Eumerella Shore, The

DESCRIPTION: "There's a happy little valley by the Eumerella Shore Where I've lingered many happy hours away...." The singer rejoices to be free of the squatters, or even to be able to steal their cattle. He encourages his animals to enjoy their freedom
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1964
KEYWORDS: Australia farming freedom outlaw
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1861 - Sir John Robertson (called Jack Robertson in the song) passes the New South Wales Free Selection Act, allowing the poorer members of the population freer access to land
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 155-156, "The Eumerella Shore"; p. 238, "The Noomanally Shore" ; pp. 278-279, "The Neumerella Shore" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
AndersonStory, pp. 211-213, " The Eumarella Shore" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manifold-PASB, pp. 106-107, "Eumerella Shore" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 272-273, "The Umeralla Shore" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 162-165, "The Numerella Shore" (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. 71-72, "The Eumerella Shore" (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, p. 150, "The Eumerella Shore" (1 text)
Bill Beatty, _A Treasury of Australian Folk Tales & Traditions_, 1960 (I use the 1969 Walkabout Paperbacks edition), pp. 272-273, "The Eumerella Shore" (1 text)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Darling Nelly Gray" (tune)
NOTES: Manifold notes that Australia boasts a Eumerella River in Victoria, while New South Wales has a Umerella (Numerella) River. The reference to John Robertson implies a New South Wales setting -- but of course the song could have spread.
Manifold thinks this is a satire of the free selection movement, and I think he is right. (For a more positive view of the situation, see "The Old Bullock Dray.")
Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, A Guide to Australian Folklore, Kangaroo Press, 2003, p. 107, declare, "This 1860s ballad of free selection and cattle duffing (stealing) is set in the Monaro (N[ew] S[outh] W[ales]) region, rather than the Eumerella River in Victoria.
Beatty in a subhead calls this "A Cattle Duffer's Song." "Duffing" was the process of rebranding cattle and hiding them until they could be passed off as part of the duffer's own herd. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: MA155

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