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The Old Bush Songs   By: (1864-1941)

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The Old Bush Songs is an enchanting collection of Australian folk songs compiled by renowned poet and author, Andrew B. Paterson. Delving into the rich cultural fabric of Australia's early settlement, Paterson brings to life the colorful and captivating anecdotes of the country's pioneers through these timeless tunes.

From the moment I opened the book, I was transported back in time, immersed in the raw and vibrant world of the Australian bush. Paterson's meticulous research and deep understanding of the subject matter shine through in his annotations and introductions to each song. His attention to detail not only provides historical context but also reveals the profound cultural significance embedded within the lyrics.

The book boasts a diverse range of songs, capturing various aspects of Australian life during the nineteenth century. Tales of convict lives, drovers, shearers, and gold miners are woven together in a vibrant tapestry of humanity's struggle and triumph over harsh landscapes. What struck me most was the genuine joy and camaraderie emanating from these songs—while often rooted in hardship, they are infused with an undeniable sense of resilience, humor, and a shared love for the bush.

One aspect that sets this collection apart is Paterson's outstanding ability to capture the true essence of bush music. He expertly conveys the distinctive rhythms, melodies, and language of these songs, preserving their authenticity for generations to come. Whether it's a rhythmic ballad or a foot-stomping dance tune, each song carries an infectious energy that can transport listeners to a lively pub or a campfire gathering under the vast Southern sky.

Moreover, The Old Bush Songs is not just a songbook; it is a window into the heart and soul of a nation. Through these songs, we glimpse the aspirations, fears, and dreams of ordinary Australians, elegantly captured by Paterson's lyrical prowess. Reading these lyrics, I found myself experiencing a profound connection to a distant past, almost as if I were participating in the songs myself.

While anyone can enjoy the beautiful melodies contained within The Old Bush Songs, it holds particular resonance for those interested in Australia's pioneering history and its cultural heritage. Paterson's talent in bringing these songs to life is undeniable, making this anthology a valuable record of a bygone era.

In conclusion, Andrew B. Paterson's The Old Bush Songs is a powerful and evocative collection that serves as a tribute to the pioneers and storytellers of Australia. With its rich historical context, authenticity, and sheer musicality, this book deserves a place on the shelf of anyone interested in the country's folk music tradition or its cultural roots. Paterson's passion for the subject shines through in each page, making this a must-read for folk music enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

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This ebook was prepared by Jeffrey Kraus yao


Second Impression completing the Tenth Thousand


Composed and sung in the Bushranging, Digging, and Overlanding Days




Websdale, Shoosmith and Co., Printers, Sydney


The object of the present publication is to gather together all the old bush songs that are worth remembering. Apart from other considerations, there are many Australians who will be reminded by these songs of the life of the shearing sheds, the roar of the diggings townships, and the campfires of the overlanders. The diggings are all deep sinking now, the shearing is done by contract, and the cattle are sent by rail to market, while newspapers travel all over Australia; so there will be no more bush ballads composed and sung, as these were composed and sung, as records of the early days of the nation. In their very roughness, in their absolute lack of any mention of home ties or of the domestic affections, they proclaim their genuineness. They were collected from all parts of Australia, and have been patched together by the compiler to the best of his ability, with the idea of presenting the song as nearly as possible as it was sung, rather than attempting to soften any roughness or irregularity of metre... Continue reading book >>

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