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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

Five Miles
From Gundagai

traditional Australian song, composer unknown

There are over 30 old bush songs and poems about Gundagai.

What the words mean

  • Gundagai ~ town located along the Murrumbidgee River 390 km south-west of Sydney, NSW. Gundagai lies within the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri speaking people.
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As I was coming down Conroy's Gap
   I heard a maiden cry,
There goes Bill the Bullocky,
   He's bound for Gundagai.
A better poor old
   Never cracked an honest crust:
A tougher poor old
   Never drug a whip through dust.

His team got bogged at the Five-Mile Creek,
   Bill lashed and swore and cried:
'If Nobby don't get me out of this,
   I'll tattoo his hide'.

But Nobby strained and broke the yoke
   And poked out the leader's eye,
Then the dog sat on the tucker-box
   Five miles from Gundagai.

 

As with most songs of this era, they were never written down when they were composed, but learned and passed from person to person by what they heard. So it was inevitable that there would arise different versions of the same song.

This song should not be confused with the poem The Road to Gundagai by Banjo Paterson which is quite different or the old bush song Along the Road to Gundagai. We also have on our website Nine Miles from Gundagai, Five Miles From Gundagai and Flash Jack From Gundagai.

That's a lot of Gundagai.

Disaster Hits Gundagai. In 25 June 1852 a flood swept away the town of Gundagai. It killed over 25% of the population, making it one of the biggest natural disasters in Australia's history. Three Aboriginal men are credited for rescuing over 40 townspeople. The men were honoured with bronze medallions.

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