Brisbane Ladies is the first in my new series of Australian bush songs arranged for choir.

This arrangement is available in two voicings – SATB and TTBB – with piano accompaniment.

The story of Brisbane Ladies

Sometimes known as Augathella Station, Brisbane Ladies is based on an English naval song titled Spanish Ladies. The song probably dates from the time of the War of the First Coalition (1793-96) when the Royal Navy carried supplies to Spain in support of that country’s resistance to revolutionary France. It then probably gained further popularity during the later Peninsular War when British soldiers were transported to Spain to assist rebels fighting against the French occupation by the forces of Napoleon. Spanish Ladies is a tale of British naval personnel sailing north from Spain and along the English Channel to their home port.

Due to its popularity, several variants of Spanish Ladies later appeared in various parts of the world. American whalers sang a version called Yankee Whalermen. In Newfoundland it appeared as We’ll Rant and We’ll Roar. Special lyrics were written to the tune for the Bluenose, a famous Canadian sailing ship plying out of Nova Scotia.

In Australia, around 1880, another set of lyrics appeared, written by Saul Mendelsohn who was a storekeeper in the small Queensland town of Nanango. Brisbane Ladies tells about the drovers who bring the herds of cattle overland from western Queensland to the markets in Brisbane. There the drovers spend most of their money and time with the ladies before setting out for home in search of the next herd of cattle to bring to market.

The places mentioned in Brisbane Ladies are mostly small towns along the stock route that stretched some 750 kilometres north-west of Brisbane towards the small town of Augathella, on the banks of the Warrego River. Augathella, at that time, marked the convergence of three major bullock tracks from Morven, Tambo and Charleville.

Notes, samples and clips

You can find out more about my two arrangements of Brisbane Ladies by visiting my website where there are sample pages and audio clips available.

Purchase Brisbane Ladies online for immediate download

Both arrangements of Brisbane Ladies are available for online purchase and immediate download. Simply go to my website, click on Brisbane Ladies, select your preferred voicing and click on the Buy Now button in the right-hand sidebar.

Like to have a favourite Australian bush song arranged for choir?

If you have a favourite Australian bush song that you would like to have arranged for choir, please contact me with your request and I’ll do my best to have your idea realised.