Henry's Songbook

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The Drover's Dream

  • (Rossavielle? / Trad)

    One night when travelling sheep, my companions lay asleep
    There was not a star illuminate the sky
    I was dreaming I suppose, for my eyes were partly closed
    When a very strange procession passed me by
    First there came a kangaroo with a swag of blankets blue
    And the dingo ran beside him as his mate
    They were travelling mighty fast but they shouted as they passed
    We'll have to jog along, it's getting late

    The pelican and the crane they came in from off the plain
    To amuse the company with a Highland fling
    The dear old bandicoot played a tune upon his flute
    And the native bears sat round him in the ring
    The drongo and the crow sang us songs of long ago
    And the frilled necked lizard
    listened with a smile
    The emu standing near with his claw up to his ear
    Said, Funniest thing I've heard for quite a while

    The frogs from out the swamp where the atmosphere is damp
    Came bounding in and sat upon the stones
    They each unrolled their swags and produced from little bags
    The violin, the banjo and the bones
    The goanna and the snake and the adder wide awake
    With an alligator danced The Soldier's Joy
    In the spreading silky oak the jackass cracked a joke
    And the magpie sang The Wild Colonial Boy

    Some brolgas darted out from the tea-tree all about
    And performed a set of lancers very well
    The parrot green and blue gave the orchestra its cue
    To strike up The Old Log Cabin in the Dell
    I was dreaming I suppose, for these entertaining shows
    But it never crossed my mind I was asleep
    Till the boss beneath the cart woke me up with such a start
    Yelling, Prithee me, where the hell are all the sheep

    As sung by Rossavielle

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1964:] A. L. Lloyd [...] says this Australian shearers' song is extremely well-known in that continent. It was featured in the English stage version of "Reedy river", mounted by Unity Theatre in the fifties. (Notes 'Presenting The Ian Campbell Folk Group')

  • [1966:] Some Australian bush-songs are as rough as a chaff-bag. Not so this bemused wool-gathering piece of whimsy that has drifted sleepily all over the Australian continent from the south of Victoria up to Darwin. Old Bill Harney, a walking repository of Australian folklore, used to tell of a young drover who fell asleep on his night-watch. When he woke up, the sheep were gone and his mates were saddled up ready to search for them. The boss drover leaned over him with a kindly smile and said: "Don't bother to get up, son. Your cheque's in your boot!" The song requires no glossary, though it's worth mentioning that the maniacal bird called the kookaburra or laughing jackass is the bitter enemy of small reptiles such as the frilled lizard. (Notes A. L. Lloyd, 'First Person')

  • [1972:] The Drover's Dream must have been a very popular song in the last century for many of the old-timers in North Queensland remember fragments of it. (Edwards, Overlander 93)

  • [1996:] \Ban"di*coot\, n. [A corruption of the native name.] (Zo["o]l.) (a) A species of very large rat (Mus giganteus), found in India and Ceylon. It does much injury to rice fields and gardens. (b) A ratlike marsupial animal (genus Perameles) of several species, found in Australia and Tasmania. (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary)

  • See also
    The Drovers Dream

    Tune: different from the usual one

Quelle: Australia

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 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

16.06.2003, aktualisiert am 16.06.2003