The Diamantina Drover is the fourth in my new series of Australian folk songs arranged for choir. Whilst not a true folk song, it is written in a folk-like style and tells the story of a drover – a theme common to a good number of Australian bush songs.
Written by Australian singer-songwriter Hugh McDonald (1954-2016), it tells about life in the saddle in outback Queensland. Hugh was probably best known as a member of the folk-rock group Redgum. From 1986 to 1990 he was their lead singer and wrote a number of the group’s hit songs, including “The Diamantina Drover”.
My arrangement is available in two voicings – SATB and TTBB – with piano, violin and selected instruments accompaniment.
The Story Behind the Diamantina Drover
Hugh McDonald grew up in the small northern Victorian town of Kerang where, he says, he came in contact with many old bush characters. These somehow all morphed into one to become the character we know as the Diamantina Drover. But the person whom the song most resembled, in Hugh’s mind, was a Mr Brown who lived next door. He was well into his 80s and would sit on a stump while he chopped wood and told stories of logging on the Murray River.
“The Diamantina Drover” tells the story of a drover who leaves behind his family in Sydney and sets out to find work on Cork Station on the banks of the Diamantina River in the channel country of far western Queensland. He promises his family that he’ll return home when the droving is finished. But ten years go by and, despite the hardships of the drover’s life, he still finds it hard to leave behind the wide-open spaces and return to city life.
Notes, samples and clips
You can find out more about my arrangement of The Diamantina Drover by visiting my website where there are sample pages and audio clips available.
Purchase The Diamantina Drover online for immediate download
The Diamantina Drover is available for online purchase and immediate download. Simply go to my website, click on The Diamantina Drover, then 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 your choir, please contact me with your request and I’ll do my best to have your idea realised.