The expression ‘Sydney or the bush’ came up in conversation last week.
It started me thinking.
Sydney. . . Opera House lights from the Bridge, nights in a quiet Hyde Park . . . no, wait, those are lyrics from Tommy Leonetti’s My City of Sydney. Does anyone remember him?
The bush . . . depending on the context, this could be rural areas, undeveloped areas, country areas . . you can even be out in the bush when there are no trees. "The Bush" also refers to any populated region outside of the major metropolitan areas, including mining and agricultural areas.
Writers such as Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, and painters such as Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin saw the bush as a source of national ideals, in some cases romanticising it unrealistically .
The privations, hardships and loneliness of the bush, whatever and wherever ‘the bush’ is, have given rise to the expression “Sydney or the bush”, meaning success or failure, usually in connection with taking a chance. All or nothing, go for broke, Hollywood or bust.
It is in this context that Charles M Schulz used the expression in some of his Peanuts cartoons, much to the puzzlement of Charlie Brown:
Some pics of Sydney and the Bush . . .
with focus on 1870 and the 1870's
Sydney . . .
Temperance Hall, Newtown, 1870
Circular Quay from Pitt Street, 1870
Spring Street, Sydney, 1870’s
Pitt Street and Little George Street, 1870
Lassetter & Co., wholesale and retail ironmonger, 421 George Street, Sydney,1870
Congregational Church, Pitt Street, 1870
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, 1870
Intercolonial Exhibition Building, Prince Alfred Park, September 1870
Sydney Infirmary, Macquarie Street, Sydney 1870
University of Sydney, Main Building and the Great hall from City Road entrance, 1870
The bush . . .
Miners cradling for gold at Box Ridge near Sofala - 46 km from Bathurst - circa 1870
Gold miners, c1870
Short Street in the gold mining town of Hill End, 1872
Wool bales 1890
Wheat off to the Sydney market, c1900
Paddle steamer Lancashire Lass pulling a barge with 1158 bales of wool at Wilcannia, NSW
Women on the farm
Flooding in Lismore, 1861
Church of England school, Gulgong, 1870's
How did that get in here??