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Andy's Gone With Cattle

[words Henry Lawson]

This is a Henry Lawson poem written in 1888. Chris Kempster's The Songs of Henry Lawson gives eight different traditional and recent tunes—it is quite popular!

Martyn Wyndham-Read sang Andy's Gone With Cattle in 1967 on the Score Records LP Bullockies, Bushwackers and Booze, and in 1979 as title track of his Broadside Records LP Andy's Gone. It was also included in 2001 as a bonus track of the CD reissue of his Fellside album Emu Plains. Dave Arthur commented in the liner notes of Andy's Gone:

Henry Archibald Lawson (1867-1922) was born in a gold field tent in New South Wales, the son of a Norwegian sailor. His wretched childhood was spent on a poor bush farm in what is now modern Sydney; to make matters worse, from the age of nine he grew increasingly deaf. A rather inauspicious start for the man who was to be heralded as Australia's greatest short story writer.

Lawson was also a prolific ballad writer, his subject matter being greatly influenced by his bush childhood. Their language is consciously set in colloquial bush-speech, complete with appropriate phonetic Aussie spelling. Many of these ballads (e.g. Andy's Gone With Cattle, Harry Dale the Drover, The Shearer's Dream) have had tunes fitted to them and have taken their place alongside traditional bush ballad and songs.

Redd Sullivan sang Andy's Gone With Cattle on the 1970 BBC album Folk on Friday: A Selection of Songs from the BBC Radio Series.

Gerry Hallom sang Andy's Gone With Cattle in 1981 on his Fellside album Travellin' Down the Castlereagh. This track was also included in 1996 on his anthology CD Undiscovered Australia.

Éilís Kennedy sang Andy's Gone in 2001 on her privately issued CD Time to Sail.

Lyrics

Martyn Wyndham-Read sings Andy's Gone With Cattle

Our Andy's gone with cattle now, our thoughts are out of order.
With drought he's gone to battle now across the Queensland border.
He's left us in dejection now; our thoughts are with him roving.
It's dull on this selection now, since Andy's gone a-droving.

Oh, who will wear the cheery smile when things around are blackest?
And who will whistle round the place when things are at the slackest?
And who will see the squatter now as he comes round us snarling?
His tongue has grown much quicker now since Andy crossed the Darling.

0h may the water in torrents flow and may the tanks run over;
And may the grass grow tall and green in the pathways of the drover;
And may the angels send us rain in desert pastures sandy;
And when the summer comes again may God it bring us Andy.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Andy's Gone With Cattle.