Ridiculously sentimental and melodramatic like a number of songs on this album, but as often rescued by the singing and in particular by Sally Dastey's voice - really, this woman is genuinely the best singer I have ever heard - a beautiful, plaintive Australian accent that deserves to be ranked with asrtud gilberto as one of the most distinctive voices in pop.
The music here on this song very simple - just a banjo, guitar, and mouth organ for backing, with Dastey singing 'he was here, but not for long/ I'll let you in on a little secret now/' before suddenly just speaking, with immense sadness - 'he wasn't the best worker we ever had'. Really fantastic folk music.
Sally Dastey was one of the Tiddas, who I have gone on about elsewhere on this site.
from Over In The West available on CD - Over in the west
This chap Mick Thomas is extremely sentimental, and if you want to get into him, you have to expect to have your heart strings tugged pretty regular. However, if your make up is unashamedly sentimental as mine is, you can really get into this very plain, open and beautiful style of singing.
This one is one of Mick's best - I haven't quite worked out the genders on it (some people think he is singing as a woman in this one) but he certainly takes the place of a rather downtrodden, unconfident person. The chorus is very delicately judged:
I'd have baked a cake
if I knew you were coming
but now that you're here
it's time we did some talking
who'm I trying to kid?
I knew you'd be coming around
The backing is slow, but expressive hawaiian guitars subordinated to the lyrics. Mick's voice itself is incredibly expressive - he's a big old chap, and his voice has a lot of power but also it seems to have the sound of experience behind it. He also has a brilliant range -I've tried to sing this many a time and it's very hard.