DESCRIPTION: The singer reminds the listeners of the well-known life of the Queensland drover. He describes the various men who engage in the profession, and their visits to town. The chorus is a toast: "Tonight we drink the health of every overlander."
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (Paterson's _Old Bush Songs_)
KEYWORDS: Australia travel work
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Anderson-StoryOfAustralianFolksong, pp. 218-225, "The Overlander I," "The Overlander II," "The Overlander III" (3 texts, 3 tunes, very diverse [see the notes])
Fahey-Eureka-SongsThatMadeAustralia, pp. 164-165, "The Overlanders" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manifold-PenguinAustralianSongbook, pp. 114-116, "The Queensland Drover" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal-OldBushSongs-CentenaryEdition, pp. 230-233, "The Overlanders" (1 text)
Stewart/Keesing-FavoriteAustralianBallads, pp. 39-41, "The Overlander" (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. 70-71, "The Overlander" (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. 22, "The overlander" (1 text)
Bill Beatty, _A Treasury of Australian Folk Tales & Traditions_, 1960 (I use the 1969 Walkabout Paperbacks edition), pp. 297-298, "The Overlander" (1 text)
Roud #9107 and 24817
NOTES [244 words]: The versions of this are sufficiently diverse that I think deliberate rewriting almost certain. But there is no clear data on the relationship between the versions, so I'm lumping them. I frankly was going to split the three versions in Anderson-StoryOfAustralianFolksong -- the first is about how the overlander quarrels with stockmen and ordinary people, but they all take his checque; the second is about how men of every nation are overlanders but the girls don't like them; the third is what I personally consider "Queensland Overlanders." But having started by lumping the songs in orher sources, it's now very hard to split them.
John S. Manifold, Who Wrote the Ballads? Notes on Australian Folksong, Australasian Book Society, 1964, p. 93, also regards the items as recensionally different. He takes the three versions printed by Anderson in Colonial Ballads and says that the first was printed in 1865, the second is a songster version from 1889 and regards it as a different song: "If there is a connection [between the two], I think it lies in plagiarism. The author of the 1889 version seems to me to have lifted such incidents as he wanted from the older song, probably because he had no droving experience of his own to draw on." In a way, though, it hardly matters, because only the third version was collected in the field.
Roud seems to consider most versions to be his #9107, but one "Queensland Overlander" version got tagged as #24817. - RBW
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