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The Castlereagh

  • 'Banjo' Paterson
  • I'm riding down the Castlereagh, I'm a station hand
    I'm handy with a rope and whip, handy with a brand
    I can ride a rowdy colt or swing an axe all day
    There's no demand for a station hand along the Castlereagh

    Shift, boys, shift, there isn't the slightest doubt
    It's time to make a move to the stations further out
    So I saddled up my pony and I whistled on my dog
    Made for up the country at the old jig jog

    I went to Illawarra where my brother has a farm
    He has to ask his landlord's leave before he'd raise an arm
    The landlord owns the countryside, man, woman, dog and cat
    They haven't the cheek to dare to speak without they touch their hat

    Shift, boys, shift, there isn't the slightest doubt
    The little landlord god and I would soon have fallen out
    Was I to tip my hat to him? Was I his bloody dog?
    So I made for up the country at the old jig jog

    I answered a call for shearing once along the Marthaga
    We shear non-union here, says he, I'd call that scab, says I
    I looked along the shearing-shed before I turned to go
    There were four-and-twenty scabbies there shearing in a row

    Shift, boys, shift, there isn't the slightest doubt
    It's time to make a move when the leprosy's about
    So I saddled up my pony and I whistled on my dog
    Made for up the country at the old jig jog

    It's time that I was travelling, it's a mighty way to go
    Till I drink Artesian water from a thousand feet below
    Till I see the overlander with his cattle coming down
    I'll work a while, make a pile, have a spree in town

    Shift, boys, shift, there isn't the slightest doubt
    It's time that I was moving to the stations further out
    So I saddled up my pony and I whistled on my dog
    Made for up the country at the old jig jog

    (as sung by Hamish Imlach)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1972:] 'Banjo' Paterson's A Bushman's Song is one of the few ballads by a well known poet to pass into folk currency, where it has retained its text while losing its title. It is generally known as Travelling Down the Castlereagh though sometimes referred to as The Old Jig-Jog. (Edwards, Overlander 91)

  • [1992:] Sometimes it's hard to know which tune to use. I had the complete words of Banjo Paterson's songs and poems, but no tunes, and I wanted one for The Castlereagh. I met an Australian actor in the State Bar, and he sang me the song, so I got the basic tune. Peter Ross had independently come across the words and put a tune to them. [...] I've since heard people in Australia sing it, but the tune bears very little resemblance to the one I use. I've squeezed the tune to fit the chord sequence and rhythm I like - I'm very guilty of that, but people in Australia have said they prefer my version: it punches the words across better. (Imlach, Reminiscences 168)

  • [1992:] Fifteen, sixteen years ago I worked in Belfast for the first time. I decided to start with an Australian song. I thought, That won't offend anybody. Now in Australia the Castlereagh is a river. In Belfast I didn't know the Castlereagh is NOT a river. It is a police station where people are asked questions - allegedly hung by their billabongs. And the song starts, "I'm riding down the Castlereagh, I am a station hand, I'm handy with a rope and whip, I'm handy with a brand." And I thought, What's wrong with everybody? I don't mind people walking out - it's when they start walking towards me ... (Hamish Imlach, intro 'Keep Taking the Medicine')

  • [1995:] Poem written in the 1800s by Banjo Paterson, Australia's National Poet. I heard it as a song from an Australian actor in Glasgow over 30 years ago. We had both been drinking so the tune as I remembered it, and now play it, is nothing like the original. Station hand - Australian cowboy; station - Australian ranch; scab - insult for non-union worker. (Notes Hamish Imlach, 'More and Merrier')

Quelle: Australia

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