The first verse as I recall it goes:

A sergeant and three constables rode out from Mansfield town,
At the end of last October for to shoot the Kellys down,
They started for the Wombat Hills and found it quite a lark,
To be camped upon the borders of a Creek called Stringybark.

Joe Offer may post these before I get the chance. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 01:25 AM

G'day,

The Silverstein version looks like an attempt to write something just sufficiently different from the original to claim copyright!

At home, I have the early John Meredith books in which this would have been published in the 1950s. I will scan in the words when I get home - if someone has not already done so by then.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: STRINGYBARK CREEK
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 04:33 AM

G'day again Baz,

Here are the words as I scanned them in:

STRINGYBARK CREEK
Anon.

A Sergeant and three constables set out from Mansfield town
Near the end of last October for to hunt the Kellys down;
They started for the Wombat Hills and thought it quite a lark
When they camped upon the borders of a creek called Stringybark.

They had grub and ammunition there to last them many a week,
And next morning two of them rode out, all to explore the creek,
Leaving Mclntyre behind them at the camp to cook the grub
And Lonergan to sweep the floor and boss the washing-tub.

It was shortly after breakfast Mac thought he heard a noise
So gun in hand he sallied out to try and find the cause,
But he never saw the Kellys planted safe behind a log
So he sauntered back to smoke and yarn and wire into the prog.

But Ned Kelly and his comrades thought they'd like a nearer look,
For being short of grub they wished to interview the cook;
And of firearms and cartridges they found they had too few,
So they longed to grab the pistols and ammunition too.

Both the troopers at a stump alone they were well pleased to see
Watching as -the billies boiled to make their pints of tea;
There they joked and chatted gaily never thinking of alarms
Till they Heard the fearful cry behind, "Bail up, throw up your arms!"

The traps they started wildly and Mac then firmly stood
While Lonergan made tracks to try and gain the wood,
Reaching round for his revolver, but before he touched the stock
Ned Kelly pulled the trigger, fired, and dropped him like a rock.

Then after searching McIntyre all through the camp they went-
And cleared the guns and cartridges and pistols from the tent,
But brave Kelly muttered sadly as he loaded up his gun,
"Oh, what a ... pity that the ... tried to run."

'Twas later in the afternoon the sergeant and his mate
Came riding blithely through the bush to meet a cruel fate.
"The Kellys have the drop on you!" cried McIntyre aloud,
But the troopers took it as a joke and sat their horses proud.

Then trooper Scanlan made a move his rifle to unsling,
But to his heart a bullet sped and death was in the sting;
Then Kennedy leapt from his mount and ran for cover near,
And fought, a game man to the last, for all that life held dear.

The sergeant's horse raced from the camp alike from friend and foe,
And McIntyre, his life at stake, sprang to the saddle-bow
And galloped far into the night, a haunted, harassed soul,
Then like a hunted bandicoot hid in a wombat hole.

At dawn of day he hastened forth and made for Mansfield town
To break the news that made men vow to shoot the bandits down,
So from that hour the Kelly gang was hunted far and wide,
Like outlawed dingoes of the wild until the day they died.

This version comes from Australian Bush Ballads, Douglas Stewart & Nancy Keesing, Angus & Robertson Ltd, Sydney, 1955, pp 41 & 42. The first seven stanzas appear in John Meredith's Six Authentic Songs from the Kelly Country, Bush Music Club, Sydney, November 1955 (reprinted twice); having been previously printed as a single page Bushwhacker Broadside, No. 14. The sources would be the same, since Meredith and Keesing were collaborating in collection and research at the time.

The first seven stanzas occur in a book The Kelly Gang, or Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges, G. Wilson Hall, Mansfield, 1879 (before the capture or killing of the Gang mambers). Meredith felt that the later stanzas, 8 – 11, appeared to be by a later hand, whilst these first seven were attributed to Joe Byrne, a member of the Kelly Gang. The tune given by Meredith is the traditional Irish tune Paddy Fagan. The song has also been attached to The Wearing of the Green and to a tune John Manifold prints and credits as "the old fiddle tune" Stringybark Creek ... but fails to give any source.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 04:43 AM

G'day yet again,

Oh yes, I should have commented that the other version in John Manifold's The Penguin Australian Songbook has an interesting pedigree - it was collected down in Kelly Country in the 1890s from W.J. (Billy) Wye - now being belatedly recognised as an excellent poet in his own right.

It may well be that Wye has done a bit of his own polishing to the verses, not an uncommon thing in the Victorian era. It certainly reduces the story to a length that might even be acceptable to modern audiences (possibly not the most modern, raised on television's "fifteen second sound bite"!).

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Roo
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 07:12 AM

Whatever would Mudcat do without you, Bob? :)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 08:08 AM

Well done Bob! I note that Hugh Anderson in The Story of Australian Folksong attributes John Meredith as the collector but only gives the first seven verses. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: browny
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 08:37 AM

many thanks to pa john bris. bob bolton and every one else i still have my l plates on and really appreciate all the help browny


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Subject: Lyr Add: STRINGYBARK CREEK
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 09:05 AM

G'day,

John in Brisbane: I think Hugh might be getting a bit carried away there. John doesn't claim collecting the song ... It is not included in his 1967 Folk Songs of Australia even though it was in several of his earlier books on the Kellys. I think the words came up in researching into the 19th century songbooks (which Nancy Keesing was doing, under the aegis of Douglas Stewart at The Bulletin).
Mero would have been working on the same material and exchanging notes with Nancy. He may have come across snatches of the song and perhaps enough to identify the tune. I know he didn't feel the later stanzas fitted in with the first seven and thought they were written after Glenrowan.

