Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Old Black Billy




Words: Edward Harrington.
Music. Traditional





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I've humped my bluey in all the states
With my old black billy the best of mates;
For years I've camped and toiled and tramped
Over roads that are rough and hilly;
with my highly senible indispensable,
Old Black Billy

Chorus:
My old black billy, my old black billy;
whe-ther the wind is warm or chilly,
I al-ways find when shadows fall,
My old black bill-y's the best mate of all!

I've carried my swag on the parched Paroo,
Where water is scarce and the houses few:
On many a track on the great outback,
Where the heat would drive you silly;
I've carried my sensible, indispensable,
Old Black billy.

When my tramping days are o'er.
And I drop my swag at the Golden Door,
Saint Peter will stare when he sees me there,
Then he'll say, "Poor wandering Willie,
Come in with your sensible, indispensable,
Old Black Billy."



This song has been included at the request of Jane Harding. I was't familiar with and so was thankful to find a clip online of Bert Gibson singing the song at Nariel Creek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbKvXf8SoQo.)


Bob Bolton had this to say on the Mudcat thread about this song:

The song was a favourite in Reedy River, Dick Diamond's 1953 play about the aftermath of the great Shearers' Strike of 1891.

In the accompanying song book the note says " This version was collected from a shearer in Melbourne, and after it had been used in "Reedy River" for some time, the original published work by Edward Harrington to Roy Jeffries' tune was discovered.

The credits are then given as:
Words: Edward Harrington. Music. Traditional



For Wikipedia's take on the Billy, follow this link.

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