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Whichever the case, according to the National Film and Sound Archive it has been recorded over times in just about every possible musical style.


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Parts have been sung at six Olympic Games ceremonies dating back to The Seekers recorded it three times, and Slim played it at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. More recently, in world-famous Dutch violinist Andre Rieu played the tune to a singing Melbourne audience of more than 38, people.

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Published in in the Australian news magazine, The Bulletin , Clancy of The Overflow is a story about a city-dweller who meets a drover and proceeds to romanticise his outback life. It follows a mountainous horseback pursuit to recapture the colt of a prize-winning racehorse living with brumbies.

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This poem tells of a man who reacts badly to a practical joke sprung on him by a Sydney barber. The tongue-in-cheek story of Mulga Bill, a man who claimed he was an excellent cyclist only to crash, was published by The Sydney Mail.

Mulga Bill was based on a man of the name of William Henry Lewis, who knew Paterson around Bourke, NSW, and who had bought a bicycle because it was an easier form of transport than his horse in a time of drought. This tale tells of a rickety old horse that learned how to swim.

Australian Folk Songs | Female Transport | australian bush ballads and poems | Songs, Folk, Music

This sentimental work about a drover selling his faithful horse and reminiscing about their days on the land still speaks to people as mechanised transport and the cost of maintaining stock routes sees the very last of the drovers disappearing. Paterson wrote this sad ballad about war-weary horses after working as a correspondent during the Boer War in South Africa. Geebung is the indigenous name for a tough fruiting shrub Persoonia sp.

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Poetry and songs, 1786-1900

About the Book A stirring, foot-stomping treasure-trove of more than traditional songs that celebrate what it is to be Australian. Featuring fascinating background notes and liberally illustrated with rare images, this book is a must for anyone interested in Australia's musical and cultural history. And it has been collected by the one who knows them best: legendary folklorist and performer, Warren Fahey.