253. The Queensland Drover (Traditional Australian)

This song, published as early as 1865 in "The Queenslanders' New Colonial Fire Song Book", is also known as "The Overlander". It was included in Banjo Paterson's "Old Bush Songs" and has been recorded by A.L.Lloyd, though this version is closer to that sung by John Manifold.

I first heard this song on the landmark Australian folk album "Moreton Bay and Other Songs, Mainly of Convict Origin", which Peter Mann records brought out in 1963, with Martyn Wyndham-Read, Brian Mooney and David Lumsden, the first two being the most popular singers on the Australian folk scene of the sixties. This was one of the few songs performed by the three singers as a group.

A personal note - I heard Martyn Wyndham-Read perform live a few years ago - I think it was at the Ringwood Folk Club.

Personal note 2 - Peter Mann, who ran Discurio, a record shop in Melbourne dedicated to folk music, taught me Geography and German in Forms 2 and 3 at Camberwell Grammar.

Lyrics and chords of this song can be found here:

For lyrics and chords of all my songs, please see my website:

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Added: 7 years
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Author dbadagna (6 years)
My band plays this song exactly twice as fast (though it's probably not
traditional, because every recording of a bush band playing this song I've
heard was at the tempo you're doing it).

Author sami1947 (4 years)
bravo, greetings from Athens Greece

Author Robbobli (4 years)
a shortened version but a great job

Author jaminunit (7 years)
Thanks mate loved that

Author raymondcrooke (4 years)
Thanks, mate. No worries!

Author Pete Johnson (1 year)
Gidday do you know "lanky and i was droving one day" to woman and children
white man and black the flying doctor has done a great service out back.

Author cuzzy vF (4 years)
hi i am 13 years old and i am using this ballad for a school assignment
thank you so much this is a great triditional Australian ballad, thanks
alot and i got to ask you that isn't there two more verses at the end that
you didn't sing? please reply on my channel thanks again

Author raymondcrooke (6 years)
You're welcome. Let's keep the old songs alive.

Author lamplightgirl (6 years)
I am always so pleased to hear anyone singing these songs - it keeps
history alive, whether in our own homes or out and about. Good onya mate!

Author raymondcrooke (5 years)
Greetings from Hong Kong! Glad you liked it.

Author Trulyloyale (7 years)
Awsome !! So boring and stupid stuff ! Typical australian rudiness and lack
of historical traditions !!! He really sounds like a fulling chicken .

Author raymondcrooke (6 years)
Um - a guitar? A tin can? A Rolf Harris cassette? A picture of Snoopy? No,
I give up? What do you have?

Author Janus Zeal (6 years)
A Precious Tincan, I don't know where to find another so I can post it to
you :) Rolf Harris, ahh, the memories Guitar? i've got a student one

Author raymondcrooke (6 years)
Thanks. I've had a look at your songs. Good to see original Australian
songs. I look forward to hearing more.

Author Janus Zeal (6 years)
I know this to be true, however, I don't know how I picked up on these
songs Mr Raymond sings. I just knwo that I had scores of lyrics frot hese
melodies that I shall soon be actually singing in the original fashion
(pounding on a tincan) for YOutube, I will think of you as I perform
"Mayday" Which is about a battle between Earth and Dareth, which is the
setting for the poems

Author Janus Zeal (6 years)
Oh my dear Raymond, most of your traditional songs make me want to break
out the Tincan and sing problem, I'ts gone missing again :(

Author raymondcrooke (4 years)
@Robbobli Thank you.

Author gadnoth70 (7 years)
gordon bok was the first folk singer i heard sing this

Author Rikitocker (2 years)
Great job mate but you need to mute that open E string as it is causing an
out of tune dissonance when you are strumming. You can play that C chord by
adding your pinky finger to the G position on the 6th string - adds meat
and sounds clean and full. Keep up the great work.

Author smurfswacker (7 years)
By George, that was the name of the fellow on the LP. Maybe he just made up
the verse. Or learned it from someone else who did...

Author BoudiccaBlanc (3 years)

Author fotballtesen (7 years)
Great man...Watch my videos

Author raymondcrooke (4 years)
@cuzzy28 That didn't come out looking the way it should, but I'm sure you
can work out where the lines begin and end. Good luck with the assignment.

Author raymondcrooke (4 years)
There are 3 more verses. I don't think they add much to the song, but you
may need them for your assignment: As I pass along the road, The children
raise my dander Shouting "Mother dear, take in the clothes Here comes an
Overlander". There's a girl in Sydney Town Who said "Please don't leave me
lonely." I said "It's sad, but my old Prad Has room for one man only." But
I'm bound for home once more On a Prad that's quite a goer. I can find a
job with a crawling mob On the banks of the Maranoa.

Author mangocomputer (7 years)
Great, Enjoyed it. I have watched a few of your vids and liked them all.
Thanks Larry

Author raymondcrooke (5 years)
Thanks, Andrzej. I hope you will find many songs to enjoy on my channel.

Author smurfswacker (7 years)
I haven't heard this song in years...I first heard it on an LP by an
American folk singer. Wonderful to hear it again, and your rendition is
super! One thing...I recall there being one more verse at the end,
something like "I'm off on the road again / on a prad (?) that's quite a
goer / I'll get a job with the howling mob on the banks of the Morinoa." Am
I remembering this right?

Author lamplightgirl (6 years)
Many of these tunes are old Irish tunes, which is why they may be familiar
to some in America. I always sing them round the campfire when we are out
in the bush.

Author Janus Zeal (6 years)
So am I, incidently enough, this became the melody for the song "Mayday"
which I wrote the poem to at the age of 7

Author bethanynicholas (3 years)
@cuzzy28 same i am doing this ballad for an assignment

Author jeemzy (6 years)
Oh thank you so much for uploading this song! I have been looking for it
for years. I used to have an old Rolf Harris cassette of All Together Now
and this song was on it. I can't find that version anywhere, but this is
just as good as anything. Thank you.

Author dimmyrocks (4 years)
good on you, great too see theres still a good old aussie out there :)

Author hsbd007 (5 years)
In Harry's album this song was tititled Overlander. Heard this song when I
was in grade school. Loved it!

Author raymondcrooke (4 years)
@sami1947 Yjanks. Greetings from Montreal, Canada! (Just arrived here for a

Author Mark Taylor (2 years)
My parents have that cassette as well and now I have the record. Rolf's
version was the first one I ever heard, the first was by the Hawking

Author Stewart Gizmo Young (5 years)
Hello Raymond Well done, Lots of Hugs Kisses Love Gizmo xox

Author markwynn01 (5 years)
Greeting from the US! Good job on this.

Author Janus Zeal (6 years)
Yes, especially if they're Anti-Neurotypical -- and BTW, speaking of which,
my dear Raymond, Guess what *I* have now? :)

Author raymondcrooke (2 years)
@Rikitocker I was using an unfamiliar guitar here. I'm not used to steel

Author coomadoug (6 years)
Hope you get to see some of my stuff Ray you got the strong voice there man

Author ceg111 (7 years)
i jsut love all these aussie folk songs well traditional aussie folk songs
like this one, Along the Road to Gundagai and waltzing matilda I still call
australia home and land down under are classics

Author raymondcrooke (6 years)
Thanks for listening.

Author raymondcrooke (7 years)
I think you're right. Some versions do have that extra verse. Thanks for
your comment.

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