Monday 18 May 2020

From the Archives - Bushwhacker Broadsides

Click images for larger size.

Newsletter 1(1), October 1955, p.1

List of Bushwhacker Broadside published by October 1955, and proposed Broadsides. Australia on the Wallaby, The Bullockies Ball, Cain Killed Abel, Ye Sons of Australia, The Kellys, Byrne and Hart, Stringbark Creek, Kelly was their Captain.

Australia on the Wallaby, The Bullockies Ball & Cain Killed Abel appear not to have been published.

Singabout the Journal of Australian Folksong, Vol 1(1) Summer 1956, was published in the first week of January 1956 & gave a list of publications the club had released in the 14 months since it was founded.


Extracts from Minutes of the Bush Music Club, 14th October 1954 to 11th March, 1955

Jan 14th 

A letter from Merv. Lilly (sic) gave the Club permission to use his song "Give A Fair Go" & to alter words where necessary to fit music.

It was suggested & adopted that the Bushwhacker Broadsides appear in a series of three traditional & three modern songs.


Jan 28th

The secretary read correspondence from Brisbane indicating that New Theatre in that city would act as agents for Bushwhacker Broadsides.

Correspondence from Melbourne raised the suggestion that the quality of Bushwhackers Broadsides be improved.


Feb 4th

It was decided to distribute broadsides in a different way, viz. by putting them up in envelopes containing a dozen, with a broadside pasted to the outside. The buyers can break the envelopes & sell the individual sheets for 3d each. The dozens are to be sold for 2/6.

It was hoped that each member will develop his own market.


Feb 11th

Correspondence with Mick Lawson indicated that he has given permission for the B.M.C. to use his songs "Hungry Jim" and "The Good Old Days".

Extract from Bushwhacker Conference,  January 1955. (Information about the Conference & it's date was found in Keith cKenry's, More than a Life - John Meredith & the Fight for Australian Tradition, p.141 & Notes p.459)


Bushwhacker Songs Old & New. Sydney, John Meredith, 1955, original price 4/6

The first edition of Six authentic songs from the Kelly Country was created from broadsides no.s 9, 11,12, 13, 14 & 15 in a  foolscap folder. 2nd & 3rd editions were octavo reproductions of the Broadsides.


Thanks to Ralph Pride for scanning these broadsides.

1.  The Old Man Kangaroo  As sung by the late "Hoopiron" Jack Lee

2.  The Old Bark Hut

3.  Jim Jones at Botany Bay

4.  The Rabbiters' Song by Stan Wakefield

5.  Ho! Give a Fair Go. A new song by M. Lilley

6.  Hungry Jim the Miner. A new song by M. Lawson

Newspaper clipping (BMC Archives)

7.  A new song Wally the Weatherman by Wally Goodbody set to an old bush tune

8.  The Black Velvet Band

9.  The Bold K---Y G---G

10.  Bound for Darling Harbour by Merv. Lilley

11.  Farewell to Greta

12.  Kelly was their Captain collected from Bill Shawcross, Lithgow

13.  The Kellys, Byrne and Hart, parts 1 & 2

14. Two broadsides with the same number - Stringybark Creek & Ye Sons of Australia.
Ye Sons of Australia, article by Daniel Kelly

15. Ye Sons of Australia  as also issued as Bushwhacker Broadside no. 15, page 1 was unaltered.


Letter to the Editor in Stringybark & Greenhide, 3(1), 1981. p. 1.

Old Bush Songs, a series by John Meredith which was published weekly in The Bulletin from 2nd March 1955  (thanks to Keith McKenry for these images from John Meredith's scrapbook held in the National Library Oral History collection)

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