The Droving Woman (live)

Paul Kelly

Intro: | F| verse 1: Well, she buried him down on the edge of the town, Where the brigalow suckers, on the cemetery creep. She stood with them children in a heavy brown gown, What you want you just can't always keep. verse 2: "Well I'm sorry", I said, "I knew him so well", Though your body is young, well you never can tell. When the hand of fate brings it's fateful death knell", She just turned with the slightest of smiles. verse 3: She said "From the start well we knewed it so hard, We were always handed the severest of cards. A honeymoon spent droving Jamieson's stock, Through the wildest winter you've seen. verse 4: And my Romantic notions of horses and land, They were soon dis-pelled as a fantasised dream. Watching cattle at night in the mid-winter cold, Turns a person, both wiry and old. Verse 5: Well the flame of the breakfast fire'd be dead, As the sun rose up, well you move up ahead. I'd be breaking the camp up and rolling the beds, As you fanned the stock wider for feed. Verse 6: When the weather turned sour with the onset of rain, An' the truck'd bogged down to the axle main. We'd move up ahead then with pack saddles and chains, And I'd wait in the mud by the road. Verse 7: With the blankets and the canvas all hung out to dry, There's nothing for heating 'cause you couldn't light a fire. And no stock permit for the forthcoming shire. (No lyric line) Verse 8: For the cattle don't camp where they're sloshing in rain, They keep walking forward all night like a dog on a chain. And he'd be red eyed and weary with a pack horse turned lame, And I'd wait miles behind in the mud. Instrumental Solo 1: (Violin over) | F| Verse 9: It was down through Charleville up to Julia Creek, Living on syrup and damper and salted corn meat. We had nothing but the 'roos and the mailman to meet, We'd move up and down with the rains. verse 10: But them inland skies have the starriest of nights, With the dance of the fire throwing flickering lights. The beauty of it's sunsets were a constant delight, I felt that nature had let me intrude. verse 11: The enormous vastness of them inland plains, Brings you a lonely contentment to which you can't put a name. It's a satisfied glow city folks seldom attain, They spend their life on a right rigid rail. verse 12: The kids got their schooling from the government mail, We posted their work off at each cattle sale. They considered their learning, a self imposed jail, They'd rather help their father and fail. Instrumental Solo 2: (Violin over) | F| verse 13: Early last month at the end of the dry, He was given a horse no-body could ride. Alert were his ears with a fire in his stride, He was young and his spirit was wild. verse 14: To catch him each morning was an hour long battle, We had to collar rope his near side to throw on the saddle. Or he'd bite and he'd strike, he made my nerves rattle, Pande-monium reigned with each ride. verse 15: It was a hot summers' mornin' at the government bore, There was a stillness around like I've never felt before. How could he know it was fate at his door, That was stealthily watchin' his moves. verse 16: He mounted up quick taking slack from the reins, Grabbed a full hand of hair from the horse's long mane. He'd just hit the saddle when the horse went insane, Churning dust in a frenzy of fear. verse 17: The girth on the saddle let go at the ring, The surcingle slipped it was impossible to cling. The horse felt it go made a desperate fling, He was thrown to the length of the reins. verse 18: And I heard his spine snap like a 'roo shooters' shot, He'd busted his back on the concreted trough. Sickness and fear were the feelings I got, For the doctor was a six hour drive. verse 19: And I looked at his face and his colour turned white, He turned slowly and said "I can't make it till night. My body is broken, I'm bleedin' inside", And the life slowly drained from his eyes. Instrumental Solo 3: (Violin over) | F| | F| verse 20: 'Guess I'll sell up the plant now and move back to town, Before the winter returns with a chill on the ground. 'Cause what I have lost can seldom be found, I was blessed with the gentlest of men. verse 21: Eventually the children will move to the east, But I couldn't stand the bustle of even a quiet city street. I'll stay in the scrub here where my heart really beats, For some dogs are too old to change. End

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