MUSICAL MONDAY: The Drover’s Boy

The Drover's Boy.“The Drover’s Boy” is a song by Ted Egan and recalls the time when it was illegal for Caucasians and Aborigines to marry, and the death of an Aborigine went unnoticed by the white community. This popular and moving Australian folk song comes from a true story about a Caucasian drover (the Australian name for a cowboy or sheep herder) who is forced to pass off his Aboriginal wife as his “drover’s boy”. Ted Egan wrote this song as a tribute to the Aboriginal stockwomen, in the hope that one day their enormous contribution to the Australian pastoral industry might be recognized and honoured.

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The drover

Ted’s song has been expanded into a book… the details can be found HERE.

THANKS TO: Wikipedia… please click HERE for the link and further information.

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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10 thoughts on “MUSICAL MONDAY: The Drover’s Boy

    • Thankyou so much Angela for alerting me to the fact that my “link” re: the book was “broken”. Hopefully it’s now fixed… please let me know if there is still a prob and thanks so much for your kind, affirming comment.
      My purpose for bloggging has always been as a legacy for my children/ grandchildren so they will know the family stories, entrusted to me,.. get some sense of time, place and historical events influencing their Ancestors decisions and also get an idea of the person I was when I too “fall off the twig” 🙂 To know that others also find my posts of value still amazes me. Thankyou again.

  1. I too love this song Catherine. Ted Egan is an under-sung (pardon the pun) hero of the Northern Territory. Although the recent Administrator, his song-writing has been under-appreciated. He packs so much history into his songs that we can learn from. When we toured the NT with two of our daughters in 1994, we picked up several of his tapes which were played loudly in the car…DD1 was a bit bemused when we returned home and had all turned “country”.

    • Oh… indeed he is Pauleen! This song still sends shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes… Laughed about your car trip. We toured from Adelaide, across to Port Lincoln, with 5 children (our 3 and a niece and nephew) to the continual accompaniment of “Songs of the Protest Era” which hubbie had just bought me 🙂 You just should have seen the looks on the grandkids faces, a couple of years ago, to see their old mamo and parents, uncles & aunt rollicking around the house, kicking up their heels and endlessly singing (word perfect) Vietnam War Protest Songs. ha ha ha…

      • Now that I would liked to have seen…the road trip singalong but especially the knees up to the kids’ horror. I’d have joined you in the songs, word perfect or not!

      • It was several years ago, before he became Administrator I’m pretty sure. I don’t know that the apology would have made much difference, more that it isn’t probably seen as a commercial proposition. Don’t know.

    • Oh, it is indeed Kristin. I still wipe a tear every time and keep remembering Ted Egan’s final words: “Don’t cry for the Drover’s Boy. Don’t mourn the Drover’s Boy but don’t forget the Drover’s Boy”. That just makes me blubber all the more. Thanks for such a caring comment.

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