Monday, August 29, 2011

River Bend

Words: Unknown
Tune: J. H. McNaughton

Non-flash audio for iPhone, iPad etc

Right-click to download

At River Bend, in New South Wales,
All alone among the whales,
Busting up some post and rails,
Sweet Belle Mahone.
In the blazing sun we stand,
Cabbage-tree hat, black velvet band,
Moleskins stiff with sweat and sand,
Sweet Belle Mahone.

Chorus: Sweet Belle Mahone, &c.

In the burning sand we pine,
No one asks us to have a wine,
’Tis a jolly crooked line,
Sweet Belle Mahone.
When I am sitting on a log,
Looking like a great big frog,
Waiting for a Murray cod,
Sweet Belle Mahone.

Land of snakes and cockatoos,
Native bears and big emus,
Ugly blacks and kangaroos,
Sweet Belle Mahone.
Paddymelons by the score,
Wild bulls, you should hear them roar,
They all belong to Johnny Dore,
Sweet Belle Mahone.

A parody of a popular sentimental song from 1867, Belle Mahone.

From Paterson's Old Bush Songs, where he notes:

“River Bend.”—This song certainly cannot boast of antiquity, as it is a parody on a recent sentimental song, but so many correspondents sent it in that it was decided to include it. Perhaps it is to its obvious sincerity of sentiment that it owes its popularity.

(I especially like the whales that are apparently found at the river bend!)

The harmonies for this post are those from the original published arrangement.

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