inspired by the culture of Australian Railways

Vale Brian Dunnett – a Railway Cultural Treasure 

Australian Stamps – Railway History
For over 150 years songwriters, poets musicians and writers have observed and recorded many aspects of Australian railway life. Many of the songs and poems came directly from those who were employed in building or operating national railway systems. Others items came from those who used railways as passengers, or recall trains amongst their earliest memories.

Margate Tasmania

This collection of Australian Railway songs, poems, music, anecdotes and stories has been brought together by the Bush Music Club - a working book of material that can be used by bands and individuals for developing concerts and other performances on the theme of Australian Railways.

The Ghan

Collecting the experiences of railways recorded by songwriters and poets across thousands of miles of Australian railway tracks remains a huge task. In presenting this small collection as a working source of railway related material the Bush Music Club encourages bands and individual performers songwriters poets and other writers to expanded their repertory by seeking other material from sources such as Australian Railway Heritage groups like the Werris Creek Railway Museum, folk clubs, current railway workers and their unions as well producing their own items.

As part of the ongoing effort to collect Australian Railway Songs and Poems and to ensure their ongoing use in such events as next year's International Railway Heritage Conference. the Bush Music Club is preparing a work book of Australian Railway songs and poems that it hopes to publish in time for the National Folk Festival at Easter. The contents will be limited to 50 items they appear in this blog as research for the final document.

What we want is details of the song and poem as written, a music score and correct references that will allow us to approach sources of the material that may still be in copyright. Other material like photographs will be added as the work progress.
Contact  the Bush Music Club if you have proposals.


The Nimmitabel Extension said...

Fantastic, great work. Another song by Colin Buchanan "Jincumbilly Mail" tells the story in song about the demise of this once popular line from Cooma to Bombala. Thanks again Darren

Australian Railway Songs said...

Thanks Darren and thanks for the info about "Jincumbilly Mail" we'll try to follow it up

Terry Quinn said...

Hi: was wondering if there were any Australian railway songs and 'bingo' - here you are. Thanks.

Greg Lee said...

Regarding The North Coast Mail... I saw this song performed a couple of times by Tallowood Bush Band in the early '80s. I don't recall many of the lyrics but I do recall the sentiment, namely that traveling on the Mail was an unpleasant experience.

I was wondering if Barry Mannal has been approached about including the full lyrics here?

There is also another song titled The South West Mail with similar sentiments. This song was recorded by a Bellingen based bush band called the Kalangers. I have a vinyl copy of this recording.

swaggies said...

Thanks Greg I'd certainly be interested in Barry Mannal's vision of the song


Mark Gregory