The Dying Stockman is an Australian folk song that had its origins in an English song called The Old Stable Jacket, which told of a dying stable-hand who wanted to be wrapped in his stable jacket and to have the implements of his trade buried along with him. This song was learned by a young Horace Flower who had been sent home to England from Australia to finish his education. On his return to Australia, he set new words to the song giving it a new life lamenting the death of a young stockman.
The words for this version of the song were first published in the “Portland Mirror” around 1885, and were also included in a collection of Bush Ballads, “The Old Bush Songs”, published by AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson in 1905.
This arrangement of The Dying Stockman is part of a larger collection of choral arrangements of 20 Australian folk song titles. The works were commissioned in 2022 by the Queensland Kodály Choir as a legacy project of Australian Choral Music and are collectively available in a two-part anthology titled On a Distant Shore.
The Queensland Kodály Choir has generously determined that these anthologies and all of their associated resources should be made freely available to anyone who would like to make use of them. To facilitate this, whilst each of the arrangements is copyright, the full set of project resources has been licensed under Creative Commons International Licence, meaning that they can be freely shared, copied and/or redistributed.
Conductors/choirs wishing to access the Anthology – Parts 1 & 2 – and/or the companion rehearsal tracks, can do so by following the link to the Cuskelly College of Music website. The complete individual titles (including cover title page, vocal score, piano accompaniment, extracted instrument parts, performance notes and glossary of terms) are available in the Anthology Catalogue on this website.
Perusal and download copies of this arrangement of The Dying Stockman are available below.
Featured Image: “The Sick Stockman” series by Charles Hammond. State Library Victoria.