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Brisbane Ladies

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

Bush songs were almost never written down when created. So changes to the songs were bound to happen over the years.

To show you an example of this, we've combined two versions of Brisbane Ladies.

One version is in green and where the two versions differ, the words are in bold.

Go back to the originals
 version 1   version 2

Farewell and adieu to you Brisbane ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you girls of Toowong;
We have sold all our cattle and cannot now linger,
But trust we shall see you again before long.

Farewell and adieu to you Brisbane ladies
Farewell and adieu to you girls of Toowong
For we've sold all our cattle and have to be moving
But we hope we shall see you again before long

We sing and we shout like true Queensland natives
As merrily, merrily onward we push,
Until we return to the Old Cattle Station,
What joy and delight is a life in the bush.

We'll rant and we'll roar like true Queensland drovers
We'll rant and we'll roar as onward we push
Until we get back to the Augathella station
It's flaming dry going through the old Queensland bush

The first camp we make we'll call it the Good Luck,
Caboolture and Kilcoy, then Colinton Hut;
We pull up at Stone-house, Bob Williams's paddock,
And soon the next morning we cross the Black Butt.

The first camp we make we shall call it the Quart Pot
Caboolture then Kilcoy and Collington's hut
We'll pull up at the Stone House, Bob Williamson's paddock
And early next morning we cross the Blackbutt

On, on past Taromeo to Yarraman Creek, boys,
It's there we will make a fine camp for the day,
When the water and grass are both plenty and good boys,
The life of the drover is merry and gay.

Then onto Taromeo and Yarraman Creek lads
It's there we shall make our next camp for the day
Where the water and grass are both plenty and sweet lads
And maybe we'll butcher a fat little stray

The camp is all snug and supper is over,
We lounge round the fire enjoying a smoke,
While yarning of home, or the life of a drover,
Till all join in the chorus to `Grandfather's Clock.'

Next night through Nanango -the jolly old township,
`Good day to you, lads' with a hearty shake hands
`Come on, this is my shout! Well here's to your next trip,
And we hope you will step in tonight at our dance!'

Then onto Nanango that hard-bitten township
Where the out of work station hands sit in the dust
And the shearers get shore by old Tim the contractor
I wouldn't go by there but I flaming well must

Oh, the girls look so pretty the sight is entrancing,
Bewitching and graceful they join in the fun,
Of waltz, polka, first set, and all other dancing,
To the old concertina of Jack Smith, the Don.

The girls of Toomancy they look so entrancing
Those young bawling heifers are out looking for fun
With the waltz and the polka and all kinds of dancing
To the rackety old banjo of Henry Gunn

Though far I have travelled through Russia and Finns-Land,
Have met the famed damsels of Poland and Spain;
More lovely and fair are the darlings of Queensland,
You may search the wide world for their equals in vain.

Now drink to our lasses in right hearty fashion,
Come sing the loud chorus sing farewell to all;
And when we return from the Old Cattle Station,
We'll always be pleased to give you a call.

Then fill up your glasses and we'll drink to the lasses
We'll drink this town dry then
farewell to all
And when we return once more to Augathella
We hope you'll come by there and pay us a call

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