Friday, August 5, 2011

Stringybark and Greenhide


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I sing of a commodity, it's one that will not fail yer,
I mean the common oddity, the mainstay of Australia;
Gold it is a precious thing, for commerce it increases,
But stringy bark and green hide, can beat it all to pieces.

Stringy bark and green hide, that will never fail yer!
Stringy bark and green hide, the mainstay of Australia.

If you travel on the road, and chance to stick in Bargo,
To avoid a bad capsise, you must unload your cargo;
For to pull a dray about, I do not see the force on,
Take a bit of green hide, and hook another horse on.

If you chance to take a dray, and break your leader's traces,
Get a bit of green hide, to mend the broken places.
Green hide is a useful thing all that you require;
But stringy bark's another thing when you want a fire.

If you want to build a hut, to keep out wind and weather,
Stringy bark will make it snug, and keep it well together;
Green hide, if it's used by you, will make it all the stronger,
For if you tie it with green hide, its sure to last the longer.

New chums to this golden land, never dream of failure,
Whilst you've got such useful things as these in fair Australia;
For stringy bark and green hide will never, never fail you,
Stringy bark and green hide is the mainstay of Australia.

Another beauty from Ron Edward's collecting, this time from Jock Dingwall in Cairns, recorded in April, 1965. Ron took these words from an undated Sydney Songster of the mid-19th century.

Recorded with 1890 tenor and 1853 bass Wheatstone concertinas.

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