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Clancy of the Overflow





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Pat Thompson &
Tony Latimer

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(Words: Banjo Patterson; music; A.Latimer)

Written with great love and respect for
the poetry of Banjo Patterson - one of
Australia's favourite sons. I hope my
compatriots feel I have done his work justice.

I had written him a letter
Which I had, for want of better knowledge
Sent to where I knew him
Down the Lachlan, years ago
He was shearing when I knew him
So I sent the letter to him
Just on spec, addressed as follows
"Clancy of the overflow"

An answer came directed
In a writing unexpected
And I think the same was written
With a thumbnail dipped in tar
'Twas his shearing mates who wrote it
And verbatim I will quote it
"Clancy's gone to Queensland droving
And we don't know where he are."

In my wild erratic fancy
Visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-drovin "down the Cooper"
Where the western drovers go
As the stock are slowly stringing
Clancy rides behind them singing
For the drover's life has pleasures
That the townsfolk never know

And the bush has friends to meet him
And their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes
And the river on it's bars
An he sees the vision splendid
Of the sunlit plains extended
And at night the wondrous glory
Of the everlasting stars

I am sitting in my dingy little office
Where a stingy ray of sunlight struggles
Feebly down between the houses tall
An the foetid air and gritty
Of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating,
Spreads it's foulness over all

And in place of lowing cattle
You can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses
Making hurry down the street
And the language uninviting
Of the gutter children fighting
Comes fitfully and faintly
Through the ceaseless tramp of feet

And the hurrying people daunt me
And their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another
In their rush and nervous haste
With their eager eyes and greedy
And their stunted forms and weedy
For the towns folk have no time to grow
They have no time to waste

And I sometimes rather fancy
That I'd like to change with Clancy
Like to take a turn at droving
Where the seasons come and go
While he faced the round eternal
Of the cashbook and the journal
But I doubt he'd suit the office
Clancy, of the overflow

In my wild erratic fancy
visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-drovin "down the Cooper"
Where the western drovers go
As the stock are slowly stringing,
Clancy rides behind the singing,
For the drovers life has pleasures
That the townsfolk never know.


Curly Boy Stubs: acoustic guitar;
Stephen Fearing: electric guitar;
Anne Lindsay: fiddle; Dennis Pendrith:
acoustic bass






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©2005 Tony Latimer