I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga [song by Neil McBeath, ca.1919]

[Editor: This song, written by Neil McBeath, would appear to be the source for the well-know Australian phrase “I’ll linger longer in Yarrawonga”. Published about 1919.]

I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga

Song
Written, Composed & Sung in France
Corp. Neil McBeath.
Pianoforte Accompaniment by Claude McGlynn.
Also Sung in France by
Hugh Gannon
in the
“Anzac Coves” Pantomime, “Sinbad the Sailor.”
Written by Frank Crossley.
Produced by Fred Reade.
All singing rights reserved by the Composer.

I’m going back again to Yarrawonga.

Written, Composed and Sung by Cpl. Neil McBeath A.I.F.
Pianoforte Accompaniment by Claude McGlynn.

Now Digger was a soldier, and he sailed across the sea
With the first Anzac Brigade,
And Digger was a soldier, as brave as one could be,
And a grand old name he’s made.
From the landing at Gallipoli
Till the war clouds left the skies
He wander’d round the Continent
A tourist in disguise,
Then after years of battling
When three parts full of lead,
The M.O. said, “we’ll send you home”
’Twas then old Digger said.

CHORUS
I’m going back again to Yarrawonga,
In Yarrawonga I’ll linger longer,
I’m going back again to Yarrawonga,
Where the skies are always blue,
And when I’m back again in, Yarrawonga
I’ll soon be stronger, than old Mahonga.
You can have all your Tennessee and Caroline,
France and Belgium thrown in, take the whole lot for mine.
I’m going back again to Yarrawonga
And the land of the Kangaroo.
I’m going roo.

Now Digger was a soldier, so he went back home again
In the good ship Majarine,
And Digger was a soldier, he could’nt settle down,
For a dinkum Anzac he’d been.
He daily read the papers of doings at the front
Of all the latest Victories
And ev’ry blooming stunt,
One day he re-enlisted,
He did without doubt,
And out in France when peace had come
Again they heard him shout.

CHORUS
I’m going back again to Yarrawonga,
In Yarrawonga I’ll linger longer,
I’m going back again to Yarrawonga,
Where the skies are always blue,
And when I’m back again in, Yarrawonga
I’ll soon be stronger, than old Mahonga.
You can have all your Tennessee and Caroline,
France and Belgium thrown in, take the whole lot for mine.
I’m going back again to Yarrawonga
And the land of the Kangaroo.
I’m going roo.

Note. Mahonga, Famous Australian horse.



Source:
Neil McBeath. I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga [music], [Australia?: s. n., 1919?]

Editor’s notes:
Another version of “I’m going back again to Yarrawonga” had some extra lines (“Special Verse Written for Miss Ella Shields by Evelyn E. Greig”):

Now Digger left old Blighty,
Took up his old Kit-Pack,
And once more he crossed the foam
His thoughts were fondly turning
As the good old ship made track
Down the trail that leads to home.
He saw the little homestead,
His Mother sitting there;
The vacant place beside her,
His Daddy’s old armchair.
He said: “’Twill soon be over
The waiting and the pain
I’m going back to Aussie and to Mother once again.”

Source: [re. extra lines]
Neil McBeath. I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga [music], London: Francis, Day & Hunter; Sydney: J. Albert & Son, c1919, [back cover]

Comments

  1. Neil McBeath was my great uncle. His sister Margaret McBeath, my grandmother, married Charles Corstorphan, and their eldest child Donald Corstorphan is my father.
    This famous song has been sung at family gatherings since I can remember, especially memorable was Robert Corstorphan singing this at his 99th birthday. Jean Forster, my father’s sister and who is now 102, told me Old Mahonga, referred to in the song, was the old family horse. Neil was a talented man and deserves all the publicity given about him. Lyn Butt

    • Peter Brear says:

      Lynette,
      I hope you can contact me as I am constructing a history of the song IGBATY, as I would wish to create a family link to the song. My family has lived in Yarrawonga for generations and I have managed to uncover many angles to the song, but yet to have contact with the relatives of Neil McBeath. Hope you can contact me as I am sure that your family take a great interest in the amount of information gathered so far.

      Regards
      Peter Brear

      • James Ashburner says:

        I am another McBeath relative. Neil’s father’s youngest sister (Christina) was my mother’s father’s mother. Christina McBeath was born 1844, came to Australia 1852 aboard the famous Marco Polo, and the family moved up to the Campbell’s Creek diggings. Christina married Hans Peter Jensen, a butcher, and they lived opposite the Five Flags Hotel–now renowned for its food. Their house is still there, little changed; and diagonally across the road is what I believe to be the house of one of her brothers.
        I was able to find various bits of information about Neil and his family–contact me.

    • Judith Klein says:

      Hi Lyn

      We of the North Sydney Lunchtime Choir have been looking at the Yarrawonga song. I see that ‘old Mahonga’ was the old family horse. And Yarrawonga? There seem to be three, but I have presumed it is the one in Victoria?

    • Theresa says:

      Hi Lyn and James

      The Memorial is interested in contacting relatives of Neil McBeath. Could you please contact me using the email info@awm.gov.au?

      Thanks
      Theresa

  2. Thank you very much for your comment.
    Especially interesting is your information about Mahonga, that there was a direct connection between the horse and the writer.
    There is now another horse named Mahonga – it would not be a surprise if he was named from the song.
    https://www.racing.com/horses/mahonga
    http://www.horseracing.com.au/horse/937101-mahonga/

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