Boundary Rider (2005) – The Go-Betweens

It’s a toss-up between today’s song Boundary Rider and Finding You as to which Go-Betweens song I would take away with me to my Desert island. That should tell you everything you need to know about what I think of this song. Boundary Rider is from their classic ‘ultimate’ Australian 2005 album Oceans Apart and is the second song to feature here from that album. The instrumentals which lead into the song impress me so much I find myself chanting them to my daughter. I love how the instruments coalesce to form this thrifty, but sleek rhythm. Then there’s this…

There’s a boundary rider
at the five mile fence
bloodwood, bones + steers

And the sky’s so deep
you can’t find your sleep
keeps you walking through these tears

I think quite simply Boundary Rider is one of the most underrated Australian songs I’ve ever heard. It’s a brilliant song which seems to get better the more you hear it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no Australian band like The Go-Betweens encapsulates more instinctively the quintessential Australia ‘sound’. They have the essence of Australia coursing through their music and Boundary Rider is at the top of the musical pecking order in demonstrating this.

A Boundary Rider is a person employed to maintain the outer fences of a cattle or sheep station. After co-founder of the Go-Betweens Grant McLennan’s father died, his mother eventually remarried and the family then relocated to a cattle station in central Far North Queensland. McLennan’s songs which evoke the impressions and imagery of the regional background of his childhood include “Cattle and Cane”, “Unkind and Unwise”, “Dusty in Here” (about his father), “Boundary Rider” and “Bye Bye Pride”.

Please enjoy Boundary Rider from their concert at the Tivoli theatre…

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
17 comments on “Boundary Rider (2005) – The Go-Betweens
  1. badfinger20 says:

    Thanks for explaining what a Boundary Rider is…I kind of figured that… it sounds really good…like most of their stuff.

    • Well I wasn’t sure either until I looked it up. I’m glad you really like it. I was looking forward to finding out what you thought.

      • badfinger20 says:

        I’m finding more about them between you and a New Zealand blogger… they are up my alley with their sound.

      • They are a good band to explore here and there. I think they have a unique sound, but it’s easy on the ears. Their biggest hit / household song in Australia is ‘Streets of your Town’, which I definitely recommend since it will take me years to get to that song in my library list. The other song I’m crazy about which I mentioned in my post is ‘Finding You’, which like ‘Boundary Rider’ is in my top 10 favourite Australian songs.

      • badfinger20 says:

        I’m going to feature Streets I’d Your Town if you won’t be doing it soon.

      • Oh you already know it? Sweet man!
        No, I’m still in the middle of ‘B’s in my library. It won’t be another 5 years or so until it features haha.
        I look forward to your post!

      • badfinger20 says:

        Yes I almost did a powerpop Friday on it but I ran out of time before I stopped them.

      • Got ya. Yeh I just watched / listened to it again. The song is legendary in Australia. I love their video clip. Quintessential Australian. Love em!

  2. Thom Hickey says:

    Absolutely wonderful.

    Stay well

    Regards Thom

  3. macalder02 says:

    Cómo por acá estás bandas son desconocidas, me limito a disfrutar de una buena música
    Espero que estés bien por casa

  4. selizabryangmailcom says:

    I really like those instrumentals too. Even more than the singing, actually, although I do enjoy a singer who’s rough around the edges and doesn’t have a *perfect* voice, like this guy.

    • I’m thrilled you liked it Stace! His singing is very Australian. No put ons, nothing accentuated. It’s nice for me at least to hear someone sounding Australian. Many Australian singers try to emulate international artists or sound foreign perhaps due to commercial pressures. Grant Mclennan sounds dinky-dy true-blue (as we might say) haha

  5. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Dinky-dy true-blue. Hahaha. Reminds me of the word digeridoo.
    Yeah, he has a raw Johnny Cash sounding voice, just not gravelly like Johnny…….

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