DESCRIPTION: "Ten miles down Reedy River, a pool of water lies, And all the year it mirrors the changes in the skies." The singer recalls riding with Mary Campbell to the pool. They build a homestead. But now "The wattle blossoms golden above my Mary's grave."
AUTHOR: Words: Henry Lawson (1867-1922) / Music: Chris Kempster
EARLIEST DATE: 1981 (recording, Bok/Trickett/Muir)
KEYWORDS: love courting river death burial racing farming
REFERENCES (2 citations):
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 42, #1 (1997), p, 27, "Reedy River" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [140 words]: This is pretty definitely not traditional, but now well enough known among folkies that I included this entry as a placeholder to say it's not traditional.
Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, A Guide to Australian Folklore, Kangaroo Press, 2003, p. 222, reports that "Reedy River" was a "Stage musical using Australian folk songs collected by actor John Gray and some composed pieces in folk style, with a script by Dick Diamond. First produced by the Melbourne New Theatre in 1953 and frequently revived."
Davey/Seal on p. 266 add of the Wattle "Folk name of the native [Australian] plant species Acacia. Wattle is a popular Australian icon, and is also favoured in folksong and popular verse for romantic and sentimental death scenes. Possibly due to this association, some people believe it is unluck to have wattle in the house. - RBW
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