Friday, September 16, 2011

Bound For Darling Harbour




Merv Lilley



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Northern Queensland is my home,
Fire away, fire away
Northern Queensland is my home,
We're bound for Darling Harbour
Fire away, fire away
Fire away, you stokehole crew
We're bound for Darling Harbour

Queensland mills are crushing now,
Raw sugar stacked up to the bow

Down that deep and gloomy hole
A thousand tons of Bowen coal

Coal burning ships have seen their day
Oil is here and come to stay

Our hearts are sad, our hearts are sore
To see old firemen left ashore

Our ships will sail inland one day
To float the nations goods away

Now fare you well and fare you well
A last farewell to the stokehole hell.


Published as "A new song to an old shanty tune" in Singabout, Volume 1, Number 1, Summer 1956.


The illustration to this post is from Bonzle.com and shows cargo being loaded in Townsville in 1910.

1 comment:

  1. Yo!
    A friend tipped me off to this one. Very happy to hear it!

    Since you didn't mention it, I'm not sure if you were aware that the "old shanty tune" here is "South Australia"/"Rolling King."

    L.A. Smith was first to collect and publish a version of that song, with tune, in her 1888 book _Music of the Waters._ Folk revival singers after the 1950s seem to have altered the tune associated with "South Australia" (I think -- one could always try to argue it was yet another a variation that was "out there," but I think it more likely they inadvertently changed the customary tune(s)). For that reason, this may not sound like the "familiar" "South Australia", but it does match the actual historically documented (pre-folksingers) version!
    Cheers, thanks for the song.
    'Ranzo'

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