Phyl Lobl

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I have had a long association with Henry Lawson poems. I see him as more of a lyricist than a poet. I call him the songwriter without a guitar and have conducted numerous workshops on what I now call ‘Mopdocos’(Music Of  People Docos) on his and his mother's work. I have given many of his poems tunes but as yet haven't recorded more than 'Past Carin'' on BROADMEADOW THISTLE. Many of the tunes, however, are in Chris Kempster's fine collection of Lawson's Songs. This song is an adaptation of a longer Lawson poem by Royston Nicholas to which I was cheeky enough to add a verse because Lalor and Carboni did not get a mention and I wanted to make the history more complete for the kids I was teaching. That is verse 4.

 

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THE FIGHT AT EUREKA STOCKADE

(Henry Lawson/Royston Nicholas - adapted by Phyl Lobl)

We were all of us young on the diggings in the days when the nation had birth,
Lighthearted and careless and happy the flower of all countries on earth,
But the creed of our rulers was narrow they ruled with a merciless hand,
For the mark of the cursed broad arrow was deep in the heart of the land,

The troopers were most of them new chums with many a gentleman's son,
Riding on horseback was easy, hunting the digger was fun,
They roused the hot blood that was in us, the cry came to roll up at last,
I tell you that something had got to be done when the diggers rolled up in the past,

We were all of us young on the diggings in the days when the country had birth,
Lighthearted and careless and happy the flower of all nations on earth.

They say that in spite of the talking it all might have ended in smoke,
Just at the point of the crisis 1Peter Lalor quietly spoke,
We have all had our say and its useless you must fight or be slaves my friend,
If its fight and you're wanting a leader I'll lead you right on to the end,

We built a stockade at Eureka, we fashioned a flag full of stars,
The weapons we gathered were meagre, pikestaffs poles and some bars,
They marched in their hundreds from Creswick, Carboni and Lalor were there,
Resolved to make changes determined to see that the laws of Australia were fair,

We were all of us young on the diggings in the days when the country had birth,
Lighthearted and careless and happy the flower of all nations on earth.


Surprised in the grey of the morning, half-armed and the barricades bad,
A battle of twenty five minutes was long 'gainst the odds that they had,
The light of the morning was deadened, the smoke drifted over the town,
And the clay of Eureka was reddened 'ere the flag of the diggers came down,

But it rose in the hands of the people,
High on the breeze it is tossed,
It remembers the mates who had died
For a cause that was won when the battle was lost,

We were all of us young on the diggings in the days when the country had birth,
Lighthearted and careless and happy the flower of all nations on earth.


Original
 1the voice of a quiet man spoke
 We have had all our say and its useless we must fight or be slaves said the voice
 If its fight and you’re wanting a leader I’ll lead to the end take your choice

 

 

 
 
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