> Martyn Wyndham-Read > Songs > Andy's Gone With Cattle

Andy's Gone With Cattle

[ Roud - ; Ballad Index PASB174 ; Mudcat 21469 , 71002 ; words Henry Lawson]

This is a Henry Lawson poem written in 1888, and re-written a number of times. Chris Kempster's The Songs of Henry Lawson gives eight different traditional and recent tunes—it is quite popular!

Phyl Vinnicombe sang Andy's Gone With Cattle in 1967 on Martyn Wyndham-Read's, her and Peter Dickie's Score Records LP Bullockies, Bushwackers and Booze. Martyn Wyndham-Read sang it in 1979 as title track of his Broadside album Andy's Gone. This was also included in 2001 as a bonus track of the CD reissue of his Fellside album Emu Plains. Dave Arthur noted on Wyndham-Read's album:

Henry Archibald Lawson (1867-1922) was born in a gold field tent in New South Wales, the son of a Norwegian sailor. His wretched childhood was spent on a poor bush farm in what is now modern Sydney; to make matters worse, from the age of nine he grew increasingly deaf. A rather inauspicious start for the man who was to be heralded as Australia's greatest short story writer.

Lawson was also a prolific ballad writer, his subject matter being greatly influenced by his bush childhood. Their language is consciously set in colloquial bush-speech, complete with appropriate phonetic Aussie spelling. Many of these ballads (e.g. Andy's Gone With Cattle, Harry Dale the Drover, The Shearer's Dream) have had tunes fitted to them and have taken their place alongside traditional bush ballad and songs.

Redd Sullivan sang Andy's Gone With Cattle on the 1970 BBC album of songs from the radio series Folk on Friday.

Gerry Hallom sang Andy's Gone With Cattle in 1981 on his Fellside album Travellin' Down the Castlereagh. This track was also included in 1996 on his anthology CD Undiscovered Australia. He noted:

Words by Henry Lawson. Quite often amongst a group of people you'll find one whose personality lights up the lives of those around them in a special way, and is sorely missed when he or she leaves. Andy is off droving cattle, leaving his group of free selectors (smallholders) to face the antagonism of the local squatter. The Darling River is virtually the ‘back gate’ of New South Wales, from then on it's dryer, dustier, old Queensland.

Jean Redpath sang Andy's Gone With Cattle in 2000 on her Greentrax CD Summer of My Dreams. He noted:

Kel Watkins, an Australian member of the Stirling Heritage of Scotland Summer School in the mid 1980's, first introduced me to the works of Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson. Their ballads were not written as songs, and I remain in awe of Kel's ability to tell the stories they wrote, presenting hundreds of lines of narrative without benefit of a tune. Luckily for me, John Manifold (b. 1915) set Andy’s Gone to music.

Henry Archibald Lawson was born in a gold field tent in New South Wales, son of a Norwegian sailor. He spent his early years on a poor bush farm in what is now modern Sydney and from the age of nine grew increasingly deaf. A humble and inauspicious start for the man who would be heralded as Australia's greatest short story writer. He was also a prolific ballad writer focusing mostly on the outback. Many of these ballads have had tunes fitted to them and have taken their place in the singing tradition.

Early overlanders took stock to new country for speculation or permanent settlement. After frontier stations were established the stock had to be moved either to market or to better country to be fattened, and this was the work of men—and sometimes women—who spent their lives on the stock routes, returning to their families for the hotter and wetter months. Lawson's own deprived childhood made him very aware that every drover on the road had an anxious and dependent family at home, and that for many selectors droving trips were the only means of earning enough cash to be able to survive the lean times.

Éilís Kennedy sang Andy's Gone in 2001 on her privately issued CD Time to Sail.

Lyrics

Martyn Wyndham-Read sings Andy's Gone With Cattle

Our Andy's gone with cattle now, our thoughts are out of order.
With drought he's gone to battle now across the Queensland border.
He's left us in dejection now; our thoughts are with him roving.
It's dull on this selection now since Andy's gone a-droving.

Oh, who will wear the cheery smile when things around are blackest?
And who will whistle round the place when things are at the slackest?
And who will see the squatter now as he comes round us snarling?
His tongue has grown much quicker now since Andy crossed the Darling.

Oh may the water in torrents flow and may the tanks run over;
And may the grass grow tall and green in the pathways of the drover;
And may the angels send us rain in desert pastures sandy;
And when the summer comes again may God it bring us Andy.

Gerry Hallom sings Andy's Gone With Cattle

Our Andy's gone with cattle now, our hearts are out of order.
With drought he's gone to battle now across the Queensland border.
He's left us in dejection now; our thoughts with him are roving.
It's dull on this selection now since Andy's gone a-droving.

Oh, who shall wear the cheerful face when Fortune frowns the blackest?
And who shalle whistle round the place in times when things are slackest?
And who shall cheek the squatter now when he comes round us snarling?
His tongue is growing hotter now since Andy's crossed the Darling.

Oh may the showers in torrents fall and all the tanks run over;
And may the grass grow green and tall in pathways of the drover;
And may good angels send the rain on desert patches sandy;
And when the summer comes again God grant 'twill bring us Andy.

Jean Redpath sings Andy's Gone With Cattle

Our Andy’s gone to battle now with drought, the red marauder:
Our Andy’s gone with cattle now across the Queensland border.
He’s left us in dejection now; our hearts are with him roving.
It’s tough on this selection now since Andy went a-droving.

Oh, who shall wear the cheerful face in times when things are slackest?
Who shall whistle round the place when Fortune frowns her blackest?
And who shall cheek the squatter now when he comes round us snarling?
His tongue is growing hotter now since Andy crossed the Darling.

The gates are out of order now, in storms the riders rattle,
And far across the border now our Andy’s gone with cattle.
Aunty's looking thin and white and Uncle’s cross with worry,
Poor old Blucher howls all night since Andy left Macquarie.

May the showers in torrents fall and all the tanks run over;
May the grass grow green and tall in the pathways of the drover.
May good angels bring the rain on desert patches sandy
And when the summer comes again God grant 'twill bring us Andy.