Australian Folk Songs

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The Merry Days Long Gone

(Supplied by J.G.C., Dalby.)

I'm a poor old used-up stockman,
My days are gone and past;
I tried to keep my mustering fame,
But it cannot always last.
We used to go and muster
Upon each neighbouring run;
It was there we met with a Jolly set,
For our hearts were full of fun.

CHORUS.--But now I'm old and hoary,
Old age is creeping on,
And I often sigh
As the times roll by
For those merry, merry days long gone.

I've of times been indulging
In many a merry spree
Upon some poor flash new chum cove,
But mostly on a sneak.
We'd saddle up some old outlaw,
And kid him on his back;
Like a wild cat bounding through the air
He'd spill him with a crack.

When mounted on old Whalebone--
That rattling old stockhorse;
I've rode him for the last ten years,
And now he's none the worse--
I've rushed him through the brigalow,
The bendee, and the pine;
I'd wheel and camp the cattle,
And then you'd see him shine.

When tearing down the mountain
It's there you'd see us rip;
'Twas in those good old days, my boys,
When nuggets fetch'd most tip;
And when there was no wire fence
To block us on our run,
We'd wheel and camp the cattle
And the duffing it begun.

Next morning we would plough our irons
Upon some fat young calves,
And fake our brands on those we could,
Because we were on halves.
Our boss was not particular
In counting on his men,
And when the swells were in tbe house
Twas the biggest duffer's den.

If you a horse would soldier,
Or brand one single nug,
It's quickly you were taken
For to do it in the jug;
Brought before some squatter magistrate
And charged with duffing, but
You could look him in the face and say,
"Ditto, Brother Smut !"


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