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Maryborough Miner

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Come all you sons of liberty and listen to my song
I'll tell you my observations and it wont take very long
I've fossicked around this continent five thousand miles or more
And many's the time I might have starved but for the cheek I bore

I've been on all the diggings boys from famous Ballarat
I've long tommed on the Lachlan and I've fossicked Lambing Flat
So you can understand my boys just from my little rhyme
I'm a Maryborough miner and I'm one of the good old time

I came to the Fitzroy River all with my Bendigo rig
I had a shovel a pick and a pan and for a licence I begged
But the assay man called me a loafer said for work I'd no desire
And so to do him justice boys I set his office on fire

Oh yes my jolly jokers I've done it on the cross
Although I carry my bluey now I've sweated many a horse
I've helped to rob the escort of many an ounce of gold
And the traps have trailed upon my tail more times than I've ever told

Oh yes the traps have trailed me and been frightened out of their stripes
They never could have caught me for they feared my cure for gripes
And well they knew I carried it for they had often seen it
Glistening in my flipper chaps my patent pill machine

I'm one of the men who cradled on the reef at Tarrangower
Anxiety and misery my grim companions there
I puddled the clay at Bendigo and chanced my arm at Kew
And I wound up my avocation with ten years on Cockatoo

So you can understand my boys just from my little rhyme
I'm a Maryborough miner and I'm one of the good old time


From the singing of A.L.Lloyd, who collected it from Bob Bell, Condoblin, 1934. The song is a mining version of 'Murrumbidgee Shearer' which was printed in Paterson's Old Bush Songs . Maryborough, Ballarat, Bendigo and Tarrangower (now Maldon) -- Victorian gold fields opened up in the 1850's. Lambing Flat: now Young, NSW The Lachlan: diggings at Forbes, NSW Fitzroy River: Qld gold-rush 1858 Cockatoo: former island prison on Sydney Harbour. Long-tom: narrow trough for washing gold. Patent pill machine: revolver.

Thanks to Bill Berry for permission to use this track from his 2004 CD "Bill Berry: sweep of an eager pen"


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory