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.