Where Country Is
Slim Dusty Lyrics


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He sat by the door of the grand old Birdsville Pub,
His swag and gear guarded by a faithful heeler dog,
He wore a shirt that would blind ya and a rumpled ringer's hat,
This old man was country, he left no doubt of that.

There was legend in the lines of his weather beaten face,
Those eyes had seen a lot of changes Aussie race,
The passing of the horseman, the death of an ace,
Seems to me he's doubys, that we've turned a better page.

He sat there hillbilly pickin' on a cracked and battered Gibson,
And the songs that he sang were all his,
Every song told a story and the more I'd listen,
The more I realized this is where country is.

Well he sang of mobs of cattle moving down the Birdsville track,
And the camels carting wool in the early days outback,
He sang of wild eyed scrubbers ridin' flat out in the night,
Tryin' to ring the mob, 'cause lightning's quick to fright.

And he sang loudly and proudly of our pioneering ladies and
I suspect that one such lass was his.
Home in this early frontier country, was lonely dirt floor Humphrey,
No doubt about it, this man knows where country is.

His songs told how they did it and I felt a sense of shame,
And I wondered if the battler would ever be again,
His pride for his country rang true in every song,
And I wondered, if the chips were down, I would be as strong.

He sat there hillbilly pickin' on a cracked and battered Gibson,
And the songs that he sang were all his,
Every song told a story and the more I'd listen,
The more I realized this is where country is.

Spoken
You know what mate, we're so far from the city here.




Know what - that's where country is, dust storms, flies.
fade out

Overall Meaning

In Slim Dusty's song "Where Country Is", the singer encounters an old man sitting by the door of the grand old Birdsville Pub. The old man is dressed in workwear, and his face shows the signs of a life spent in the Australian outback. However, it is through his music that the singer is able to fully appreciate the old man's connection to the land. He is "hillbilly pickin' on a cracked and battered Gibson", and the songs he sings tell stories of Australia's pioneering days. As the singer listens, he realizes that this is where true country lies - not just in the landscape, but in the people who have lived and worked on it for generations.


The lyrics also hint at a sense of nostalgia for a way of life that is disappearing. The old man has seen a lot of changes over his lifetime, including the passing of the horseman and the death of an ace. He seems doubtful that the modern era has brought any real improvements, and his songs remind us of a time when life was simpler but also tougher. The singer is left feeling a sense of shame, wondering whether he would have been strong enough to handle the same challenges faced by the pioneers.


Overall, the lyrics are a celebration of the Australian outback and the people who call it home. Slim Dusty's song reminds us that there is something special about this way of life, and that it is worth preserving for future generations.


Line by Line Meaning

He sat by the door of the grand old Birdsville Pub,
The old man sat outside the Birdsville Pub with his belongings and his dog.


His swag and gear guarded by a faithful heeler dog,
The dog faithfully guarded the man's belongings and gear.


He wore a shirt that would blind ya and a rumpled ringer's hat,
The man wore a bright shirt and a worn-out cowboy hat.


This old man was country, he left no doubt of that.
The old man was a true Australian countryman.


There was legend in the lines of his weather beaten face,
The man's aged face told the story of his life.


Those eyes had seen a lot of changes Aussie race,
The man had witnessed many changes in Australia.


The passing of the horseman, the death of an ace,
The old man had witnessed the end of the horseman era and the death of important figures.


Seems to me he's doubys, that we've turned a better page.
The old man did not believe that Australia had progressed for the better.


He sat there hillbilly pickin' on a cracked and battered Gibson,
The old man played music on a worn-out guitar.


And the songs that he sang were all his,
All of the songs were original compositions by the old man.


Every song told a story and the more I'd listen,
Each song had a unique story which the listener could learn from.


The more I realized this is where country is.
This was the true representation of Australian country life.


Well he sang of mobs of cattle moving down the Birdsville track,
The man sang about cattle being moved along the Birdsville track.


And the camels carting wool in the early days outback,
He also sang about camels carrying wool in the early days of the outback.


He sang of wild eyed scrubbers ridin' flat out in the night,
The old man sang about adventurous horse riders in the dark.


Tryin' to ring the mob, 'cause lightning's quick to fright.
These riders would try to control the herd because lightning would scare them.


And he sang loudly and proudly of our pioneering ladies and
The old man sang about the strong pioneering women of the time.


I suspect that one such lass was his.
It is possible that the old man was singing about a woman he knew.


Home in this early frontier country, was lonely dirt floor Humphrey,
The old man lived in a humble home in the early frontier country.


No doubt about it, this man knows where country is.
Without a doubt, the old man knew where the true essence of Australian country could be found.


His songs told how they did it and I felt a sense of shame,
The old man's songs revealed how hard life was in the outback and made the listener feel ashamed for not knowing it.


And I wondered if the battler would ever be again,
The listener wondered if they could ever be as strong and resilient as the old man and other country people.


His pride for his country rang true in every song,
The old man's pride for Australia was apparent in every song he sang.


And I wondered, if the chips were down, I would be as strong.
The listener wondered if they themselves would be as strong as the old man in tough situations.


You know what mate, we're so far from the city here.
The singer realizes they are far from the city.


Know what - that's where country is, dust storms, flies.
The singer believes that the true essence of Australian country life can be found in the midst of dust storms and flies.




Contributed by Madelyn I. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@paul-sparky-sparr4160

Even here at the "other side of the world" in germany, we know and love the music of "Australias KING OF COUNTRY". And believe me mates..... We miss him as well!!! Give it a go Slim and let the angels have a good time while singing along with you... 👍👍🎼

@rossgay79

Hi Paul. as I read your report on our "Slim" I felt proud that you enjoy our music.Ross.

@deanmalcomson8472

What a legend you are

@roostersbays95

a lot of Slim's ethos was based around Henry Lawson

@kennethprather9686

From the USA. I just recently discovered Slim Susty's music. He has rapidly become one of my favorite singers/musicians. I was sorry to discover he has passed. He was a treasure.

@JohnJ469

Thanks mate. He was certainly that.

@dianeanderson8091

😮 I think you mean Slim DUSTY! He was an Australian icon for many many years.

@peterr.7429

Wonderful song, love the music, still brings tears to my eyes sometimes

@aprilcolaway1347

I TRULY LOVE ALL SLIM DUSTY’S COUNTRY SONGS. SO RELAXING FOR ME 🙏🙏🙏🥰🥰🥰💖💖💖

@Katcrazy7

I love Slim and his music. Great country music!

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