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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

Ten Thousand Miles Away

traditional Australian song, composer unknown

What the words mean

  • Cobb & Co. ~ company pioneered road transport in Australia. Their horse-drawn coaches carried passengers and mail from 1853 to the 1920s. The company was formed by Freeman Cobb and a group of fellow Americans. Cobb sold his shares in the company three years later, but they kept the name.
  • Roma - southern Queensland town
  • Barcoo ~ located in far north Queensland
  • nardoo ~ an Australian swamp fern (Marsilea drummondii) with clover-like fronds. The large fruiting bodies (sporocarps) found at the base can be ground into a paste to make a type of bread.

Hurrah for the Roma railway! Hurrah for Cobb and Co.,
And oh! for a good fat horse or two to carry me Westward Ho
To carry me Westward Ho! my boys, thats where the cattle stray
On the far Barcoo, where they eat nardoo, a thousand miles away.

Then give your horses rein across the open plain,
Well ship our meat both sound and sweet, nor care what some
    folks say;
And frozen well send home the cattle that now roam
On the far Barcoo and the Flinders too, a thousand miles away.

Knee-deep in grass weve got to pass for the truth Im bound
   to tell
Where in three weeks the cattle get as fat as they can swell
As fat as they can swell, my boys; a thousand pounds they weigh,
On the far Barcoo, where they eat nardoo, a thousand miles away.

Then give your horses rein across the open plain,
Well ship our meat both sound and sweet, nor care what some
    folks say;
And frozen well send home the cattle that now roam
On the far Barcoo and the Flinders too, a thousand miles away.

No Yankee hide eer grew outside such beef as we can freeze;
No Yankee pastures make such steers as we send oer the seas
As we send oer the seas, my boys, a thousand pounds they
   weigh
From the far Barcoo, where they eat nardoo, a thousand miles away.

Then give your horses rein across the open plain,
Well ship our meat both sound and sweet, nor care what some
    folks say;
And frozen well send home the cattle that now roam
On the far Barcoo and the Flinders too, a thousand miles away.

 

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