Digital Tradition Mirror

Bulls of the Speewah

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Bulls of the Speewah

All this talk of the Dawson scrub it fairly leaves me cold
I tell you them bulls were dinkum cows in the Speewah days of old
More fiercer than the fiercest cat more cunning than the Blacks
They 'd tie branches to their tails to cover up their tracks

On leaving camp you must put out the fire you had last night
For them bulls would carry firesticks on their teeth to set your yards
They had the bower-birds squared to bellow to put you off your course
They even had the dingoes trained to heel your bloody horse

One day there was six of us to muster to Jackass yard
No better stockmen in the land and used to riding hard
The boss was on a raking bay called Casanover's Desire
And I fancied myself that I looked the part on a horse called Black Maria

Well soon we see a score of bulls they're contented as you please
Some was sharpening their horns on the sandstone rocks while some was
     skewering trees
We make them flaming cattle run as fast as they could lick
But every time I look behind they seem to be gaining quick

There's a big  roan bull about a yard behind bowled over my mare and me
So just to to see if my mates are alright I climb the nearest tree
Well I'm up here and he's down there as if he'd like to stay
But since I've no more use for him I let him slink away

And down I come and grabs my mare (her foot's caught in the rein)
And I'm as keen as mustard now to help my mates again
They  was heading straight for the Jackass yard it was clear the way they
They'd torn big trees up by the roots and even the hills looked bent

When I gets came in sight of the Jackass yard I sat there goggle-eyed
For those bulls was camped outside the gate and the men was all inside
So now when I hear talk of the Dawson days my mind goes back to when
Those wild bulls of the Speewah scrub would muster up the men

From the poem Bulls of Speewah by R.C.Pierce (Bob Bloodwood)
This version as sung by A.L.Lloyd in a concert at the Singers Club in
London 1973. Chris Kempster transcribed the tune for this collection
from a tape recording made of the concert by Mark Gregory.


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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