Dusty Dry Outback
words and melody by Martyn Wyndham-Read
I am not a song writer, but occasionally I come up with a line that suggests a song. This happened as I strolled along an English country lane absorbing the countryside and transferring it to Australia, if you get my drift,
“For no good reason other than I am out here on the track”.
Having the first line in my head was like an artist with a blank canvas in front and a paint brush poised but where to put the first stroke. I have always openly admired the swagmen and swag women, of which there were a few, of Australia. The first photo is of a modern day swagman, Campbell, that I have the pleasure to know. They have contributed so much to the folklore and culture of the Great Outback and this is what I have tried to portray in this Dusty Dry Outback song. There are references to Henry Lawson’s poems and stories which I have used. Martyn.
Dusty Dry Outback
words and melody Martyn Wyndham-Read
For no good reason other than
I’m out here on the track
And heading for the Western Plains
The Dusty Dry Outback.
It’s hard to tramp through dust and heat
With no one by your side
The Never Never stretching out
So endless long and wide.
I leave behind the city
With the people and the streets
The push of heavy traffic
And the pounding of the feet.
The days are long the nights come on
The stars shine over head
The barren ground and grasses make
My so called feather bed.
I’m heading for the Lord knows where
Just distance in between
A river bank or dry flat plain
Somewhere I’ve never been.
I meet with men along the track
They all have tales to tell
And some about their searching for
The Myall Creek Brass Well
I take my time there is no rush
I have no place to be
I’ll lay my swag down where I like
By billabong or tree.
And when my final day comes round
As come it surely will
Just carve my name upon a tree
In memory of Bill.