Anyway, I had a look at the shortened (W.J. Wye) version and realised it is the set of words I have always used, so I thought I had better post them as well:

STRINGYBARK CREEK
Anon. Source W.J. (Billy) Wye

A Sergeant and three constables set out from Mansfield town
At the end of last October for to hunt the Kellys down.
They started for the Wombat Hills and found it quite a lark
To be camped upon the borders of a creek called Stringybark.

When Scanlon and the sergeant rode away to search the scrub
Leaving Mclntyre and Lonigan in camp to cook the grub,
Ned Kelly and his comrades came to take a nearer look,
For being short of flour they wished to interview the cook.

Both the troopers at the camp alone they were well pleased to see,
Watching while the billy boiled to make their pints of tea.
There they smoked and chatted gaily, never thinking of alarms,
Till they heard the dreaded cry behind: 'Bail up! Lay down your arms!'

It was later in the afternoon the sergeant and his mate
Came riding blithely through the bush to meet their cruel fate.
'The Kellys have the drop on you!' the prisoners cried aloud,
But the troopers took it as a joke and sat their horses proud.

Then trooper Scanlon made a move his rifle to unsling,
But to his heart a bullet sped and death was in the sting.
Then Kennedy leapt off his mount and ran for cover near,
And fought most gamely to the last, for all his life held dear.

The sergeant's horse raced through the camp escaping friend and foe,
And McIntyre, his life at stake, sprang to the saddle-bow.
And galloped far into the night, a haunted, harassed man,
Then planted in a wombat hole 'til morning light began.

At dawn of day he hastened forth and made for Mansfield town
To break the news that made men vow to shoot the killers down.
So from that hour the Kelly gang was hunted far and wide
Like outlaw dingoes of the hills until the day they died.

, those collected from Billy Wye in the 1890s ... either a condensation by misremembering or a deliberate trimming down to a workable length. Given the source, I suspect the latter.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 09:13 AM

G'da ... mn,

HTML ... I miss one lousy arrow bracket and the whole thing is in italics!!!

Regard(les), Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 09:39 AM

Looks OK now Bob! ;o)


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Subject: RE: Lyr words to "the Mero"
From: browny
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 09:13 PM

There is a song I have heard on cd as well as been played live at the "Dog's Bollocks" could be [bollox]in auckland on one of trips over there'

some of the words are

So we all went off to the Mero say there who is your man it's only johnny forticulture he's a desperate man bang bang plays the unfortunately the words fail By the the group who sing this also own The dog's bollox and are called the THE DOGS BOLLOX. THANKS BROWNY.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 12:15 AM

G'day again,

browny,

The Irish song The Mero (no relation to abbreviating John Meredith's name, as I did above) is quite widely published in Irish song books ... they might as well print a few thatthey didn't filch of someone else!

I'm sure some of the Paddy contingent can scratch up the words for you in short order, but I will look back in a few days and scan them in if necessary.

Alan of Aus.: Er, thanks!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Pene Azul
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 12:35 AM

Here's a thread with lyrics to "The Mero" (and discussion).

PA


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Subject: Lyr Add: POOR NED (from Redgum)^^^
From: Max Tone
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 07:22 PM

Bob,

Here's another Ned Kelly song with reference to Stringybark Creek. John Schumann says that Redgum thought they'd written the tune, until they went into the studio to record it, with Trevor Lucas as producer; he went "That's my tune, but you've changed it a good bit", so they gave him the credit! I've no idea which song Trevor used the tune on, and his widow, Liz doesn't know, either.

POOR NED --- Redgum

Eighteen-hundred and seventy-eight was the year I remember so well.
They put my father in an early grave and slung my mother in gaol.
Now I don't know what's right or wrong, but they hung Christ up on nails.
Six kids at home, two still on the breast, they wouldn't even give us bail

CHORUS: Poor Ned,
You're better off dead.
At least you'll get some peace of mind.
You're out on the track.
They're right on your back.
Boy, they're gonna hang you high.

You know I wrote a letter 'bout Stringybark Creek so they would understand
That I might be a bushranger, but I'm not a murdering man.
I didn't want to shoot Kennedy or that copper Lonnigan.
He alone could have saved his life by throwing down his gun.

CHORUS

You know they took Ned Kelly and they hung him in the Melbourne gaol.
He fought so very bravely dressed in iron mail.
And no man single-handed can hope to break the bars.
There's a thousand like Ned Kelly who'll hoist the flag of stars.

CHORUS X2

Rob^^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the words to stringybark creek
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 02:49 AM

G'day Rob,

I just had a look through my collection and I can't find much written on this song. The earliest reference I have is the 7" ep Ned Kelly 1880 - 1980, 100 Years a Hero, Ned Kelly Centenary Committee, Brickfield Hill, Sydney (BEP001, Bail Records, Sydney South).

This has Redgum singing it and the track is credited (Trad. arranged Redgum). I presume that means that Redgum picked up the words indirectly from some other folkie's rendition of a song heard on an earlier record or at some concert ... presumably a song written by, or set to music by Trevor Lucas.

However this is all supposition as I never dealt directly with Redgum, since they were based in Melbourne. If I run across Warren Fahey, who released their first LP on his Larrikin label, I will see what he remembers of the song - otherwise, I am in the dark!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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