Eumerella Shore was published in The Old Bush Songs 1905, edited by A. B. Banjo Paterson. An earlier (longer) version was published in early 1861 in both Sydney and Launceston newspapers.
There is some confusion about the title of this song. There is a Eumeralla River in the Western District of Victoria. However, the reference in the song to Jack (John) Robertson, who was a member of the New South Wales parliament, suggests that the selection referred to in the song may be more correctly located in New South Wales. Numeralla is a township in south-east New South Wales on the Umaralla River, just to the east of Cooma.
The tune was possibly taken from an American anti-slavery song, Darling Nelly Gray, written by Benjamin Hanby in 1856. His song, in turn, seems to have some relationship to the English folk song Maggie May.
These three arrangements of Eumerella Shore are 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 the three arrangements of Eumerella Shore are available below.
Featured Image: “The Gawler River” by S.T.Gill. Courtesy, State Library Victoria