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A chronicle of music in colonial Australia from 1821 to 1825

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "A chronicle of music in colonial Australia from 1821 to 1825", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 16 December 2017


This is page 4 (of 4) of an open access work-in-progress to chronicle, in date order, all of the scarce documentary references to music in Australia, Indigenous and European, from earliest contacts until the end of 1825.

Entries are also included for some occasions in which music must certainly played a part, although there is no actual record of it, such as when it accompanied dancing, and civil, military, and religious ceremonies; and for some other important historical occasions when it is very likely to have done.

Please contact me if you have, or know of, relevant information missing here, and which you are willing to share.

For the 3 earlier pages: 


10 February 1821

Sydney, NSW

Singing and dancing in the Bigge reports

Bigge arrived in the colony on 26 September 1819, and departed on 10 February 1821


Report of the commission of inquiry into the state of the colony of New South Wales (London: The House of Commons, 1822)

... The service at the convict barrack is performed in the open yard, in the presence of all the convicts who can obtain access to it; some of them take part in singing the psalms, and generally their conduct is decent and orderly. From want of any sufficient deposit for their clothes or their property, the distribution of bibles and books of prayer amongst these men would be unavailing ...

Report of the commissioner of inquiry on the judicial establishments of New South Wales, and Van Diemen's Land (London: The House of Commons, 1823) 

... In that part of the town called the Rocks, chiefly inhabited by the most profligate and depraved part of the population, the existence or the continuance of these evils could not be prevented; they appeared, however, to have been augmented by a practice that I observed to be frequent, of giving permission for dances to be held at houses that were not licensed for the sale of spirits, as well as for those that were. Much unnecessary indulgence was given in this respect; and I further observed, that the regulation for clearing the public-houses after nine o'clock at night, and dosing them on Sundays during the hours of divine service, were not strictly enforced ...

31 March 1821

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

A violin-cello, for the use of the church


"GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (9 May 1821), 1 supplement

Government House, Hobart Town, Friday May 4th, 1821. HIS Honor the Lieutenant Governor is pleased to direct, that the following Statements of the Police Fund of Van Diemen's Land, for the Quarters ending, respectively, the 30th September and 31st December, 1820, and 31st March, 1821 ...

Rev. Robt. Knopwood, for that sum paid by him for a violin-cello, for the use of the church. - [£] 5 0 0



7 July 1821 & 1 December 1821

Sydney, NSW; Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

A few copies of Airs and Melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles


[Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (7 July 1821), 2 

SCOTTISH MUSIC - MACQUEEN and ATKINSON announce to the Lovers of Scottish Music, the Arrival (per the Ship Westmoreland) of a few Copies of Captain SIMON FRASER'S celebrated "Airs and Melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland, and the Isles," recently published at Edinburgh. - The Melodies (232 in Number) are communicated in an original, pleasing, and familiar Styie ; are approved and recommended by the Highland Society of Scotland, and have been chit-fly acquired during the interesting Period, from 1715 and 1745, from the most authentic Sources.-The Harmony is, carefully revised by Mr. Gow, and o her profesional Gentlemen of Eminence, to whom the Work is highly indebted for such a Stamp to its Merit.
"And bring the tale of other years,
Which oft resounded to the harp;
And listen, though with falling tears,
To numbers round the heart that warp ;
While parent Caledonia views, with pride,
A Work restored to life - that else had died."
(See the Vignette.)

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (1 December 1821), 2 supplement 

NINE COPIES of a very interesting PUBLICATION, which has just been received from England, are now offered for Sale at the GAZETTE OFFICE. It is neatly printed in Three large Volumes Octavo, in Boards; and will be Sold at prime cost Price, £2. Those Persons desirous of obtaining a Copy, will be pleased to make immediate Application to onsuro a Work that is allowed to bw the best Edition which his been published of the important Case.

- ALSO, Eight large MUSIC BOOKS, which cost One Guinea only each in England, and which will be Sold here for the same Price.

This Work contains 232 Airs and Melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland andthe Isles; communicated in an original, pleasing, and familiar Style; as inspected, approved and recommended by the Highland Society of Scotland; having the lively Airs introduced as Medleys, to form a Sequence to each slower Movement, with an admired plain Harmony, for the Piano-Forte, Harp, Organ, or Violoncello. An Appendix is attached to the Book, containing Notes on each Air.






The airs and melodies peculiar to the highlands of Scotland and the Isles: communicated in an original, pleasing & familiar style having the lively airs introduced as medleys to form a sequence to each slower movement, with an admired plain harmony for the piano forte, harp, organ, or violoncello, intended rather to preserve simplicity, than load with embellishment, edited by captain S. Fraser (Edinburgh: Printed and Sold for the Editor, 1816) (DIGITISED)

20 and 21 December 1821

Bathurst, NSW


MACQUARIE, Lachlan (reporter)

Two karauberies for the governor at Bathrust


Lachlan Macquarie, Journal of A Tour of Inspection to Bathurst in Decr. 1821, SL-NSW MS ML Ref: A783 (CATALOGUE RECORD) (modern edition online)

I found a great number of the Natives waiting here for me for several Days, and they immediately came to see me at Government House to the amount of 15 Persons. We dined at 5 o'clock - the Baggage having all arrived about 4 o'clock. In the evening the little town of Bathurst was very neatly illuminated in honour of my arrival and the natives entertained us with a very good karauberie [corroboree] at Night, which lasted till eleven o'clock; - at which Hour we retired to Bed.

[21 December 1821] At 3 p.m. the Inhabitants and Settlers of the Settlement of Bathurst about 15 in number, waited on me with a congratulatory address, to which I made a suitable reply in writing. - In the Evening Bone-Fires and illuminations were made in the Town, and at all the Farms in sight of it, along the North Bank of the Macquarie River; and in the latter part of the Evening the Native[s] entertained us with another Grand Kauraberie in front of Government House.



25 December 1821 (date of event)

South West, Western Australia (WA)

INDIGENOUS (Noongar) (singers)

KING, Phillip Parker (reporter)

Jack's song

Report only


King 1827, 2, 126 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

... December 25 [1821]. At daylight the following morning the natives had again collected on both sides, and upon the jolly-boat's landing the people to examine the wells Jack, having quite recovered his good humour, got into the boat and came on board. The natives on the opposite side were vociferous to visit us, and were holding long conversations with Jack, who explained everything to them in a song, to which they would frequently exclaim in full chorus the words "Cai, cai, cai, cai, caigh" which they always repeated when anything was shown that excited their surprise. Finding we had no intention of sending a boat for them they amused themselves in fishing. Two of them were watching a small seal that, having been left by the tide on the bank, was endeavouring to waddle towards the deep water; at last one of the natives, fixing his spear in its throwing-stick, advanced very cautiously and, when within ten or twelve yards, lanced it, and pierced the animal through the neck, when the other instantly ran up and stuck his spear into it also, and then beating it about the head with a small hammer very soon despatched it ...


Bracknell 2014,+Volume+38,+2014/11431/Text/ch01.xhtml (DIGITISED)

... In 1821, while visiting the place now known as the City of Albany, Phillip Parker King witnesses and described a lengthy conversation in "song" between Noongar people [King 1827, 126].


8 January 1822

Sydney area, NSW

A favorite English song, before fatal blows


Report of the proceedings of the trial on the 18th day of March, 1822, of Mary Ann Lyons in the Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, convened at Sydney in the Territory of New South Wales, upon a Charge in writing exhibited by the Judge Advocate against the Prisoner for the wilful murder on the 8th day of January preceding at Liverpool, of Thomas Clark, deceased; ed. Historical records of Australia 10 (1917), 657-61 (DIGITISED)

EDWARD MURRAY sworn and examined. I am a Free Man. I was present in the deceased's house when an Assault was made upon him by the prisoner. It was at Airds. He had lived there Two Months. The Prisoner lived in the same House with the deceased. All that time I was in the habit of seeing the deceased almost daily. We had adjoining Farms. I never saw any quarrelling between the prisoner and deceased, till that Night. It was on a Tuesday. I don't know the day of the Month. It was in or about 12 o'clock at Night. I had been there from the Evening, we were drinking rum most of that time. The prisoner and deceased had a row the beginning of the Evening, something that I don't know of. something between themselves, but that was dropped. It happened at 12 at Night that there was no more rum, the deceased wanted me to go with him to get a drop of Rum. There had been two Quarts and One pint of Rum then drank. The Man belonging to the deceased was there, nobody else that I know of. We went for it, and brought it home about 12 o'Clock from the next Neighbour's house. The deceased, when he came back, said he would give a song or two. While lie was singing the verse, she (the prisoner) was walking backward and forward about the House; he did not notice her, no more did'nt I, and she gave him a blow of the Hammer or two. I am sure she struck more than once. The deceased was sitting on the Chair when he got these two blows ...

[658] ... Cross-examined by Mr. Rowe, Solicitor for the prisoner ... I am sure I did not see the deceased beating the prisoner before she struck him with the Hammer. I never saw him striking her at all that Evening. The deceased had sang some verses, it was an English song ...

CHARLES FELL sworn and examined. I am a prisoner. I was living with the late Thomas Clarke; he is dead; he died on the 13th January; he had been ill from the 7th day of January; he was drinking that Evening and was ill from the blow the prisoner gave him with a Hammer; there were two blows given; I was sitting down close by the side of Clarke; the prisoner was walking up and down the floor; it was light; we had a good fire; I don't know whether it was a dark or a Moonlight night; but I could see all over the apartments; she had been walking about for five minutes; I heard her ask him to sing a [659] song; she says, "My dear will you sing a song," he said "Yes." I don't remember the Song, it was a favourite song; she walked about till he had done singing and then she asked him to go to Bed; he made answer that he would lie with her no more, she might go to her own husband; she hit him then with the hammer, that he should so mention her husband's Name; the deceased put his hand out and got up, and then she struck him again and he fell ...

Cross-examined by Mr. Rowe ... the Blows were given on the Tuesday; he had finished his song when the blow was given; Murray was sitting on the other side of the room; the room was three yards asunder; she asked him in a kind manner to sing the song, she called him "my dear" ... he had just done singing his song; he had put his hand out when she hit him, not before ...

"CRIMINAL COURT ... MONDAY", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 March 1822), 3 

31 January 1822 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

8 February 1822 (first noticed and published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song for the Commemoration Dinner, 1822

Philosophers say, and experience declares ...

Words only, no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

[News], The Sydney Gazette (8 February 1822), 3 (DIGITISED)

On Thursday, the 31st ultimo, the Commemoration Dinner, to celebrate the Anniversary of the Establishment of this Colony, took place at Hill's Tavern, in Hyde Park. It had been postponed from the 26th; and the 31st, being the Anniversary of the Birth-day of Our late beloved Governor, Major General Macquarie, the festival embraced two objects particularly gratifying to the public feeling. Upwards of 70 of the respectable Inhabitants of the Colony sat down, at half-past five, to a very excellent entertainment, presenting, in a very sumptuous style, all that the season could afford, or that could promote the conviviality and harmony of the day. After the cloth was removed, several loyal and appropriate toasts were circulated, in which His Majesty, the Royal Family, and the late and present Governor, were the prevailing themes of respect and veneration. A Song, from the pen of our favourite Laureat-Bard, Mr. Robinson, was given amidst loud and reiterated acclamations. We are glad to have an opportunity of introducing it to our Readers.


