Caroline Bushby

John and Caroline Bushby were leaders in the Tasmanian folk scene and performed at many Australian folk festivals. Before they returned to the UK, in 1989 Caroline Bushby sent me this original song for inclusion in the First Australian Women’s Songbook.

caroline bushby

Listen to Songs By Caroline Bushby

Settler’s Wife


Song Lyrics

The day is slowly dying, the cockatoos are crying,
Whirling through the tree tops till they find their rest.
The earth is hot and weary, the landscape parched and dreary,
Shimmering in the heat haze till night brings some relief.
And oh I wish I was at home.

At home the grass is greener, the air is soft but clear there,
Greystoned walls and houses on patchwork fields reside.
There are people all about you, no stark solitude to daunt you,
Bubbling brooks and streamlets on every hill side.
And oh, how I wish I was at home.

I little thought when leaving that never more I’d see them,
My parents and my sisters all left so far behind.
They’ve never seen my baby, I just hope that maybe
One day we’ll find the money to make the journey home.
And oh , how I wish I was at home.

My man, he wants to stay here, he says we’ve got a chance here
To build a decent living and gain some dignity.
There’s no Squire here to bow to, no-one to touch your hat to;
My man, he wants to stay here and my place is by his side.
And oh, how I wish I was at home.

My heart is sad and weary, my spirits oppressed and dreary,
But I must make the best of my opportunities.
This land, so vast and empty will one day give us plenty,
Our children they will grow here and call this place our home.
And oh , how I wish I was at home.

finnegans wake caroline bushby

1978 LP: Finnegans Wake