Old Bullock Dray, The
DESCRIPTION: The bullock driver is preparing for a good life in the bush. He seeks a wife, and prepares to head out to find land. He urges others along: "So it's roll up your blankets, and let's make a push; I'll take you upcountry and show you the bush...."
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (Paterson's _Old Bush Songs_)
KEYWORDS: Australia travel settler
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Meredith/Anderson, p. 127, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 66-67, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manifold-PASB, pp. 140-141, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 143-149, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Bill Wannan, _The Australians: Yarns, ballads and legends of the Australian tradition_, 1954 (page references are to the 1988 Penguin edition), pp. 53-55, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text)
A. K. MacDougall, _An Anthology of Classic Australian Lore_ (earlier published as _The Big Treasury of Australian Foiklore_), The Five Mile Press, 1990, 2002, pp. 309-310, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text)
Bill Beatty, _A Treasury of Australian Folk Tales & Traditions_, 1960 (I use the 1969 Walkabout Paperbacks edition), pp. 299-300, "The Old Bullock Dray" (1 text)
John Greenway, "The Old Bullock Dray" (on JGreenway01)
NOTES [142 words]: Settlers in Australia had two major problems: Lack of women (since most convicts were men) and lack of land (since the good properties had been snatched up by early settlers and the wealthy). In 1861, Sir John Robertson (the "Jackie Robertson" of some versions of the song) promoted the New South Wales Free Selection Act, which made at least some land available to newcomers. Although it didn't really solve the problem, it promoted the era of good feeling apparently described in this song.
The "depot" mentioned in some texts is the compound at Parramatta where female immigrants were kept. Referred to as the "Female Factory," it allowed settlers to come in and seek wives.
Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, A Guide to Australian Folklore, Kangaroo Press, 2003, p. 203, observe that "the song does not note if the bullocky was successful." - RBW
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