Philosophers say, and experience declares,
That life is a medley of pleasures and cares;-
That the sunshine which smiles on our prospects to-day,
May be chas'd by the gloom of to-morrow away.

Whilst some, who are strangers to conjugal strife,
Are apt to repine at the loss of a wife, -
There are others (perhaps you may dissolute call 'em)
That are glad to escape from the fetters that gall 'em.

Thus, serious and comic, the scene passes on,
The demise of the sire makes way for the son;
When the coffers, by rigid economy stor'd,
Are squander'd and swallow'd at luxury's board.

For years, on this Isle, a bright Day-star has gleam'd,
And the Chief that we hail'd was the Friend we esteem'd;
Now Time, in its triumph, has clos'd his career,
And the smile we have cherish'd - is chang'd to a tear!

Yet, often shall memory cling to this day,
And often shall gratitude swell the fond lay;
Whilst Australia shall boast, in her annals of story,
That His Sun, as it rose - so it set, in full Glory!

But the shadows that threatened our evening forlorn,
The breath of young Hope shall disperse with the morn;
For grac'd with fresh laurels from Fame's fairest stores,
His Illustrious Successor has smil'd on our Shores.

Then, here, whilst in circles of social relation,
Our hearts and our hands join in Commemoration;
From Australia's first dawn - let her trophies proclaim,
That her Standard of Worth stamps her Passport to Fame.



20 February 1822

Sydney, NSW

HILL, Robert


James Bennett joins the choir of St. James's Sydney


Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825; correspondence from Hill, Richard (Revd) to Hill, Samuel (per Hadlow)

1822 Jan 19; Re request for leave for choir members (Reel 6053; 4/1756 p.67)

1822 Feb 20; Re James Bennett joining choir of church (Reel 6054; 4/1759 p.165)

1824 Dec 15; Re the services of James Bennett no longer being required (Reel 6014; 4/3513 p.88)

22 March 1822 (first performance)

London, England

MONCRIEFF, William (playwright, songwriter)

Giovanni in Botany, or, The libertine transported

Words; tunes indicated


[William T. Moncrieff], Songs, duets, glees, choruses, &c. in the new musical extravaganza 'yclept Giovanni in Botany: or, the libertine transported ... first performed at the Olympic Theatre ... March 11th, 1822

(London: Printed for the author by Charles Lowndes, 1822) (DIGITISED)





8 June 1822

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

CAPE, Mary Anne

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (8 June 1822), 2

MRS. CAPE begs leave to inform her Friends and the Inhabitants of Hobart Town, that she has brought from England, a GRAND PIANO FORTE; with a choice Collection of Music, by the first Composers of Italian and English Operas, Scotch and Irish Airs, &c., with which she purposes to give Lessons of Instruction in Music to Young Ladies, at their own Residence, or at her Apartments at the corner of Collins-street, lately occupied by Mr. Owen. For cards and further particulars apply to Mrs. Stocker, Derwent Hotel.

16 November 1822

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

CAPE, Mary Anne

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (16 November 1822), 2

MRS. CAPE informs the respectable Families in Van Diemen's Land, that she intends to open, after the Christmas Recess, an Establishment for twelve Young Ladies, as Boarders, at the late Residence of P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. in Liverpool street, where she proposes, with the Assistance of proper Masters, to communicate Instruction, in various Branches of Female Education. - Terms: - Fifty Guineas a year; Music ten Guineas a year extra. Masters and Washing extra. N. B. - One-quarter's advance Payment will be indispensably necessary; and each Young Lady will be expected to bring the usual Requisites. Reference, for Particulars, may be made to Mrs. Cape, at Mr. Hame's, Harrington-street.


15 January 1823

Edinburgh, Scotland

ANONYMOUS (Scots composer, songwriter)

The Emigrant


The Emigrant; A Song Written on the eve of a Lady's Embarking from Leith with her relations for Van Diemen's Land; music original; arranged for the pianoforte and German flute, Edinburgh, Jany. 15, 1823

(Edinburgh: Walker & Anderson, Engravers, [1823]) [NLA] (DIGITISED)

See main page:

The emigrant, a song on the eve of lady's embarking for Van Diemen's Land, 1823

By early 1823 (latest date transcribed)

Sydney region, NSW

HARRY (Indigenous singer)

FIELD, Barron (transcriber, reporter, 1823)

? INDIGENOUS (unidentified informant, singer)

? DRAYTON, Joseph (transcriber, reporter, 1839)

Iah, iah, gumbery jah

Australian national melody (Harry's song)

Music and words (no translation)

Transcribed by, or on behalf of, Barron Field, from the singing of Harry, Sydney area, between c.1820 and early 1823

First published London, November 1823

Go to main entry:

Checklist of colonial musical transcriptions of Indigenous songs 6

9 July 1823

Parramatta, NSW

Seizing the Rev'd Samuel Marsden's piano


Government House, Parramatta, 22nd July, 1825. At a Continuation of the Investigation into certain Charges, preferred by The Revd. Samuel Marsden, Senior Chaplain of the Colony against Henry Grattan Douglass, Esquire, M.D., and directed by His Majesty to be enquired into and reported upon by His Excellency The Governor; The Honorable The Chief Justice; and The Venerable The Archdeacon; ed. in Historical records of Australia 11 (1917), 744, 774-75 (DIGITISED)

The Court having assembled and the parties being respectively present, The Revd. Samuel Marsden proceeded in the examination of Witnesses ... CHARLES WALKER, of the Red Cross Inn at Parramatta, Examined by The Revd. S. Marsden. - ... I remember an Execution being issued against Mr. Marsden's Goods and Chattels. Mr. Marsden was gone up the Country. He called at my house during the day, when he was going up the Country previous to the levy, and said that he expected an execution would be issued against him, and requested, if I heard of such a thing, I would go to his house and act as I thought proper for him. and that whatever I should do he would be satisfied with it. I had no instructions to pay any money, but merely to act as I judged best. I was accordingly sent for and went up to Mr. Marsden's house when the execution was levied. On ariving there, I found the Constable in the hall. I asked his business there, and he said he had given Mrs. Marsden a paper. I went into the adjoining room and perused the paper. Mrs. Marsden and all the family were quite agitated. I returned to the Constable, and asked him if that was the paper he brought. lie said. yes. I took him accordingly into an adjoining room and shewed him various articles of furniture; he at lust seized a Piano, which I purchased of him and took a receipt. I gave him fifty dollars and a rupee. The Warrant was for £10 2s. 6d. ...

[774] (AA) The Action, Marsden v. Lawson and Douglass. In the Supreme Court, Between Marsden, Clk., Plaintiff, and Lawson and Douglass, Esqrs., Defend'ts. Declaration. - That defendants on 9th June, 1823, broke and entered Plaintiff's dwelling house at Parramatta, made an affray therein, and continued such affray two hours, against the will of the Plaintiff, and thereby disturbed the Plaintiff in his possession, and seized and took a Piano forte of Pit., value £100, and converted same to their own use, and other wrongs, etc., to Pit's damage of £250. Plea firstly General issue. Not guilty.

[775] (BB) Judgment of Supreme Court ... This is an Action of Trespass brought against two Magistrates of Parramatta for seizing a Piano forte on the 9th of July last, which the Plaintiff redeemed for £10 2s. 6d. ...


K. B. Noad, "Douglass, Henry Grattan (1790-1865)", Australian dictionary of biography 1 (1966) 

In April 1823 [Douglass] brought an action for libel against [James Hall], claiming damages of £5000, and was awarded £2 and costs. Next month with William Lawson he fined Marsden for allowing one of his convict servants to be at large and, when he refused to pay, had his piano seized and sold. Marsden promptly sued him for damages of £250, but the court awarded him only the amount of the fine.

14 August 1823 (first performance)

21 August 1823 (first published)

Residence of Joseph Underwood, George Street, Sydney, NSW

ANONYMOUS (songwriter)

Song for Underwood's Ball and Supper

The claims of affection are dear to our hearts ...

Words only; no tune indicated

Source and documentation:

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 August 1823), 2 (DIGITISED)

On Thursday last Mr. Joseph Underwood, Merchant of this Town, gave a Ball and Supper at his house in George-street, in celebration of the Birth-day of his youngest Daughter, on which occasion the Rooms were decorated in a superior style of taste and elegance, and presented a scene highly gratifying to his numerous guests, which comprised above sixty respectable inhabitants of Sydney, and the interior. The animating dance was kept up with distinguished hilarity, and appropriate order, until five o'clock in the morning. The supper tables were set out with that superabundant portion of the choicest, viands and best wines that the Colony afforded, and at once displayed the liberality, the attention, and urbanity of the host. After supper, a Song, which we understand was from the pen of a Poet of some consideration in this Colony, was sung by the Author with impressive feeling and effect. A copy having been forwarded, we take the present opportunity of presenting it to our Readers.


The claims of affection are dear to our heart?,
They spring from the sympathy Nature imparts;
They glow in our bosoms, and yield that delight
Which Friendship has call'd us to share in to-night.

The Oak, as the monarch and sire of the grove,
Protects the young shrubs with its branches above;
Whilst the flourishing Under-woods round it, aspire
To rival, in time, the fair fame of their Sire.

The Genius that smiles on AUSTRALIA'S Land,
Shall guard her young SCIONS with fostering hand,
Bid the mirror of TRUTH be their earliest Pride,
And its graceful REFLEXIONS their Light and their Guide:

Then charge the full bumper, and hallow the toast
"May Prosperity's Sunshine distinguish our Host;
"Ever verdant the foliage that waves in his favour,
"And his BRANCHES of UNDER-WOOD flourish forever!"



23 October 1823 (event)

Red Point, Port Kembla, NSW


FIELD, Barron (reporter)

The natives obsecrate the porpoises by songs

Report only


Field 1824, 183 (DIGITISED)

Wednesday, 23d October [1823]. - Rested this morning, and in the evening went to see the natives fish by torchlight. They make torches of bundles of bark, beaten and tied up, and with the light of these, scare the bream into motion that lie among the rocky shallows, when they either spear them with the fiz-gig, or drag them from under their hiding-places with the hand, bite their heads, and throw them high and dry on the shore. The sight is very novel and picturesque - the torch being flashed in one hand, and the spear poised in the other - though there were but few natives here at this time, the majority being absent feasting upon a whale which chance had thrown upon the coast. The Indians, however, by no means attribute this to chance, but to the kind providence of the spirits of their fathers, whom they believe to be transformed into porpoises (dolphins) after death, like Bacchus's pirates in Homer, and who, in that shape, drive the whales on shore. With this view, the natives obsecrate the porpoises by songs, when they see them rolling. I found also that the aborigines of New Holland were strictly divided into two classes, the hunters and the fishers; and that they did not dare to encroach upon each other's mode of gaining a livelihood. Red Point of Captain Cook was the scene of our torch-fishing ... Captain Flinders says, the cause of its being named Red Point escaped his and Mr. Bass's notice, but it was plain to us that the iron gave it a reddish appearance.

