Away to Tintinara
written by Mike O’Connor
As with Mike Silver who wrote Jackeroo, I am most flattered that he and Mike O’Connor, two of the best song writers, should take their time to write such good songs about my time in Australia when working on the sheep and cattle station Emu Springs all those years ago. Each song is such a joy to sing as the images they evoke take me back to the Outback and my meeting with Australia and it’s unique culture. Martyn
At the age of 18 Martyn Wyndham-Read left home and paid his passage to Australia. Under the biggest night sky he’d ever seen he got off the Adelaide train at Tintinara, to work as a Jackeroo on the remote sheep station of Emu Springs. This experience left Martyn with a deep love of open spaces and the traditional songs of the old station hands. This legacy is a lifetime of music.
In this song I’ve tried to capture Martyn’s memories of this life-forming experience and say thank you for his friend-ship and wonderful music. Mike
Away to Tintinara
Words and Music by Mike O’Connor
It’s a-way to Tintinara, and miles to Emu Springs,
Every year a little farther to the song the drover sings
It’s a hundred miles from Adelaide the Overlander rolls
Then a dusty road to sunrise where open Bushland calls.
Where the music on the wind is the creaking of the saddle
And the rhythm of the song are the hooves upon the ground
And the fences run forever to the dusty blue horizon
And like gems on distant velvet stars echo to the sound “Call me Back”.
There’s a lonely crossroad beckons to blue remembered hills
Then beyond the sands of Sugarloaf where memory lingers still
On the sunlit plains of yester-year where lyre birds dance and sing
Are the echo of the voices a Bush-Man’s dreams can bring.
For along the paddock dreaming you know that she’ll be right
And around the billy boiling the stories last the night
But there’s room enough for breathing there’s space to be your own
You can sing again the old songs and watch the sun go down.