Printed in Stewart and Keesing Old Bush Songs under the title ‘The Wooyeo Ball’ with the note: “From Rob Webster’s The First Fifty Years of Temora Thissong was dated 1888, and the place named was Euabalong“. Euabalong Ball is also in Manifold Penguin Australian Song Book with the note: “Learnt from Australian students abroad, circa 1935”. This version from the singing of A.L.Lloyd. Euabalong is a town on the Lachlan River, while there is no mention of ‘Wooyeo’ in modern gazettes. There is a ‘Whoey Tank’ however, some 17 kilometres from Euabalong, and the surrounding district is called ‘Whoey Shire’.
September 1999 – the memories of Bob Small
When I was a lad, Wooyeo Homestead was about fifteen kilometres north of Lake Cargelligo and about the same distance from Euabalong (If you swam your horse across the river). Probably about twenty Ks. by road. In the last century it was the main station covering all that area but is now totally cut up.
Wooyeo Homestead, fifty years ago, was a huge building, mostly made of shingle back logs. From my memories of it, there would have been somewhere around thirty rooms in the building. In those days, even though it was old, it was still in very good condition.
A little bit more of history. Wooyeo woolshed was situated just off the Lake Cargelligo, Euabalong Road, 10 Kilometres from Lake Cargelligo and about 6 Ks. from the Wooyeo homestead. It was a massive building, in its hey day there were fifty one stands. It was still there in the early sixties and still being used as a woolshed, although only on a two or three stand basis. At that stage it was in a very poor condition and was going downhill fast.When I was a lad, many of the older generation spoke of the great woolshed dances that were held in the Wooyeo woolshed. They would have been speaking about the 1920s and before.
Oh who hasn’t heard of Euabalong Ball
Where the lads of the Lachlan the great and the small
Come bent on diversion from far and from near
To shake off their troubles for just once a year
Like stringy old wethers the shearers in force
All rushed to the bar as a matter of course
While waltzing his cliner the manager cursed
For someone had caught him a jab with his spurs
There were cliners in plenty some two or three score
Some weaners some two-tooths and it maybe some more
With their fleeces all dipped and so fluffy and clean
The finest young shearlings that ever was seen
The boundary riders was frisking about
And the well-sinkers seemed to be feeling the drought
If the water was scarce well the whisky was there
What they didn’t swallow they rubbed in their hair
There was music and dancing and going the pace
Some went at a canter some went at a race
There was bucking and gliding and staggering and sliding
And to vary the gait some couples colliding
Oh Euabalong Ball was a wonderful sight
With the two-tooths so frisky the whole flaming night
And many there’ll be who regret to recall
The polkas they danced at Euabalong Ball