Field 1825, 467-68 (DIGITISED)



15 November 1823

Grindstone Bay, VDL (TAS)

RADFORD, John (reporter)

MEREDITH, Charles and Louisa (reporters)



Meredith 1852, I, (193), 194 

[193] The following passages I quote either from Mr. Meredith's own notes, written at my request, or from my own transcriptions of his narratives as related to me ... Constant friendly intercourse took place between the two races until November, 1823, when the Oyster Bay tribe, having Mosquito at their head, committed a cool and unprovoked murder at the stock station of Mr. Sylas Gatehouse, at Grindstone Bay, on the east coast.

Three men were at the station at the time, John Radford, and Mormer (a native of Otaheite), Mr. Gatehouse's servants, and Holyoake, a servant of my father's, who had been for some time in the colonial hospital in Hobarton, and, being pronounced convalescent, was on his way to his master's house; but having travelled about sixty [194] miles, and being still in a weak state of health, he was staying at this hut a few days to rest, being still thirty miles from home. A short time ago, whilst on my way to town, I passed the night at the public-house which is kept by Radford, at Little Swan Port. I then took down from his lips the following account of the whole affair:

"In November, 1823, I was in charge of stock for Mr. Gatehouse. One Thursday morning a party of blacks came to the hut, with Mosquito as chief. He brought me a tin pot from a deserted hut in my charge, as he said, lest any of the black fellows should steal it. They encamped at Grindstone Bay, and remained quiet until the Saturday after. In the mean time, Mosquito came into our hut, and got Holyoake to shave him. The tribe consisted of about seventy-five, and until Saturday morning they all employed themselves as usual, in hunting, fishing, &c. On Saturday morning they were having a corrobbory, dancing and singing. Holyoake, Mormer, and I went to the sheep-yards to part some sheep; whilst there, Mosquito called to Mormer to join him on the opposite side of the creek, and Mormer went over to him. When we were thus divided, the natives that were on the same side of the creek as we were picked up their spears, and moved towards the hut ...






"THE SUPREME COURT, OF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (3 December 1824), 3 

"DEATH OF TWO OLD COLONISTS", Launceston Examiner (8 February 1883), 2 


? 26 January 1824 [or 1822, 1823] (cancelled first performance)

? Anniversary Dinner, Sydney, NSW

5 February 1835 (first published)

ANONYMOUS = doubtful ? ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter)

The Old Viceroy

Words only; no tune indicated


Source and documentation:

"Original Poetry", The Colonist (5 February 1835), 6

[We insert the following colonial production, which, we have reason to believe, has never been published before, in our poetical department for this week, in consequence of an article which also appears in this week's paper, under the head of Colonial Statistics, by our Hunter's River Correspondent. The article in question exhibits in a remarkably clear and impressive manner, the evil that may be done to a whole district of country, and entailed for ages on a numerous population, merely by a Government doing nothing in a case in which they ought to have acted with energy and decision. The town of Maitland has had abundant occasion to complain of such a system of procedure being adopted towards it by His Excellency General Darling; just as the whole colony had had occasion to complain of a similar inefficient style of procedure on the part of Sir Thomas Brisbane, when contrasted with the vigorous government of his predecessor. We are no advocates for Governor Macquarie; on the contrary we think several of his measures decidedly and permanently injurious to the colony; but there was this to be said in his praise that (to use a plain but remarkably expressive phrase) he always rode when he saddled. Governor Macquarie would not have allowed a plan of a town for a district in which a town was so much required as at Maitland, to lye in the Surveyor General's Office for years together with the cabalistic words, "Approved, Lachlan Macquarie," written underneath it. He would have had a hundred men upon the spot immediately, to clear the ground and to erect buildings of indispensable necessity, and thereby to set an example to the community. In short, if we had had a Governor like Major General Macquarie, in the room of his late Excellency General Darling, Maitland would have been a place worth visiting by this time. It was the recollection of the vigorous administration of Governor Macquarie, contrasted with the inefficiency of that of his successor, Sir T. Brisbane, that occasioned the following production; which, we have been informed, was intended to have been either said or sung at the colonial anniversary dinner of the 26th of January, 1824. Whether it was the production of the late Michael Robinson, poet laureat of New South Wales during the government of Major General Macquarie, who must naturally have bewailed the discontinuance of his honours and emoluments under the reign of that most unpoetical Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane, we cannot pretend to say. At all events its political feelings were somewhat too strong for the anniversary dinner, and it was consequently neither said nor sung, on the occasion. It can now be regarded merely as a good old colonial jeu d'esprit,]


OUR gallant Governor has gone,
Across the rolling sea,
To tell the king on England's throne,
What merry men are we;

Macquarie was the prince of men!
Australia's pride and joy!
We ne'er shall see his like again;
Here's to the old Viceroy!

Some governors have heads, I think;
But some have none at all:
Cheer up, my lads; push round the drink,
And drown care in Bengal.*

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

What care we for the skill to scan
The bright stars overhead?
Give us for governor the man,
Who rules and is obey'd.**

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

Freeman and convict, man and boy,
Are all agreed ! I'll wager,
They'd sell their last slop shirt to buy,
A ticket for the Major.***

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

Here's to Sir Thomas's release,
The old Viceroy's return,
And fourteen years beyond the seas
For thee, Frederick Goulburn!

Macquarie was the prince of men! &c.

Sydney, January 26th, 1824.

* Bengal arrack - a species of inferior rum manufactured in India, and much used in the colony in the good old times of Governor Macquarie.

** It was the general opinion at the date of this production that Sir Thomas Brisbane was in leading strings, and that he was to be allowed to amuse himself on his astronomical hobby as long as he liked, provided he would allow certain parties to misgovern the colony as they liked.

*** A ticket of leave from the duties of Colonial Secretary, an office which was then held by Frederick Goulburn, Esq., Major in the army.


Mackaness 1946, 101-02






26 January 1824 (first performance)

Anniversary Dinner, Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

29 January 1824 (first notice)

5 February 1824 (first published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song, for the Commemoration Dinner, 1824

Whilst the gay Sons of Harmony socially join ...

Words only; no tune indicated


Source and documentation:

[News], The Sydney Gazette (29 January 1824), 2:

The account of the Anniversary Dinner, to commemorate the First Establishment of the Colony, which took place at Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, came too late for insertion in this day's Paper. We promise to give it in our next, together with the Song prepared for the occasion, and which, it is said, came from the pen of AUSTRALIA'S OLD BARD, and does no discredit to the well-known genius of his Muse.

"THE XXXVITH AUSTRALIAN ANNIVERSARY 1824", The Sydney Gazette (5 February 1824), 2

The Anniversary Dinner, to commemorate the first Establishment of the Colony, was held at Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, on Monday the 26th ultimo. Upwards of 80 respectable and respected Inhabitants of Sydney, and the Interior, sat down, between 5 and 6 o'clock, to a table abundantly furnished with every thing that the season could afford, and arranged with peculiar taste and order. After the cloth was removed, a succession of loyal toasts and sentiments followed, which occupied the votaries of Bacchus until an early hour in the morning. The first Song, sung in the course of the evening, was, our Reporter upon this occasion says, from the pen of the old favorite Australian Bard, and was given by himself with the most gratifying effect. Loud and reiterated shouts of applause followed the close of every verse. Of its merits, as an original and fanciful production, our Readers will judge for themselves from the following copy:-


Whilst the gay Sons of Harmony socially join
To pour their oblations at Bacchus's shrine,
Their rosy-fac'd god lends a charm to the board,
When our chairman presides as his deputy-Lord.

Tho' ample the treasures in Bacchus's stores,
And countless his tons as the sands on the shores;
Let us drain those around - clear the stragglers off hand,
But, in sacred reserve, let the Middle-Ton stand.

The Muse, in her playful and festival lays.
Will yield to our Stewards her tribute of praise;
And pleas'd their attentions, this day, to proclaim,
Will proceed, verse by verse, to record them by name.

First, - Be it remembered in judgement we sit -
Tho' we need not add "Cumberland (always) to wit,"
That the flourishing clusters our vineyards produce,
Are by Underwoods nurs'd and matur'd from their juice.

Tho' we boast of no venison, turbot, or turtle.
We have Bacchus's vine grac'd with Venus's myrtle;
We have all that our land can, luxuriant, impart,
And, instead of a buck, we present a good Hart.

Defaulters may tremble if ever they shrink
From the fiat that swells every glass to the brink;
We admit no excuse for transgressions so heavy.
For the fine we impose, we're determined to Levy.

Let the reveille beat at the dawning of day,
We'll sit till we hail the sun's earliest ray;
And still, with our friends and our goblets surrounded.
We'll tarry long after the Camp-bell has sounded.

Our Commerce shall spread, manufactures increase,
And the world shall appreciate our genuine fleece;
Till our shuttles and looms to maturity grown,
Shall produce Linsey-woolsey, my boys, of our own.

Should a flaw in our casks ever start into sight,
We have method and means to make every thing tight;
We laugh at the leak, and are free to declare it.
Whilst our jolly bold Cooper's at hand to repair it.

Our flocks and our herds shall enliven the plains.
And health and content cheer the nymphs and the swains;
Nor even shall swine's flesh, though poor, be forgotten,
Till we've rivall'd both Yorkshire and Hampshire for Bacon.

For our host and kind hostess, our wishes are still,
That the vine and the laurel may wave on their Hill;
And, sanctioned by public protection and favor,
May these Rooms long re-echo - AUSTRALIA FOR EVER!



26 January 1824 (date of composition)

4 March 1824 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

AUSTRALASIANUS = TOMPSON, Charles (songwriter)

A Song, written for the XXVIth January last

Being the [X]XXVIth Anniversary of the establishment of this Colony (When first above the briny surge ...)

Words only; no tune indicated



"A SONG" The Sydney Gazette (4 March 1824), 4


WHEN first above the briny surge
AUSTRALIA rear'd her tow'ring crest,
The roaring gales, confounded, fled,
The troubled billows sunk to rest;
And proud, above the azure flood,
Fix'd and immoveable SHE stood.

The Tritons, with their writhen shells,
Made all the hollow grots rebound;
Earth, to her inmost caverns shook,
Old Ocean trembled at the sound;
And, august, from his chrystal caves,
Rose Neptune, sov'reign of the waves.

This hand, his foaming steeds restrain'd,
And that, the mighty trident bore;
Which, when the angry monarch strikes,
His empire rears from shore to shore.
He rag'd not now, but, with a smile
Prophetic, thus address'd our Isle:-

"Commerce, on halcyon wings, shall hail
"Thy ports, as yet to man unknown,
"And loyalty shall stamp Thy name -
"The choicest gem in Albion's crown:-
"While Thy prolific bosom pours
"Her bounteous gifts in lavish show'rs!"

Thus spake the god - then div'd beneath,
The peaceful calm was now no more,
The howling gales resum'd their ire -
The billows dash'd the sounding shore;
And wind and waves, without controul,
Bellowed their rage from pole to pole.

Ages have roll'd their circling orbs,
Since dumb creation heard the tale;
Still each returning year beheld
Rude darkness o'er our Isle prevail:-
But now the dawn of Science gleams,
And Hope streams wide her ruddy beams.

