Monday, November 28, 2011

The Kennedy Men

Words:  Unknown (Remos)
Tune:  Traditional (Bonnie Dundee)

The Northernmost part of bonnie Queensland
Is held in possession by stout heart and hand
Twas settled by us who came out here and then
We were known in the world as the Kennedy men.

Then we'll up with our voices and cry out with glee,
We are lords of the bush, we are happy and free,
In future may poets with pride use their pen
On all that is done by the Kennedy men.

Through swamps, through scrub, over ranges and sand,
Dalrymple -  he led us, and here made a stand,
Say's he, "This will do -  for a city I ken -
So three cheers fro the queen and the Kennedy men"

We all pitched our tents on the ridge near the wells,
Our foes mustered near us with fierce shouts and yells,
Next night when 'twas dark, and very near ten,
The blacks danced like fiends round the Kennedy Men.

Dal- our leader, stood firm as a rock in the storm,
Crying, "Those who are men and true Britons born,
Meet your foes hand to hand, drive the fiends to their den,"
Which was done with good will by the Kennedy Men.

If ever the hour of trial comes, 'twill be seen,
We'll be faithful and true to our God and our Queen,
And the base craven hearts that would hide themselves then,
May they never be known, as the Kennedy Men.

We pray that our Queens representatives here
May be honest and fair and give ear to our prayer;
And when the estimates pass from his minister's pen,
May they not cheat the faraway Kennedy Men

We have contended with sickness, with hunger and pain,
And we do not regret, we would do it again,
For our dear little town, the town of Bowen,
Is the pride of Queensland and the Kennedy Men

We have all that we could wish for, we have home, friends and health,
And in a short time, we'll have plenty of wealth,
Our ladies are fair, and there's one in England, I ken,
Is beloved by all true-hearted Kennedy Men.

Then here's to each friend of the pioneer band
That came out at first here in search of new land,
May we do what we ought, till the last day and then
May God bless the true-hearted Kennedy Men.

From the Queenslanders New Colonial Camp Fire Song Book.  These words copied from John Meredith's transcription of same in the National Library of Australia collection.

George Dalrymple is the "Dalrymple" referred to in the lyrics:

Explorer and Politician

George Dalrymple was born on 6 May 1826 at Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  He arrived in Australia between 1856 and 1858 and went to the Darling Downs where he was unable to take up land as he had intended. The unoccupied north attracted him and in February 1859 he published in Brisbane Proposals for the Establishment of a New Pastoral Settlement in North Australia and organised an expedition to explore the Burdekin River watershed (Kennedy district). His party, including Ernest Henry and Philip Sellheim, set out from near Rockhampton in August and reached the site of Bowen.

In August he went with Lieutenant J. W. Smith in the Spitfire to explore the coast and examine Port Denison as a port of access for the Kennedy. As officer in charge of the proposed settlement of Bowen, Dalrymple then planned the expedition to establish the township and led the overland section.  After he arrived Bowen was proclaimed on 11 April 1861.  In March 1865 he was elected the first member for Kennedy in the Legislative Assembly.  In 1867 he went to Britain to recover his health and returned to Queensland in 1869 and with A. J. Bogle took up Oxford Downs on the Upper Burdekin.  The venture failed, as did his imported traction engine which proved impracticable on northern roads. Insolvent, he was lucky to get a government post as Assistant Gold Commissioner on the Gilbert diggings in October 1871.  In September 1873 he led an official exploration of the coast north of Cardwell.  They reached the Endeavour River in October, just before Cooktown sprang up as the port for the Palmer goldfields.  They returned to Cardwell in December and Dalrymple, sick with fever, went to Brisbane.  After a summer in Scotland he went to St Leonards, Sussex, where he died, unmarried, on 22 January 1876.

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