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Violin Beginner Music


Halamus Publishing - Archived Articles - #24, March, 2004



The Articles from the Monthly Newsletters

Written by

M. Lesley Halamek

March, 2004:–

SONG: "Bound for South Australia" – English Sea Shanty

Q: Who, or what, was Bound for South Australia?

Q: And by what mode of transport?

A: Read on...

Q: Where is South Australia?

A: See below

The tune for "Bound for South Australia"
appears on Page 15 of:

"Folksongs for the Violin", Part 3: Third Position, Modes, and Pentatones
(A Graded Selection of Melodies for Beginners of All Ages).

Details on the MUSIC PAGE

South Australia is Australia's fourth largest state, after Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. It is unique, in having a common border with all the other mainland states. Its Southern coastline faces the Great Australian Bight, and an uninterrupted 2000 miles of Southern Ocean to the next landfall: Antarctica. South Australia's economy at the time of the song was based on the agricultural and pastoral development of the southern half of the state. This song is about the sailing ships that plied the trade routes for the wool export trade.

South Australia's Early History (in brief)

1627: First known sighting by Europeans – Dutch ship Guilden Zeepaard, passenger Pieter Nuyts...

1717: Swiss Jean Pierre Purry proposed to the Dutch East India Co… to start trade with Nuytsland.

1792: Frenchman Bruni d'Entrecasteaux sailed the head of the Great Australian Bight seeking Nuytsland but ran out of fresh water and turned to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).

1800: Lieutenant James Grant, ( Lady Nelson), sailed from England, named Cape Northumberland, Cape Banks, Mount Schanck and Mount Gambier.

1802: Matthew Flinders (Investigator) surveyed the coast east from Fowlers Bay and named Port Lincoln, Spencer Gulf, Yorke Peninsula, Gulf St Vincent, Mount Lofty, Cape Jervis and Kangaroo Island. In Encounter Bay he met the French navigator Nicolas Baudin who was also surveying the coast.

1804: Government survey party rejected Kangaroo Island as a place for permanent settlement, but during the next year American sealers built a schooner there. By 1806 runaway convicts, served by ketches from Launceston (Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania), were settling in small groups from Twofold Bay (NSW) to King George Sound (WA) in search of seal and kangaroo skins. Early reports of the island were made by various visiting captains.

1830: Some of the interior of South Australia was discovered by Captain Charles Sturt in his voyage down the Murray River. Captain Collet Barker was sent to undertake further exploration; he examined the east coast of Gulf St Vincent, named the Sturt River and climbed Mount Lofty, but was killed by Aborigines at Encounter Bay.

1836: The official settlement of South Australia began, first proposed 1829 by Edward Gibbon Wakefield ...revenue from Crown land sales to pay for the emigration of labourers... the new province, unlike its neighbours, was to receive no convicts. Captain John Hindmarsh was first Governor, James Hurtle Fisher was made Resident Commissioner and William Light became Surveyor-General. Eight ships from England and three from Australian ports had arrived before Hindmarsh reached Holdfast Bay in HMS Buffalo on 28 December 1836 and proclaimed the new province. Adelaide was surveyed and land allotted by March 1837, but the first ballot for country sections was delayed until May 1838...

Permanent settlement based on free but planned migration…largely failed because initial control was shared by the conflicting Commissioner and Governor, surveying did not keep pace with arriving settlers, and speculation in land replaced development. South Australia became a Crown Colony in 1842. Exploration to the North revealed mainly barren land. By 1844, following Governor (Sir George) Grey's stringent measures, South Australia was more viable and self-sufficient. Copper discovered 1845… removal of restrictions on foreign shipping (1849) stimulated wheat-growing for export. German Lutherans (from 1838)… increased British migration ... S.A. lost men to the gold-rushes of Victoria and New South Wales, but gained trade and gold by providing safe escorts to Adelaide, and again wheat was in demand.

Responsible Government (1857) Women's suffrage (right to vote) (1894) and the Torrens Title land-tenure system were important South Australian contributions to Australia as a whole..." (ref. "The Encyclopaedia of Australia", 1968, and "The Australian Encyclopaedia", Vol. 5, 1925-1979).

Today, South Australia is a thriving modern state, known around the world for its bi-annual Adelaide Festivel of Arts (2004 Festival: record attendances; sell-out performances; 2006 Festival just finished; next Festival 2008), for its graceful capital, Adelaide, its famous Barossa Valley wine growing area, as well as for rather a lot of superb scenery...

"Bound for South Australia" is a capstan shanty used by the wool traders who worked the clipper ships between Australian ports and London.


In South Australia I was born!
Heave away! Haul away!
South Australia round Cape Horn!
We're bound for South Australia!

Heave away, you rolling king,
Heave away! Haul away!
All the way you'll hear me sing
We're bound for South Australia!


As I walked out one morning fair,
Heave away! Haul away!
It's there I met Miss Nancy Blair.
We're bound for South Australia!


I shook her up, I shook her down,
Heave away! Haul away!
I shook her round and round the town.
We're bound for South Australia!

  There ain't but one thing grieves my mind,
Heave away! Haul away!
It's to leave Miss Nancy Blair behind.
We're bound for South Australia!


And as you wallop round Cape Horn,
Heave away! Haul away!
You'll wish to God you'd never been born!
We're bound for South Australia!


Oh, rock and roll me over boys,
Heave away! Haul away!
Let's get this damn job over boys.
We're bound for South Australia!



Shanty, Chantey, or Chanty (pronounced 'shanty')

"The form of the chantey is usually a verse containing one or two "call and response" lines, with a chorus between verses. The form made the chanteys easily memorable and easily paced to the beat of the work being done. Almost all of the authoritative texts divide chanteys into several classes: those used for jobs where there were many short movements, like pumping; those used for jobs with long steady movements, like hauling the great sails up the long masts; those sung when resting and relaxing; those sung out on deep water; those sung pulling into port and docking... "

"One of the first jobs in pulling out to sea was hauling up the anchor — also called "heaving" or "weighing" the anchor. In the earlier sailing days this was done by windlass, sort of a barrel on a spit with holes all around it. The sailors stuck wooden staves (called "manspikes") into the barrel, hauled it down a turn, took the stave out and stuck it in again, hauled it down ... A long, long series of short, hard pulls. Sometimes, if the ship had been in port for long and the anchor was sunk in the silt, you had to "rock and roll" the windlass to work the anchor loose.

Later, the capstan was developed. This was a great wheel that went around horizontally, with fixed staves; each man took a bar (called, mysteriously enough, "capstan bars") and plodded around the capstan like a draft animal, winding up the anchor. This lent itself to slightly longer, slower rhythms, like "Bound for South Australia."

More info at:
(This page is no longer available)

You can find more info at these sites:

Map/s of South Australia

South Australia info

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