Peace lifts her olive sceptre high;
Brown Industry assumes the plough;
Commerce expands her canvas wings,
Wealth points where honor guards the prow.

This is the joy-inspiring day,
Which gave these blessings to our lot;
Then let us share the social rites,
Join hands - all malice be forgot -
The little Star, once mark'd by none,
Now shines a bright - A BLAZING SUN!



Tompson 1826

See modern edition:



1 April 1824 (first Australian publication)

Sydney, NSW

Originally published London, 1814

"LORENZO" (pseud. 8924)

= "The Rev. L. BLAKENEY" (pseud., 1814)

= HALLORAN, Laurence Hynes (lyricist, songwriter)

CAVE, Eliza (Bath, England, 1814) (composer)

The blush and the tear

Source (words and music, 1814):

The blush and the tear, written by the Rev. L. Blakeney; music by Eliza Cave; with an accompaniment for the Pianoforte

(London, [1814])


London, BL: System number 004260031; Music Collections H.1665.(28.); UIN: BLL01004260031 (NOT DIGITISED)


Source and documentation (words, 1824):

"POETRY. THE BLUSH AND THE TEAR", The Sydney Gazette (1 April 1824), 4


Lovely, are the drops that rise
At pity's call in beauty's eyes;-
Lovely is the blush, that breaks,
For female wrongs, on beauty's cheeks.

But not the graceful drops that fall
From beauty's eyes at pity's call:
But not the warm ingenuous glow
On beauty's cheeks for merit's woe,

Can with those crystal jems compare
Which my lov'd ANNA'S bright eyes wear;
Can with those warm suffusions vie
That tinge her cheek with crimson dye,

When poor Lavinia's* fate she reads;
And, as her breast with anguish bleeds,
Blends anger's blush with pity's tear,
To grace the hapless martyr's bier!


* Miss Lavinia Robinson, of Manchester, whose tragical and mysterious catastrophe excited, a few years ago, a very strong sensation throughout England.

"To the Editor", The Sydney Gazette (8 April 1824), 3:

To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette.

SIR, The lines inserted in your last Number, entitled "The Blush and the Tear," were set to music, by Miss ELIZA CAVE, of Bath; who sent the Author a dozen copies, with her apologies for having thus published his composition without his knowledge, to which communication he immediately returned the following stanzas:-

Tho' the Poet's Art divine
Forms the soft melodious line;
And, as various passions roll,
Breathes into the verse his soul;

Now to phrenzy fires the breast,
Now it's transports soothes to rest;
Swells with anger, shakes with fears,
Melts to love, dissolves to tears;

Half the praise the Poet knows
To the "Sister Art" he owes:
"Music" his best wreath confers:
More than half his fame is her's!

Yes! this truth the Bard may own,
Whose weak strains had died, unknown,
Had not sweet Eliza's lyre
Warm'd them with a Seraph's fire!

Her fair hand and feeling heart,
Life and zest to them impart;
Consign the "Blush and Tear" to fame;
And blend with HER'S the POET'S NAME!







On Halloran's adoption for this and other publications, c. 1813-15, of the name Blakeney (probably from his own lineage, the Hynes/Blakeney family)


James Alexander Hewitt, Sketches of English Church history in South Africa, from 1795 to 1848 (Cape Town: J. C. Juta, 1887), 23-24

Also 104, notes 7-10

30 July 1824 (first published)

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)

MURRAY, H. N. (songwriter)

Valedictory Song

On leaving Scotland for Van Diemen's Land (Edina's towers a last adieu!...)

Words only; no tune indicated


Source and documentation:

"TO CORRESPONDENTS", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (24 July 1824), 3 

Mr. M's Valedictory Song on leaving Scotland, may appear when a more accurate line shall be substituted for

"Scotia, now heaves my bosom's swell."

"VALEDICTORY SONG", Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (30 July 1824), 3

On leaving Scotland for Van Diemen's Land.

Edina's towers a last adieu!
Dear haunts of bliss I'll ne'er review;
Gay scenes, where long I learned to prove
The sweets of friendship, - joys of love!

Ah Scotia! to each beauteous dell,
And mount of heath, I bid farewell;
Each winding vale, and fruitful plain,
Each blooming nymph, and happy swain!

An exile from my native home,
I hie mid distant climes to roam,
And think of friends and kindred ties,
With tears, and agonizing sighs!

No longer may I fate bewail -
The light breeze swells the spreading sail;
The destined vessel rides in view -
Dear land! lov'd friends! a last adieu!




10 November 1824

Hobart Town, VDL (TAS)


PARRAMORE, William Thomas (reporter)

Kangaroo song

Report only


William Thomas Parramore, letters; ed. Shelton 1993, 60-61

On 10th of November we were visited by a tribe of 66 Natives ... I met ... on the Sunday after the 10th while walking from Church with Mrs Bedford 3 of them with great long coats, but nor a particle of covering before ... The Lt.Gov. on their arrival had them immediately provided with food and old clothes - and the second night they were conducted to the road men's hut four miles from town ... The third day they were rather sullen and refused to sing the Kangaroo song, and moved off early the next morning.


Shelton 1993, 60-61

Boyce 2001, 11-12

Boyce 2008, 186-87


5 January 1825

Murrumbidgee River, NSW

HUME, Hamilton (reporter)

BLAND, William (reporter)



Bland 1831 

Friday, January 7 [1825]. -The thermometer at daylight 46 deg. a dense fog. The natives now returned with a considerable augmentation to their numbers, amounting altogether to not less than forty able bodied men, all armed. The horses having strayed, two of the people assisted by two of the natives were employed a considerable part of the morning in bringing them in. The natives, when they were just going to start begged the travellers would accompany them to their camp, about a mile further up the creek, so that the women and children might have an opportunity of seeing them. Mr. Hume, taking three of the men with him, complied with their request, when he met with a party of about thirty women, as many children, and some fine young men. These were extremely pressing, that he and his party should remain with them, as they were going they said, to have a "Corrobera," two of them promising, in event of his compliance, to accompany him and his party, the following day as far as the Murrumbidgee. The men were the finest natives, they had ever seen, one of them about six feet high, and another whom they measured, five feet, nine inches and a half.- They were all robust and well proportioned, and possessed what is unusual among the native tribes, well formed legs - Some of them had higher foreheads than are generally observed among these people. Their weapons are like those of the natives of the Colony, except the spears, which were made of strong knotted reeds, about six feet long, to which was affixed a piece of hard wood, about two feet in length, with a rounded point, barbed in some instances, with numerous small pieces of flint or agate. Each of these people was furnished with a good ample cloak of opossum skin, many of them had necklaces, made of small pieces of a yellow reed strung with the fibre of the currajong, the flax-plant, or the hair of the opossum.



11 January 1825

Sydney, NSW

BENNETT, James (choral singer)

A lover of sweet sounds

"POLICE OFFICE", The Australian (13 January 1825), 2 

James Bennett, a painter residing in George-street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since.

[Editorial], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (20 January 1825), 2 

In our contemporary of last week we were somewhat surprised on meeting with the following paragraph, in his Police report: - "James Bennett, a painter residing in George street, professing to be a lover of sweet sounds, was deprived of his ticket of leave, for taking certain liberties, with the choral department of St. James's Church, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, some few weeks since." Were this report true, and had the Magistrates deprived the man of his liberty upon the only account stated as above, we have no hesitation in averring, that Bennett was unjustly dealt with; inasmuch as neither that individual, nor any other prisoner of the crown, was the author of the letter that appeared in our columns "some few weeks since," which was subscribed, "A Lover of sweet Sounds." But our contemporary, with a facility that reflects credit to his scholarship, takes the gentlemanly advantage, at the moment afforded, of trying to depreciate our Journal, at the expence of any poor fellow that may happen to come before the new Censorship of the Press, so recently established, but which will bring more odium upon our contemporary than he perhaps is aware of, unless such a practice is at once abandoned. The man, Bennett, we have learnt, held a ticket of leave at the instance of the Rev. Mr. Hill, so long as he continued a member of "the choral department of St. James's Church;" but, as he thought proper to relinquish the only condition upon which liberty was suspended, of course his ticket of leave was cancelled; - this is nearer the fact. Not that Bennett ever wrote a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Gazette; or that the Editor of the Sydney Gazette is in the habit of receiving correspondencies from any other writers but Gentlemen, and those generally scholars!

26 January 1825 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

"AVEC FRANCHASE" (pseud.) (songwriter, singer)

Song for the 37th Anniversary dinner

Composed expressly for the occasion ... by Avec Franchase

Report only


"ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Australian (3 February 1825), 3

On Wednesday last a numerous and respectable party assembled at Mrs. Hill's Hotel, for the purpose of celebrating the 37th Anniversary of the Colony. Mr. William Charles Wentworth acted as President; and Mr. William Redfern, as Vice President. The party, in number about eighty, sat down to table at six o'clock. After dinner the following toasts were given, the President prefacing each of them with such observations as they naturally elicited, and dwelling on some few of them at great length:-

The King.
The Duke of York and the Army.
The Duke of Clarence and the Navy.
The memory of Governor Philip, the founder of the Colony.
The memory of Major General Macquarie, our late revered and lamented Governor.
Sir Thomas Brisbane.
Sir James Macintosh, and the other Advocates of Australia in the British Senate - three times three.
Trial by Jury - three times three.
A House of Assembly - three times three.
The freedom of the Press - three times three.
The Agriculture & Commerce of the Colony - three times three.
The Currency Lasses - three times three.
Prosperity and independence to the rising Generation - three times three.
Mrs. Macquarie and our fellow-countryman, Lachlan - three times three.

The health of the President, was then drank, who returned thanks; and, after some complimentary remarks on the manner in which the dinner had been got up, proposed

The health of the Stewards.

There was a band of music in attendance and each of the above toasts was followed with an appropriate air. A variety of songs were given in the course of the evening, two of which were composed expressly for the occasion the one by "Avec Franchase," the other by Mr. Robinson. The song of "Avec Franchase" was in his best style, and the company besides being gratified with this fresh specimen of his poetry, were indebted to him for a sample also of his vocal powers, which, we, are bound in justice to admit, fully equal his poetic.



26 January 1825 (first performance)

Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, Sydney, NSW

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song for the Commemoration Dinner, 1825

Composed expressly for the occasion by Mr. Robinson ... to the tune of "Derry Down" ("The Annals of London's Emporium have told ...")

