Originally commissioned by Pymble Ladies College Sydney, this version of the song combines old and new elements. Combining the traditional tune, the ‘Queensland tune’, a new tune, and a chant on one note using aboriginal botanical names. The chants words relate to trees, or groups of trees which form the circle around which the action in this song takes place – the billabong. The sheep is drawn to the water, the squatter is drawn to the sheep, the troopers are drawn to the thief, and the ghost lingers there forevermore.
This song is also available in SSATBarB, TTBarB and SATB and versions. It can be performed with clap-sticks, a rainstick or even a didgeridoo – if you can find one in Bb!
(A note on the use of language: The plant-words used in the chant were specifically selected because they are also used to describe many public places, buildings and institutions across Australia and as such, are in the public domain.)