The late George Wallno
Worked on high street and lived on manners
Fifty two years he sat on his veranda, made his saddles
And if you had questions about sheep or flowers or doves
You just asked the saddler, he lived without sin
They're building a library for him

Time is a traveler
Tenterfield saddler
Turn your head
Right again jackaroo, think I see kangaroo up ahead

The son of George Wallno went off and got married and had a war baby
But something was wrong and it's easier to drink than go crazy
And if there were questions about why the end was so sad
Well George had no answers about why her son ever has need of a gun

Time is a traveler
Tenterfield saddler
Turn your head
Right again jackaroo, think I see kangaroo up ahead

The grandson of George has been all around the world and lives no special place
Changed his last name and he married a girl with an interesting face
He'd almost forgotten them both because in the life that he leads
There's nowhere for George and his library or the son with his gun to belong
Except in this song

Time is a traveler
Tenterfield saddler
Turn your head
Right again jackaroo, think I see kangaroo up ahead

Time is a meddler
Tenterfield saddler
Make a bet
Fly away cockatoo
Down on the ground
Emu up ahead

Time is a tale-teller
Tenterfield saddler
Turn your head
Right again jackaroo, think I see kangaroo up ahead

Oh
Time is a tale teller
Tenterfield saddler
Make your bet
Fly away cockatoo
Down on the ground
Emu up ahead


Lyrics submitted by desperatecontention, edited by cafediva, gejopari, Jagman619

Tenterfield Saddler Lyrics as written by Peter Woolnough Allen

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Tenterfield Saddler song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is peter allan talking about his family history. his gandfather was the saddler tanterfield

    dawnfireon July 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Some extra info to add to Dawnfire's comment:

    George Woolnough was Peter's grandfather, he really was a saddler and he doesn't quite have a whole library dedicated to him, but there is a wing of the Tenterfield Library called the 'George Woolnough Wing'.

    George's son Dick (Peter's father) served in the second world war and upon returning to Australia became a violent alcoholic. He killed himself when Peter was still young. And, as mentioned in the song, reportedly George never got over losing him.

    Peter has indeed been all around the world during his career. He was born Peter Richard Woolnough, and he "changed his last name" when he started performing with a band called the Allen Brothers. He was at one time married to Liza Minelli, who could certainly be described as having an interesting face.

    As for the references in the chorus: a jackaroo is a very australian term for a male training to be a stockman and kangaroos, cockatoos, and emus are all distinctly Australian animals. I would assume that these refernces are supposed to portray George as a very Australian bloke.

    sunnie31on May 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is largely autobiographical of its writer/performer Peter Allen, and has great cultural significance in Australia which it does not seem to have outside of Australia.

    At the obvious level the song is autobiographical. Peter Allen's grandfather was the admired and respected George Woolnough. Peter's own father was a failed man who suicided, "had need of a gun". Peter himself "changed his last name" to Allen, and married "a girl with an interesting face", a not particularly kind reference to his by then estranged wife Liza Minelli.

    At a less individual level, the song, I believe, has great human resonance by its description of time as an unstoppable, inoxerable force that eventually lays the truth out for all to see, pretty or otherwise. "Time is a traveler" is the most frequently repeated chorus line in the song, which for me evokes both the human image of horsemen moving forward, but also the universal hand of time conquering all. Time is also a "tale teller" and a "meddler".

    It is a meddler in that it doesn't always cooperate to help our lives turn out the way we had planned, which Peter would have known applied to his father who killed himself. It is also arguable that time likewise "meddled" in Peter's own life, when he subsequently died prematurely of AIDS after contracting HIV from a homosexual partner.

    Time is also a "tale teller" - it ultimately mocks our fronts, masks and pretences, and eventually lays open the hard truth to judgment. Time has told the tale of George Woolnough's decency and success, just as it has told the tale of the uncontrolled, unreliable and failed life of Peter's father. Peter would have also known that it would tell the tale of his life, and indeed details of his sexuality - and of obviously his premature death - only emerged after the song was written.

    Time has also been a "tale teller" by showing that being the son of a good, stable man is no guarantee that a child ("son with a gun") will not go along the wrong track, and by showing that a life of personal tragedy (Peter's lifestyle and prematurely dying of AIDS) is a very common outcome of being raised in a house with a mentally ill, alcoholic, suicidal father.

    In the end, Peter is write in saying that given the power of time, as humans with our lives all we can do is "make a bet". We can make the wisest possible decision at any point in time to provide ourselves the best chances - but the reality is that we are still only "making a bet" in that even the decision we foresaw as the wisest could nonetheless end in complete disaster when the hand of time moves and reveals the final outcome.

    nashton October 25, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
The Night We Met
Lord Huron
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about introspection, specifically about looking back at a relationship that started bad and ended so poorly, that the narrator wants to go back to the very beginning and tell himself to not even travel down that road. I believe that the relationship started poorly because of the lines: "Take me back to the night we met:When the night was full of terrors: And your eyes were filled with tears: When you had not touched me yet" So, the first night was not a great start, but the narrator pursued the relationship and eventually both overcame the rough start to fall in love with each other: "I had all and then most of you" Like many relationships that turn sour, it was not a quick decline, but a gradual one where the narrator and their partner fall out of love and gradually grow apart "Some and now none of you" Losing someone who was once everything in your world, who you could confide in, tell your secrets to, share all the most intimate parts of your life, to being strangers with that person is probably one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. So Painful, the narrator wants to go back in time and tell himself to not even pursue the relationship. This was the perfect song for "13 Reasons Why"
Album art
Mental Istid
Ebba Grön
This is one of my favorite songs. https://fnfgo.io
Album art
No Surprises
Radiohead
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.