VIEW DIGITISED SOURCE [Australian] (words)



Sources and documentation:

"ANNIVERSARY DINNER", The Australian (3 February 1825), 3

... Mr. Robinson's song was delivered with much humour, to the tune of "derry down," and excited a good deal of merriment. As it relates to an occurrence of the day, we give it insertion ... [gives full text, mostly as below, except small orthographic differences]

"COMMEMORATION DINNER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (3 February 1825), 3

On Wednesday the 26th ult. this Annual Festival was celebrated at Hill's Tavern, Hyde Park, when 80 of the principal Inhabitants sat down to a board abundantly supplied with the best viands that were attainable in the season; the wines in general were good; and the dessert served up in a superior style. We are informed, by our Reporter, that WILLIAM WENTWORTH, Esq., Barrister at Law, took the chair on this occasion as President, and that Dr. REDFERN officiated as his Deputy. After the cloth had been removed, several loyal and appropriate toasts were given, according to the usual course of such ceremonies. When the memory of Governor PHILIP, as the Founder of the Colony, had been drank, the President took occasion, in a very handsome speech, to enlarge upon the eminent services that Officer had rendered the Colony, not only as they affected its interests in his day, but laid the foundation of its prosperity in succeeding times. The toast that then succeeded was, "The memory of our late revered and lamented Governor, GENERAL MACQUARIE;" and here, the President, with a warmth, animation, and pathos, which created one general feeling of sympathy and veneration, pointed out and dwelt upon the high talents, the consummate virtues, and distinguished integrity which marked General Macquarie's conduct and character during his administration of this Government, for a period of nearly twelve years. The next toast in succession, was, "Trial by Jury;" and then Mr. Wentworth certainly displayed great talent in his address to the Company; expatiating, with ardour and eloquence, on the advantages likely to result to the Colony from the introduction of a system so dear to its rights, and so conducive to its advancement to prosperity. His address was frequently interrupted by loud and lengthened plaudits from every quarter, and took up above three-quarters of an hour in delivery. We ought, however, to have noticed that previous to Mr. Wentworth's speech, the company were highly gratified by a song on the same subject, the production of our old favourite Bard, a copy of which we have been favored with, and is subjoined. It was near midnight when the party began to withdraw, and the rooms were cleared at an early hour in the morning; all the guests expressing the highest satisfaction at the entertainment they had partaken of. The Band of the 3d (or Buffs) Regt. attended, and performed, in their usual masterly and exhilirating style, several delightful airs and melodies.


The annals of London's emporium have told,
That a fire broke out in that city of old;
And raging around, with insatiate fury,
Swept her Corn-hill - her Poultry - and smote her "Old Jewry." ["Old Jury" in Australian]

Now a blaze, not perhaps so extensively plann'd,
Has lately burst forth on Australia's land;
From whose mischiefs no policy-schemes could insure ye,
For the flame was intended to brand her "New Jury."

The daemons of discord assisted as members,
And the arch-fiends of prejudice puffed up the embers;
Whence a paradox started, as strange as could be,
That Britons ENFRANCHIS'D could never be free!

Emancipists caught the alarm, and assembled,
And the agents of anarchy listened and trembled;
When reason and common sense made it quite clear,
That a birth-right at home was inheritance here.

Mercy heard their appeal from her dignify'd throne,
And confirmed every fiat she knew was her own;
Declar'd that her boons were, unqualify'd, giv'n,
And pure as the glist'ning dew drops from Heav'n.

Justice paus'd on the case - but impartial and mild,
Gave her suffrage to mercy, who hail'd it, and smil'd;
And both, with one feeling, abjured every plan,
That, by sordid distinctions, set MAN AGAINST MAN.

Hence, as hope leaves the fav'ring perspective in view,
Her fruits, in due season, shall ripen for you;
And your names shall unstain'd, to your children go forth,
Distinguished for virtues - remembered for worth.

Then, here, let the metaphor drop as a joke,
And the fire go out smother'd in its own smoke;
Whilst the shafts that incendiaries deal in the dark,
Shall recoil on themselves, and thus hit the true mark.

In cities, where mercantile exports are many,
The trade of a packer's as useful as any;
For as hay will catch fire, if it be not well stacked,
So will juries be smoked, if improperly pack'd.

Your bard now retires from the theme that he hit on,
Disclaiming all party, he feels as a Briton;
And to night if you vote one fresh wreath in his favour,
Let it twine round your bowls, and 'twill bloom there for ever.

Australia! whilst met on this festive occasion,
We yield thee our tribute of commemoration;
We see, with fond pride, thy advancement to fame,
And the pages of History honour thy name.

From those Arts and that Science thy bosom has nourish'd,
Agriculture has prospered, and Commerce has flourished;
Then to thee shall our hearts' purest homage be giv'n,
And the toast that succeeds, be "The land, boys, we live in!"





Music concordances:

[1] "Derry down"; major-key melody, as used in England for "Old Homer, but with him what have we to do?"

W. Chappell (ed.), A collection of national English airs ... volume 1 (London: Chappell, 1840), 86 [174]

[2] "Derry down"; minor-key melody, as used in 18-19C, as here for "The Barrel of Beer" (Boston: Geo. P. Reed & Co., [1853])





5 March 1825

10 March 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"FIDELLE EN AMOUR" (pseud.) = TOMPSON, Charles (songwriter)

Mira of the Vale

A song in the style and to the air of "Jessie o'Dumblain" (Calm eve hung her shades o'er yon wood-crown'd blue mountain ...)



Sources and documentation:

"MIRA OF THE VALE", The Australian (10 March 1825), 3


Calm Eve hung her shades o'er yon wood-crown'd blue mountain,
Grey mists slowly wreath'd o'er the upland and dale;
The moon rising cloudless, just silver'd the fountain
That lulls to soft slumbers the "flow'r of the vale."

Than the blooming young rose-bud, her cheeks are more bonnie,
Compar'd with her lips, the red coral is pale;
Far sweeter and fairer and dearer than ony,
 Is lovely young Mira, the "flo'w'r of the vale."

How modest, how beauteous the lily's pale blossom,
Delicious the odors its petals exhale;
Yet, a flow'ret, enraptur'd, I've clasp'd to my bosom,

More modest - more fragrant - the "rose of the vale."

O, soft on yon hill, Cynthia's silver beam slumbers,
And the wood-dove's coo tenderly floats in the gale;
Yet softer her glance, and far greater the numbers,
That flow from the lips of this "rose of the vale."

When sickness or age, ev'ry grace shall deflower,
Her lov'lier mind, o'er their touch shall prevail;
Such sweetness, such goodness, such ravishing power,
Blend alone in my Mira, the "flower of the vale."

In some lone little cot, from the gay world secluded,
Oh ! what would the scorn of the wealthy avail?
While I clasp'd the sweet angel, who never delude
The heart that now pants, for the "rose of the vale?"

March 5, 1824.


Tompson 1826; see modern edition

[Review], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (1 November 1826), 3

Poetry, now-a-days, in order to be patiently read, would require to possess something of superior merit. Where people are accustomed to the sway of a Byron, a Scott, or a Moore, a common place votary of the muse has little or no chance of being attended to; but when a young man modestly offers the offspring of his muse to the world, he has something like a claim upon the public notice, and the more, so when that production evidently bears the stamp of genius. What perhaps may seem to be somewhat singular is, that although the author of the present poems is a young man, we find in the whole of his writings a great chasteness of expression, and gladly observe that they are entirely divested of bombast, the common fault of juvenile writers. We are aware that some critics would prefer this fault, and augur from it the future development of genius, but we happen to be of a different opinion. From the chaste style of the present writer, we expect that at an after period he will furnish us with something of the classical elegance of a Pope. We are always fond of seeing what is natural either in young or old, because nature is the language which constitutes real poesy. The only fault that we have to find with Mr. Tompson is, that he imitates too closely the style of others ... An imitator of the productions of others should equal the vivacity and fire of his models in order to fix the attention of his readers. Mr. Tompson's song of "Mira, the flower of the vale," is nearly a transcript of Tannahill's "Jessie, the flower o'Dumblane," with the difference that it neither possesses the simplicity nor pathos of the original. Besides, he has introduced two Scotch words into the song for no other reason that we can perceive, than that of rhyme. We give ihe lines in which they occur, and leave our readers to form their judgment.

Than the blooming young rose-bud her cheeks are more bonnie,
Compared with her lips the red coral is pale,
Far sweeter, and fairer, and dearer than ony,
Is lovely young Mira, the flower of the vale.

The censorious critic will say, that this is mere affection, while all will agree that it is a manifestation of bad taste. We would strongly recommend our author to pay more attention to the construction of his future metaphors, too, because nothing can possibly lend to make a writer more ridiculous than inattention in this respect. It is, however, one of the fault of genius, as it arises from a vivid and fertile imagination not properly regulated. It is like giving a thousand pounds in charity to a beggar, and making a present to a rich man of a farthing ...





Music concordances:

"Jessie the flower o' Dunblane", music by Robert Archibald Smith (1780-1829), to original words by Robert Tannahill (1774-1810); early 19C sources, e.g.:





13 March 1825 (date of journal entry)

Lake Macquarie, NSW

INDIGENOUS (Awabakal) (singers, dancers)

THRELKELD, Lancelot Edward (reporter)

Song and dance

Report only

Nga ba ya!


Source and documentation:

Papers of Lancelot Threlkeld, SL-NSW, ML MSS. 2111 (ed. Gunson 1974)

Various references to dance and song during the early months after Threlkeld's arrival at Lake Macquarie, from late 1824 to March 1825, including, in journal entry, 13 March 1825, a dance:

... performed in exact time to the beating of two pieces of stick one upon the other by an old man who sings during the performance ... The whole unite in the tune which begins high and sinks gradually raising again, the compass is perhaps two octaves. The women join in the dance and song but all are naked not in consequence of the dance but because they are allways so.

Threlkeld 1858, 71-72

[71] It was on a Lord's day 1825 that delegates were sent to the different tribes from our tribe, requesting them to meet in order to punish a black who had killed another one, some time before. The flat, on which we resided near Newcastle, was the spot chosen for the place of punishment [72] being a plain of clear trees. The tribes from the Hawksbury had delivered up the culprit to our tribe, who was on his parol of honour, until the appointed time. The Messengers accompanying him brought a new song as a present from the muses, to enchant the hearts of the judges and soften their rigor in regard to the criminal ...

My intercourse with the blacks, and at that time very imperfect knowledge of their language, was such that I could not ascertain whether the vocal powers of the Songsters and Songstresses captivated their "most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors" so as to cause them to lose all sense of their proprieties, and forget their higheat duties, or whether a flaw in the indictment, or the partiality of party feeling, - or any vulgar process of bribery or corruption, such as their civilized neighbours would scorn to acknowledge, I could never ascertain, but the punishment did not take place.

About this time the popular feeling among the Aborigines was in the highest state of excitement, in consequence of the arrival of a black Songstress, who warbled forth to the delight and astonishment of the natives the following Rondo, and such was the enthusiasm with which it was received, and the hold it had on their feelings, that the mere saying of the first line would cause a whole tribe of men, women and children to cast away their garments, start up and join in the following fascinating Song and Dance:

Nga ba ya!
Kore wonnung ke?
Kore yo!
Kore wonnung ke?
Nga ba ya! &c. &c. &c.

A literal translation would not sufficiently explain; Poetic imagination must supply the ellipsis; It runs thus:-

Ah, is it so!
Where is the man! Man away! Where is the man? Ah, is it so! &c. &c. &c.

A Scotch poetical Lassie would no doubt be led to suppose that the song was an imitation of: -

"Oh, where? and Oh where?
Is my highland Laddie gone?"

and very likely something of the same sort of poetical feeling induced the Rondo in remembrance of some favourite absentee. Human nature is just the same, whether clothed with the most delicate alabaster skin, or comely, but black exterior of the image of God.

