> Danny Spooner > Songs > On the Banks of the Reedy Lagoon

On the Banks of the Reedy Lagoon

[ Roud - ; AFS 149 ; Ballad Index PASB144 ; Jimmy Connors]

Martyn Wyndham-Read sang Reedy Lagoon on his 1984 Greenwich Village album A Rose from the Bush. He commented in his sleeve notes:

I would take this song with me to a desert island, as it brings home so much of Australia and the smell of the bush to me. This version from Ron Edward's Big Book of Australian Folk Songs is similar to the one collected by Geoff and Nancey Wills in Queensland.

Danny Spooner sang On the Banks of the Reedy Lagoon in 2017 on his final CD, Home. He noted:

An article in 1935 identifies the author of the poem as Jimmy Connors, who is described as a prolific contributor of newspaper verses, and noted as having died a couple of years before. The song has been collected a few times from oral sources, and was included in the Joy Durst Collection put out by the Victorian Folk Music Club in 1970.

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings On the Banks of the Reedy Lagoon

The sweet-scented wattle sheds perfume around,
Enticing the bird and the bee;
As I lie at my rest in a fern-covered rest
In the shade of a currajong tree;
High up in the air I can hear the refrain
Of a butcher-bird piping its tune,
For the spring, in her glory, has come back again
To the banks of the Reedy Lagoon.

I've carried my bluey for many a mile,
My boots they are worn out at the toe;
And I'm dressing, this season, in a far different style,
To that of last season, God knows!
My cooking utensils, I'm sorry to say,
Consist of a knife and a spoon.
And I've dry bread and tea, in my battered jack-shay
On the banks of the Reedy Lagoon.

Where is old Frankie, man how could he ride,
And Johnny, the kind-hearted boy;
They tell me that lately he's taken a bride,
A benedict's life to enjoy.
And Big Mac, the Scotchman; I once heard him say,
That he wrestled the famous Muldoon:
But they're all far away, and I'm lonely today
On the bank of the Reedy Lagoon.

Now where is that lassie I oft-times caressed,
The girl with the sad dreamy eyes?
She pillows her head on another man's breast,
While he tells her the very same lies.
My bed she would hardly be willing to share,
Where I camp by the light of the moon.
But it's little I care, cos I couldn't keep square
On the bank of the Reedy Lagoon.