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According to Colin Roderick, the poem was inspired by shearing disputes in Western Queensland and written for William Lane, at this time editor of the Brisbane Worker. Several versions of the poem exist.
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
ySongs from LawsonHenry Lawson,
Woolloomooloo:Bush Music Club,1957Z1722531957selected work poetry Musical settings for twelve Lawson poems issued to commemorate the 90th anniversary of his birth. Poems are set to both traditional tunes and new music by various composers.Woolloomooloo:Bush Music Club,1957
'The 60 poems in this collection appear in their original, or near original, form and are wide-ranging in their subject matter: animals, the countryside, the struggle of bush life, early transport, sport, growing old, being young and having fun with words! But whether they are humorous, serious or playful, they are simply a joy to read!
'No matter if we grew up reciting these classic poems at school, quote from them on important occasions or are meeting them for the first time, there is no doubt that these classic poems embody what it is to be Australian.' (From the publisher's website.)
Sydney:Random House Australia,2009
First line of verse:"There's trouble in the back countree"