Hale 1846, 110

(110): When the missionaries first came to Wellington, the natives used to assemble once a year, in the month of February, to dance and sing a song in honour of Baiamai. This song was brought there from a distance by strange natives, who went about teaching it. Those who refused to join in the ceremony were supposed to incur the displeasure of the god. For the last three years the custom has been discontinued. In the tribe on Hunter's River, there was a native famous for the composition of these songs or hymns; which, according to Mr. Threlkeld, were passed from tribe to tribe, to a great distance, till many of the words became at last unintelligible to those who sang them.


Gunson 1974, 86-88

Carey 2010, 244

28 April 1825 (first notice)

Sydney, NSW

REICHENBERG, Joseph (composer)

A First Set of Quadrilles for Australia

First Set of Australian Quadrilles



MR. REICHENBERG, Music Master of the 40th Regiment, respectfully informs the ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has composed a first Set of Quadrilles for Australia, with proper figures adapted to it, for the Pianoforte, Flute, or Violin; also, for a full Band. The same may be had in Manuscript, from Mr. REICHENBERG, at the Military Barracks; or at Mr. Campbell's, No.93, George-street, by giving one Day's Notice. Price 6s.

[Advertisement], The Australian (28 April 1825), 1

MR. REICHENBERG, MUSIC MASTER OF the 40th Regt. respectfully informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has composed a first set of Quadrilles for Australia, with proper figures adapted to them, for the piano forte, flute, or violin; as also for a full band. The same may be had in manuscript, from mr. REICHENBERG, at the military barrack; or at mr. Campbell's, No. 93, George-street, by giving one day's notice. - Price 6s.

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (28 April 1825), 1

FRENCH LANGUAGE AND DANCING. QUADRILLES, COUNTRY DANCES, WALTZES, &c. TAUGHT AT No. 4, MACQUARIE-STREET. MONSIEUR GIRARD, in presenting his sincere Thanks to the Public for the very liberal Encouragement which he has uniformly experienced, begs to suggest the Advantage which Ladies and Gentlemen would derive, by being furnished, a few Days previous to any Ball, with select Quadrilles, &c in exercising which Mistakes would be effectually prevented. As M. G. has a thorough knowledge of the Manner in which French and English Balls are conducted, he respectfully offers his Services for this Purpose, and will undertake to conduct them in the finest Style. N.B. As many Ladies and Gentlemen, who are somewhat advanced in life, may have, from a variety of reasons, neglected to acquire a proper Knowledge of Dancing, M.G. would undertake to teach such, in three mouths, so that they might appear in Ball-rooms with perfect grace.

MR. REICHENBERG, Music Master of the 40th Regiment, respectfully informs the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Colony, that he has composed a first Set of Quadrilles for Australia, with proper figures adapted to it, for the Pianoforte, Flute, or Violin; as also, for a full Band. The same may be had in Manuscript, from Mr. REICHENBERG, at the Military Barracks; or at Mr. CAMPBELL's, No.93, George-street, by giving one Day's Notice. - Price 6s.

[Editorial], Howe's Weekly Commercial Express (2 May 1825)


[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (5 May 1825), 3 

We have seen Howe's Express. The motto is not bad. We are apt to think that the Editor would have the world believe his production is solely attributable to INDUSTRY, which is justly said to be "the mother, the nurse, and the guardian of all virtues;" and we are willing to give due credit to his laudable efforts, as INDOLENCE is invariably the mother, the nurse, and the promoter of all VICES! The address, or leading article, will bear inspection - it is in fact pretty tolerable; we see no political declarations, by which political manoeuvre however, it is not improbable but this new Editor intends lying in ambush for his elder and perhaps weaker brethren - but, as far as we are personally concerned, a good look-out will be kept - our observatory is established ... He begins with with "The Gazette" and its opponent, "The Australian," referring to the "great changes" said to be on the eve of occurring in our Administration. Honorable mention is made of "our respected GOVERNOR," to which we have no objection; and then comes the reported retirement of Major GOULBURN. He seems to be very conscious of being "classed amongst the flatterers of the day" (rather bold for a new-comer!) and yet obtrudes his half compliments, when his whole ones might have as well been made public, for to us "a nod is as good as a wink." He had better keep without the reach of our "clutches." Then advances " Australian quadrilles and circulating libraries," which is followed with a comparison of the first and last Sydney Gazette, shewing how vastly the mercantile interests of the Colony have advanced, from four advertising insertions to ninety-seven! ...

[Advertisement], Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (31 March 1826), 4

Waterloo Store. MR. JOHN P. DEANE begs to inform his Friends, that he is now Selling off, in addition to his former Advertisement, the under-mentioned GOODS ... An upright Piano Forte for Sale. The first set of Australian Quadrills [Quadrilles in Gazette], arranged for the Piano Forte, by J. Richenberg, Music Master of the 40th Band, and a variety of other Music. Private Lessons on the Piano Forte, Violins and Piano Fortes tuned.

[Advertisement], Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (7 April 1826), 1

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (8 April 1826), 3

[Advertisement], Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (14 April 1826), 1

[Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (15 April 1826), 1


"Australia's first music", Art in Australia (June 1942), 56, 7, and 5 pages supplement (fascsimile) 

Incorrectly conflates Reichenberg's lost 1825 quadrilles with the coverless copy of Ellard's The much admired Australian quadrilles (1835) in the State Library of New South Wales (facsimile as 5-page supplement)

Hall 1851-54, 3, 375

Wentzel 1962

Covell 1967, 8-9, 292

Skinner 2011a




Art in Australia 1942 mistakenly identified facsimile reprint of coverless SL-NSW copy of Ellard's Australian Quadrilles (1835) as Reichenberg's. Covell 1967 explained the source of this confusion in the library catalogue.


"THE RACES ... THE BALL", The Australian (28 April 1825), 3-4

The races as might be expected from the preparations of the last five weeks, were truly gay ... THE BALL, Which is the usual and by no means the least agreeable appendage to the turf. Campbell's Rooms, at which it was held, though somewhat inconvenient on account of their dividing the Company, were sufficiently well adapted for the purpose on Tuesday evening. They were not uncomfortably crowded. Nearly thirty Ladies accepted invitations. Quadrille and contre danse were kept up with great spirit. Upwards of one hundred persons sat down to a very well arranged supper. His Excellency was very cheerful and delightful harmony prevailed all the evening. Our limits will not allow us to extend our particulars, or our praises. We must therefore close this "eventful history."

16 June 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"DR. WIGWAM" (pseud.) = ? ROBINSON, Michael Massey

A Quid-Ditty

Excellent new song
(WE two fine fellows, the season has sent forth,
Myself, Dr. Wardell and my friend Mr. Wentworth ...)

Words only; no tune indicated


Source and documentation:

"TO THE EDITOR", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (16 June 1825), 4

TO THE EDITOR OF THE SYDNEY GAZETTE. SIR, The author of the following excellent new song, begs to assure those who may not perceive its beauties, that the fault is not his but theirs, as it is impossible for him to furnish them with discriminating optics. He, with great modesty, desires that his dear Public will believe him, when he states, that every line is rich in music and metaphor, and that every verse sparkles with wit of the first water. He has closely imitated the style of "To my dear Dolly Freelove," and, in doing so, has been careful - ay, to the nineteenth part of a nail - of allowing his Pegasus to soar no higher, nor to sink lower, than that much-admired production. On this explanation he rests his fame with his dear Public; and will ever be, while they have money in their pockets, Their devoted servant to command, WIGWAM.


WE two fine fellows, the season has sent forth,
Myself, Dr. W. and my friend Mr. W-------h;
Beg the Public to notice, 'twere monstrously clever,
We are, we have been, and we shall be for ever;
With our quips, and our quids, and our certioraries,
Mandamuses, fuciases, fiddlestickaries.

Good people take notice, 'twere gentlemen both,
And this we are ready to state upon oath;
But the word of a gentleman, is quite as good
As the oaths of the canaille, or any such brood.
With our quips, &c.

We also are gallant, as gallant can be,
And that very soon, all the ladies will see;
We know very well howe to kick up a row,
And to carry it on, if it were not for Howe.
With our quips, &c.

Our learning is vast, too, 'tis much like an earthquake,
Were it not for Howe's jokes, which make men with mirth shake.
But we'll show forth our powers, when enveloped in wig;
As with pen, ink, and paper, we can't look so big.
With our quips, &c.

'Tis true, my friend's nose is as callous as leather,
But that does not prove that be shows a white feather;
So for this, and for more, you will make an excuse,
And we'll do what we can to cajole and amuse.
With our quips, &c.

We beseech yon, besides, do not read the Gazette,
For there you will find our opinions upset;
Read naught but our paper, in which you will find,
Upon every occasion a bit of our mind.
With our quips, &c.

You will see our remarks on tobacco and rum;
"But, if yon read Howe, you'll believe them a hum:
Attached not at all to the dustman-like elf,
And then we will cleverly pocket the pelf.
With our quips, &c.

Mr.Howes upon honor's, a libelling rogue,
Buf for this, be assured, we will soon " trounce" the dog;
For if it should rost us our very last shilling,
We'll give him a terrible legal-like milling.
With our quips, and our quids, and our certioraies,
Mandamuses, fuciases, fiddlestickaries.







A squib in the Gazette on the proprietors, Robert Wardell and William Wentworth, of it's rival, The Australian, referring back to the style and content of earlier poems, published by them, addressed "TO MY DEAR DOLLY FREELOVE" by "Jack Vainspun".


"TO MY DEAR DOLLY FREELOVE", The Australian (30 December 1824), 3

"TO MY DEAR DOLLY FREELOVE", The Australian (5 May 1825), 2

2 August 1825 (date written)

Hunter's Hill, NSW

8 September 1825 (first published)

GORE, A. Stanhope (songwriter)

Eathlina's Lament

Air - Erin o bragh!

Words; tune indicated




"EATHLINA'S LAMENT", The Australian (8 September 1825), 3



"Desolate is the dwelling of Inoina. Silence is in the house of her fathers. Raise the song of mourning, O bards, over the land of strangers. They have fallen before us."

Air - Erin go bragh!

Defaced are the halls, where my ancestors revell'd -
Wept a wanderer, sad straying along the sea shore;
Whose dark streaming hair, the wild wind dishevelled,
As she mourned for the days forever gone o'er.
She told of 'Ath O'Connor, that hero of glory,
Whose name long will live in Ireland's story;
Oh! me, while she sung what sadness came o'er me,
To think that such greatness can never be more.

To Connaught she said, go hear of their honor,
Go - hear of their deeds in Ulster, so true;
Go - hear of the valor of every O'Connor,
Who fought for his country and liberty too.
In the psaltery of Tara, their names are recorded,
Their deeds and their actions are there truly worded;
And it tells with what wisdom their lance was awarded,
How they died, as they lived, to Innesfael true.

Thro' thy halls Castle Connor, the harp once with pleasure,
Would tell all the battles my fathers had seen;
Whilst princes have gather'd to list the soft measure,
And recall with delight the days that have been.
Oh! it was sweet while the dewy eve bright'ned,
And the moon over many a proud baron light'ned,
To see ther dark eyes bright, their brave spirits height'ned,
With the thoughts of each glorious long past scene.

I have mourned with my friends, by their false ones forsaken,
I have wept for the death of the gallant and gay,
I have felt every string which holds my heart - breaking
For the laurel crowned victor, by death swept away.
But Erin - I mourn thee, deeper in sorrow,
Which knows not, and never will know of a morrow,
Whilst thou dearest Isle, no peace yet can borrow,
Land of my ancestors, e'en dearer than they.

Sweet Heaven! she cried, Oh save from destruction,
That birth place of heroes, in misery now;
That my own high born kin, once the pride of their nation,
May never be forced 'neath slavery to bow;
So proud are their hearts, and so gallant their nature,
With honor and truth beaming bright in each feature,
Oh! God! shew thy mercy on them for the future;
Seil fother oh Erin - Erin go bragh.

Over the wildwood, and over the billow,
The dark winds shall bear me, thro' yon far Western sea;
This night I will rest by the death drooping willow,
Which mourns all alone in my own Athenree.
Yes, I will rest - 'till the day-light is bringing,
Some joy to my soul, while the sweet birds are singing;
She said this and fled - yet the echoes were ringing,
Seil fother Oh Erin - Erin go bragh.

Fine and proud was the form of that youthful stranger,
And dark were her eyes, which no wind could assail;
Whilst each passion fraught glance told how fearless of danger,
Was the heart that long mourned for her wrongs in Australe.
But peace shall return - bright garlands entwining,
No more will she stand in sorrow repining,
No more will she weep while the day is declining,
Like the lily which droops in the night dews pale.

Hunter's Hill's, North Shore, A. Stanhope Gore. August 2, 1825.


Burke and Woods 2001


Music concordance (tune):

Exile of Erin or Erin go bragh, written by Campbell

(New York, E. Riley, [after 1805])

The Irish Minstrel, a selection from the vocal melodies of Ireland, ancient & modern, arranged for the piano forte by R. A. Smith

(Edinburgh: Robt. Purdie, [c.1825]), 2





29 September 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"J. M." (songwriter)

The Races O

A New Song to an Old Tune

(Old travellers, folks say, who from here to there are dancing ...)

Words only; no tune indicated



"THE RACES O", The Australian (29 September 1825), 2

A New Song to an Old Tune.
"O what a day!" - Tom Thumb.

Old travellers, folks say, who from here to there are dancing,
On foreign sights and novelties to satisfy their eyes,
When on their travels gain a passion, for romancing,
And gull their simple readers with a volume full of lies.

But I, who never look'd upon the wonderfuls of Italy,
Like roving lords cannot descant upon them all so wittily;
So, 'stead of writing books about old Vulcan's naked daughter O,
I'll sing ot something wonderful, in stanza's that are shorter O.

Then, my neighbours then, with good humour in your faces,
Attend unto my rhyming, and don't treat it with a frown;
I sing of no unworthy deeds, but of Sydney Races,
That late inspir'd, and boldly fir'd, our great equestrian town.

The morn scarce dawn'd 'fore each horse was buckled to the traces,
As glowing fancy bodied forth the glories of the day;
The ladies drest, in all their best - in muslins and in laces,
And sweeter than Diana look'd when riding forth in may.

Now mounted high, in Stanhope gig, in Buggy, or in Dennet, O,
With elbows squared, each thriving lord low bows to neighbour Bennett, O;
And, as he looks behind, in pride to see what gables follow, O,
Thinks, himself, in driving skill, Phaeton or Apollo, O.

Master Catch'em led the van - in company with Simkins,
The antipodes of all that's just, mannerly, and good;
Next mister Quiver trembling rides, while his neighbour Jenkins,
Kept the "tenor of his way," just as steady as he could.

Now Captain Speedwell in his gig, with reins and whipcord labours O,
"I travel post," he laughing cries, and dashes past his neighbours, O;
And sure enough he "posted it," for 'midst his dashing paces O,
He runs against a gate and snaps his new-imported traces O.

Simon Trueheart ambling rides and amorously given,
Gallantly tries his ladylove with burning vows to please;
"Constancy alone," he sighs, "'tis makes this earth a heaven,
And madam I'm devoutly yours, I'll swear upon my knees."

Just then his Rosinante tripp'd, and 'midst the ladies squalling O
Beside-her frighted steed, he drops upon his trotters sprawling O
When she look'd down and leering cries, "I'll meet you at the steeple O.
But pray don't swear my doating swain before so many people O?

The Race ground gained, that place of fun, the knavish world's epitome,
Where jockeys jostle, honest men, who jostle too in scorn;
Where men lay bare their secret thoughts, and skilful in anatomy.
Just try to bleed their trusting frie'nds, who try to bleed in turn.

Great Epsom Downs with all their show, their bon ton, their horses O,
Newmarket too with all her dukes, her buckels and her crosses O;
Could ne'er display so bright a day - that day light, full was dawning O,
Upon the Course of Botany on a fine September morning O.

But to mention every one who rode with magnanimity,
Would take more, time and doggrel rhyme than I can now afford;
Knights there were that pois'd the lance, and Baronets of dignity,
And Lords that cut up Holland like old Iervis by the yard.

Some would quiet friends and foes by lecturing it and proctering;
Others took a shorter cut, and so cut them off by doctoring;
But just to make amends for this, they'd kindly the next minute O,
Repair the loss the world sustain'd by bringing others in it O.

Merchants gay with hawking men familiarly imbrangled;
Sad plaintiffs and defendants too - the wise man and the fool;
Tailors, tinkers, justice's together were entangled,
As if distinction now no more - equality's the rule.

Fun and mirth kept jubilee, with laughter and drollery;
Every scene was reeling drunk with humour, wit, and drollery;
As up and down the course, they drove, cantering and parading it,
You'd swore the court of momus was at Belle Vue - masquerading it.

Each heart agog for sporting fun with challenges vociferous;
Five to four on this, and then with offers round they go -
The mania spreads for sportsmen know that betting is petiforous,
And like a fever is not cured till patients are brought low.

Now dashing from the starting post they gallop and they sidle O
And quick as fancy jockeys spur and whip, and chafe the bridle O
In daring skill each rider seems precisely of a kidney O!
For neck or nothing - is nothing new to sporting blades of Sydney O.

Now the races all gone through, each kindred horse of Dante's
Prancing turns his snorting nose towards the distant town -
But each tit that's cousin to, the the steed of old Cervante's,
Contented with his feather bed, in quiet lays him down,

midst the din of sporting noise, lamentings and of praises O -
Rattling dash on the carts, the coaches, and the chaises O -
For every one drives home so fast, you'd think they had no leisure O
To stop and take another sup of quick receding pleasure O.

Now fill high the foaming glass and quickly as it passes,
Toast off success to racing joy's, those antidotes of woe;
For what is man with all his cares, and what are pray the lasses,
If pleasure's sunshine never beams upon this life of snow?

Shut out from sports the mind contracts woe seizes on the spirits O
And gloom profound, and hopeless care, man feels he but inherits O;
But wearied hearts, whose blood is spent in sorrow's own employments O,
Will blithly meet the iron toil that follows on enjoyments O.

J. M.



October 1825

Sydney, and Hunter River region, NSW

CUNNINGHAM, Peter (reporter)

Songs of the "waddie"


Cunningham 1827a, 2, (21) 22-23 

[21] All the natives round Sydney understand English well, and speak it too, so as to be understood by residents ... [22]... their common practice of fighting amongst themselves is still with the waddie, each alternately stooping the head to receive the other's blows, until one tumbles down, it being considered cowardly to evade a stroke. Most of them, however, can "show off" in the true Belcher style; and indeed I once witnessed a battle in the streets where the attitudes and squaring would have done honour to the London ring, many well-put-in blows too being exchanged, though certainly there was much more chaffing than fighting in the case, - an active humorous little boy appearing to turn the whole into ridicule by dancing round and between the combatants with uncouth grimaces and gestures, flou-[23]-ishing his waddie and singing in accompaniment to his pranks.

Cunningham 1827a, 2, (36) 37 

Dreading pursuit, they set off immediately to pay a visit to the Richmond blacks, and on return to their old haunts, chased several mounted settlers on the Bulgar road, and paid a visit to a stock hut inhabited by three freemen, at Putty, to whom several of them were known. Here they reacted their former atrocities, first cunningly borrowing the fowling-pieces on pretence of shooting a kangaroo, and setting one of their gins (wives) to amuse and deceive their entertainers by singing "Johnny stays long at the fair;" the crafty wretch actually substituting the name of the intended victim for the my, in "to tie up my bonny brown hair." While the unfortunate man's attention was occupied by the wiles of this she devil, one of the gang slipped behind and felled him dead with his "waddie" ...

"NEW SOUTH WALES. No. VIII", The Australian (6 March 1827), 3 





Johnny stays long at the fair

Music concordances:

The Gentleman's musical companion, being a collection of favourite airs rondos marches songs, glees dances & duets

(London: Printed & sold by W. Hodsoll and Goulding & Co., [? 1803]) 




John Frederick Mann, diary (Leichhardt expedition, 18 December 1846; State Library of New South Wales 

Friday 18th Decr Dr. L and Brown started again for the missing mules ... Had a visit from some blacks, some of the same who came the other day, [indecipherable] "Mr. Bell" and "Mr. Turner", with 5 or 6 more and 5 gins. Very amusing to hear Mr. T trying to sing "Oh dear what can the matter be" he could not understand a word of English, he was the only one who had seen whites before, one of the strangers in particular showed his surprise by feeling our clothes, and lifting up our hats in a most careful manner ...

Bunce, Australasiatic Reminiscences, 104 

7 November 1825 (first performance)

Public Dinner to farewell Governor Thomas Brisbane

Nash's Inn, Parramatta, NSW

10 November 1825 (first published)

ROBINSON, Michael Massey (songwriter, singer)

Song for the public dinner to Governor Brisbane

Composed and sung by that old son of the Muses

(The trophies of freedom transcendent have shone ...)

Words only; no tune indicated

VIEW DIGITISED SOURCE 1 (Australian) (words)

VIEW DIGITISED SOURCE 2 (Gazette) (words)

Source and documentation:

"THE PUBLIC DINNER TO THE GOVERNOR", The Australian (10 November 1825), 3

The Public Dinner, the Grand Public Dinner to the Governor was celebrated, according to previous announcement, at Parramatta, on Monday last. It was not only the first fete which the inhabitants of New South Wales, generally had ever joined in; but, it was indeed the first thing of the kind that was ever effected, or even projected, since the foundation of the colony. Much interest was naturally raised, and many speculations ventured on the probable issue of the attempt. It was supposed impossible that the people, being such novices in all the arts essential to the management of public entertainments, could succeed in a business of that magnitude - it was supposed impossible also to bring together all classes in the Colony in social union, even for the temporary purpose of paying a compliment to the Representative of their common King. The trial of Monday proved, at least, that the Colony was in a "fit state" to undertake a good dinner, and the cordiality with which all parties - all classes, blended on the occasion, also showed that they felt the strongest inducement to mix in harmony, and that respect for Sir Thomas Brisbane prevailed over every other consideration ...

The following Song, composed for the occasion, was recited in the course of the evening:- [words follow]

"PUBLIC DINNER", The Sydney Gazette (10 November 1825), 3

PUBLIC DINNER TO HIS EXCELLENCY SIR T. BRISBANE, K.C.B. Persuant to public advertisements published in the Papers, the Free Inhabitants of the Colony assembled at Nash's Inn, Parramatta, for the purpose of welcoming their retiring Governor in Chief, at the festive board of Australia. The efforts that had been resorted to, in almost ten thousand ways, to overthrow this Dinner, would surprise any one who might be uninformed of the existing circumstances of the Colony. Influence, authority, and artifice of every kind, together with the most abominable lies, were all charmingly in ceaseless exercise, for the last fortnight or three weeks, to render this a second abandoned Dinner, and thus vitally to affect the energies of the Country. Were we to enter into a detail of all the little histories concerning this distinguished festival, our columns would not admit of any more interesting information. The perfidy that has been unmasked to the Colonists, within the last very few weeks only, tends to increase the splendour of that triumph which will mark the annals of Australian history while she continues the Queen of the Southern World; and when, after a successful termination of those conflicts that have, more or less agitated every circle, we contemplate the achievements that have been wrought in so small a compass of time, gratitude and astonishment are at their acme, because we know that a stone has not been left unturned, nor a project unconceived, that did not threaten destruction to every individual connected in the most remote degree with the late happy change in favour of that portion of the globe, which has received a stimulus, so powerful, that no attempts at counteraction will be able to annihilate ...

However, we must not forget the Dinner, which created no small stir throughout this infant Empire. The Company kept assembling at Parramatta the whole of Monday, forcing their way from East, West, North, and South, in order to afford the only mark of public attachment that was in their power to exhibit towards a Personage who must for ever live in their remembrance. The Stewards were in attendance at an early hour, for the purpose of seeing the various arrangements completed. The full Band of the 3d Regiment (Buffs) was despatched by water early in the morning, for which act, among others of no trifling consideration, the Colonists are indebted to a Personage that has not long been amongst us, but who seems nevertheless to entertain all that liberality of sentiment for which Governor Macquarie, Lieutenant Governor O'CONNELL, Governor Sir THOMAS BRISBANE, and Lieutenant Governor ERSKINE have rendered themselves pre-eminently distinguishable - we mean His Honour Lieutenant Governor STEWART.

About half-past 6 o'clock His Excellency, accompanied by His Staff, reached the Inn. A transparency for each end of the room had been tastefully prepared by Mr. Earle, which greatly improved its appearance. The table was laid out in the similitude of a horse-shoe, which had a very agreeable effect ...

Several songs were in the course of the evening sung by Messrs. Hindson, Pitman, and B. Levey; as well as the following, which was written for the occasion, by Mr. M. Robinson:-


The trophies of Freedom transcendent have shone,
In graceful reflection from Britain's bright throne;
And the star she diffus'd --- with munificent smile,
Has glimmer'd at last on Australia's Isle.

The zeal of our forefathers, hallow'd through ages,
The arts in their triumph --- the wisdom of angels,
Combin'd to bid freedom's fair scions expand,
And protect, as they wav'd o'er the genial land.

And whilst the young seedlings were nursed in her vales,
O'er spread her green mountains, and bloom'd in her dales;
The shoots were dispers'd through the civilis'd world;
Wherever Britannia's flag was unfurl'd.

And they flourish'd around ---'till the Atlantic wave
Was crimson'd no more with the blood of the slave;
Nor the task-master's lash, the red signal for toil,
But the Afric's dark brow rose illum'd with a smile.

And ye, on these shores, to whose oraisons heav'n
So sacred a charge has auspiciously giv'n ---
Oh, treasure it wisely --- and temper its spirit,
That your children may long its pure blessings inherit!

The day now is past --- when, by tyranny aw'd,
Fair freedom was outrag'd --- and justice outlaw'd ---
The hydra, oppression, has sculd'd far away,
And her death-blow, once struck, is completed this day.

By ethics deduc'd from philosophy's laws,
We are taught to retrace the effect to the cause;
That Cause is before us --- all Hail it, and bend
To our CHIEF --- to our Advocate, Patron, and Friend!

Whilst fond recollections our hearts shall endear
His name and his worth will survive with us, here;
And the legend, attested by youth and by age,
Shall form a proud column in history's page.

Emancipists! let your warm plaudits resound,
And the full chord of gratitude vibrate around ...
Swell --- swell the proud goblet --- full charge, now or never!
Whilst the toast is Our BRISBANE, and Freedom for ever!

The utmost harmony prevailed up to an early hour in the morning, when the Party separated, highly pleased with the testimonies of the evening, though regretting the occasion which called them together. We had almost forgot to state, that the Dinner was served up in Nash's usual elegant style.

"Sydney Intelligence", Colonial Times (2 December 1825), 4

... Many excellent songs were given, and one in particular, composed and sung by that old son of the Muses, Mr. MICHAEL ROBINSON, which we shall endeavour to make room for in our next ...


Mackaness 1946 (1976), 104

Skinner 2011a


Music concordances (possible tunes):

? "Derry down"; see Chappell's Popular music of the olden time, 2, 677





20 December 1825 (? first performance)

King's Wharf, Sydney Cove, Sydney, NSW

22 December 1825 (first notice)

ANONYMOUS (composer) = ? KAVANAGH, Thomas

Welcome to Australia

The accustomed and sonorous welcome

For military band

NO COPY IDENTIFIED (? MSS score, parts)


"Government and General Order", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (19 December 1825), 3

As HIS EXCELLENCY LIEUTENANT GENERAL DARLING ... has arrived, and will land at Four o'clock To-morrow Afternoon, at the King's Wharf, His Honor the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR requests the Whole of the CIVIL and MILITARY OFFICERS will be pleased to assemble at that Point to receive His Excellency on his Landing, and to follow in Procession to Government House. The Whole of the Troops, off Duty, in Garrison, will he under Arms, at Three o'Clock To-morrow Afternoon, and will form a Lane nearly the Breadth of the Street facing inwards (each File being posted by the Acting Brigade Major at regular Intervals, so as to extend from the Landing Place, to the Entrance Gate of the Government Domain), and they will remain steady, at presented Arms, until His Excellency has passed through, then they will re-form, and return to their Barracks.

The Band of the Buffs will assemble at the King's Wharf and will precede His Procession, playing Marches until they reach the Gate leading to Government-house. The Band of the 40th Regiment, with a Guard of Honor, consisting of One Captain, Two Lieutenants, Two Serjeants, and Fifty Rank and File of the Buffs, will be formed on the Inside the Entrance Gate to Government-house, and will receive His Excellency with the Compliments due to his distinguished Rank ...

"GOVERNOR DARLING", The Australian (22 December 1825), 3

The Governor has arrived - the Governor has been sworn in - the Governor has landed, - the Governor is Governor by virtue of warrants - oaths and proclamations! ... But, oh! drop the pen here - draw the curtain here - tell not to those who were not there, the glorious confusion of ranks and of orders, and of degrees: - tell it not how the projected procession became a mingled crowd - how councilmen and female peripatetics got jostled; how the great people got mixed up with the little folk - how civil officers amalgamated with uncivil, who were nevertheless very civil, and bore their civil proximities with greats deference and humility - but, mention how the Governor marched at the head instead of the tail of the train; but, notwithstanding, how well the Staff and his Excellency proceeded through the files of two and two from the water's edge to government-house, on the grounds of which the band of the buffs struck up the accustomed and sonorous welcome ...

"HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR IN CHIEF", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (22 December 1825), 2

CONFORMABLY to the Government and General Orders of His Honor the late Acting Governor, of the 18th instant, which were promulgated in Monday's Gazette, His Excellency Lieutenant General DARLING took the Oaths of Office, and formally assumed the Administration of these Colonies, at the Government-house, Sydney, in the afternoon of Monday, at 5 o'clock, in the presence of the Members of Council, and a few other Gentlemen, immediately after which a salute of 19 guns was fired from Dawes' battery, in honour of the auspicious occasion.

Owing to the extreme wetness of the weather, the official lauding of His EXCELLENCY was unavoidably postponed to the following forenoon (Tuesday). By 10 o'clock the whole of the troops, off duty in garrison, were under arms, and formed a lane nearly the breadth of the street, facing inwards, extending from the landing-place at the King's wharf to the entrance-gate of the Government domain. At the hour of 11 precisely, His EXCELLENCY, and Suite, left the Catherine Stewart Forbes in the Royal barge, when, at the instant He left the ship's side, the usual marks of respect were paid by His Majesty's sloop-of-war Larne, with yards manned. Upon the barge reaching the landing-place, Dawes' battery saluted; and His EXCELLENCY was welcomed, in due form, to the shores of Australia, by His Honor Lieutenant Governor STEWART, His Honor the CHIEF JUSTICE, the Venerable the ARCHDEACON, Judge STEPHEN, the COLONIAL SECRETARY, Colonel THORNTON, such of the new Members of Council as were in Town, and all the other Civil, Military, and Naval Officers that had been thus specially convoked together.

The Lieutenant Governor then escorted His EXCELLENCY through the mililary lane that was formed of the 3d (Buffs), the 40th, and the 57th Regiments, as well as the Staff Corps, being preceded by the full Band of the Buffs, playing "Welcome to Australia" ...






At Darling's inauguration; possibly already a traditional item passed down from one serving regimental band to the next; but also possibly newly composed by the master of the Buffs' band, Thomas Kavanagh (see below).



15 December 1825 (first published)

Sydney, NSW

"A. S. G." (songwriter) = GORE, A. Stanhope

The Russian Slave Boy

Or, Companion to "Avec Franchase" (Air - Home, sweet home!) [words by] A. S. G., North Shore, 1825

Words; imported tune indicated



"LADIES RHYMES", The Australian (15 December 1825), 4

Air - Home, sweet home!

Yon brigantine, which darkens the foam of the sea,
Is the dismal sad home they have given to me;
Oh! did ye but know the cares which annoy,
From your hearts, ye would pity the Russian slave boy;
For in sorrow I dwell, bereft of all joy,
There ne'er will be peace for the poor slave boy.

When the loud billows swell, and rise mountain high,
I sail slowly on, with many a sigh;
I think on my country, and thoughts then destroy
Every vision of rest, for the Russian slave boy;
Sad, sad are my hours, a stranger to joy,
From my own sunny mountains I live, a slave boy.

Full oft of an evening, when storm winds assail,
I traverse along, where no sweet smile I hail,
And one sad tear I drop, while my eye follows far,
That star faintly beaming, my own brilliant star -
For it lights gently o'er my lost home of joy,
Where wanders the soul of the Russian slave boy.

When the merry north lights dance gay thro' the sky,
And silence on board tells no danger is nigh,
I pace the broad deck, while my arms I enfold,
O'er my bosom, which feels all the winter and cold,
Then, then do I feel deserted by joy,
And I mourn by myself, a lonely slave boy.

Oft I shiver and turn from the wild raving blast,
While the damp flapping canvas around me is cast;
Oh! the world I would give, if the loud winds would throw
Me lifeless and pale to the billows below;
Then would I be free from ills which annoy,
At rest then the heart of the Russian slave boy.

North Shore, 1825. A. S. G.




Music concordance (tune):

A later Sydney edition, lithographed from a London original, see Home, sweet Home


This is one of the earliest records of Bishop's song, only recently first introduced in London (1823), having found its way to NSW.



© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2017