Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Mines of Australia







Unknown.





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I sailed to the west with a schoolmate of mine
And together we shared the hard toil.
It was hard times at home that caused us to roam,
No work for the sons of the soil.
So I bade me old father and mother goodbye,
And I said I'll not be long away;
For ten years have passed, fortune's favoured at last
And I'm leaving Australia today.

I sailed to the west with a dear pal of mine,
Each having a share in one claim
And taking bad luck as it came with the rest,
And working on just the same
Til a cowardly blow struck my poor pal low,
Who struck him I never could tell;
But the share of his gold placed close to my heart
For mother and dear sister, Nell.

Well I'm going back to my dear old home
That's far away over the sea
Right back to the scenes of my childhood
Where there'll be a welcome for me
Well many's the year it has passed away
Since I left old England's shore,
And may God speed the vessel that carries me back
To my dear old home once more.

I sailed to the west with a schoolmate of mine
And together we shared the hard toil.
It was hard times at home that caused us to roam,
No work for the sons of the soil.
So I bade me old father and mother goodbye,
And I said I'll not be long away;
For ten years have passed, fortune's favoured at last
And I'm leaving Australia today.


Lyrics for this one from Mudcat:

On Kate Burke & Ruth Hazelton's album "Swapping Seasons" the notes for THE MINES OF AUSTRALIA say "Trad. arr K.Burke, L. Plumb & R. Hazleton. Collected by Warren Fahey from Cyril Duncan, 1973, Queensland."

Warren's own site has two verses of this song collected from "Mrs D Clarke"

A version of this song appears on the 1993 double CD, The Larrikin Sessions.


The illustration to this post is a photograph from the 1870s of "Simmons' (miners' office, mining agent, law agent and public accountant) and family outside his bark hut, Gulgong area, 1871-1875", American & Australasian Photographic Company. From the State Library of New South Wales collection.

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