Australian Folk Songs

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The Brolga's Laugh

(Supplied by W. S., Bollon.)
Air-"Dixie's Land."

The brolga laughs and the brolga shouts,
The brolga's there when there's rain about;
If it's going to rain he's sure to know,
And then he'll laugh "Oh! oh! oh! oh!

He laughs all night, and be laughs all day,
If it's going to rain hell laugh and piny;
If he laughs in the night it's sure to rain,
And then he'll dance and laugh again.

He mounts right up above the trees
And looks across for the north-coast breeze;
He sees the clouds coming afar,
And then he laughs "Ah! ah! ah! ah!

He curves his neck and spreads his wings,
For the brolga does some funny things;
If it rains all night he'll laugh with glee,
Saying, "Now there's water enough for me !"

The frog may croak and the duck may swim,
But the brolga's laugh's enough for him.
lien with guns and little to do
Will shoot the brolga through and through.

If they'd but work and pay their way
The brolga still could laugh and play.
He saw the bars that crossed the moon,
And thought " Not now, but very soon

The Brisbane man will have to swim,"
And the brolga's laugh's a hint for him.
They make their nest without a straw,
And lay one egg, for I've seen no more.

They'll hatch their young in the pouring rain,
And then they'll laugh and laugh again.
If a drought comes on, which it's sure to do,
The swamps all dry and herbage too,

They'll mount right up and away will soar,
And the brolga's laugh we'll hear no more
Till the rain returns with its pattering glee,
Then the brolga's laugh will bring joy to me.


From The Queenslander 15 September 1894.

Flotsam and Jetsam.
Songs of the Bush.

[We purpose giving, under this heading, as many of the well-known Australian bush songs as can be gathered together. There are many such songs that have never appeared in print, but have been handed on from man to man as news was circulated before the days of newspapers, and in many cases the names of the authors are unknown or doubtful. We shall be glad to receive copies of any favourite bush songs which our readers can supply, with (if known) names of authors and the tunes to which they are usually sung. When two or more versions of one song are received the one which is apparently most correct will be used. The names, or noms de plume, of senders will be published with the verses.]


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory