Australian Folk Songs
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The Bullock DrayOH the shearing is all over, and the wool is coming down,
And I mean to get a wife, boys, when I go down to town ;
Everything has a mate that presents itself to view,
From the little paddymelon to the jumping kangaroo. And now I've got a big cheque I mean to buy a team,
And when I get a missus, boys, I'll be all serene.
By applying at the depot I hear there's no delay
In getting an off-side partner for an old bullock dray. So roll up your blankets and let us make a push
I'll take you up the country and show you the bush ;
You wont get the same chance, I'll be bound, another day,
So come on and take possession of my old bullock dray.
I'll take care of beef and damper that you have quite enough ;
We'll boil in the bucket such a whopper of a duff,
And our mates will all dance in honor of the day
To the music of the bells of the old bullock dray. We'll have no odd notions about the honeymoon,
We'll join hands together and jump across the broom ;*
For it's the fashion of the country, and we won't be the first,
What we save in the parson we'll spend "on the burst;" So roll up your blankets, &c. We'll live like fighting-cocks, for good living I'm your man ;
We'll have "leather jackets," "johnny cakes" and fritters in the pan,
And if you fancy fish, I'll get them for you soon,
We'll bob for barramundi on the banks of the lagoon. I'll teach you with the whip the bullocks how to flog,
You shall be my off-sider when we're stuck in a bog ;
Cut about right and left all that comes in your way,
There'll be hair and skin flying round the old bullock dray. So roll up your blankets, &c.
We'll have lots of picaninnies, but you mustn't mind that,
Flash little Maggie and Buckjumping Pat,
Stringy-bark Joe and Greenhide Mike
"My colonial," you can have just as many as you like; We'll block the immigration, we'll have it no more,
We'll have the little native twins by the score.
I wonder whatever Old Jordan would say
If he saw us promenading round the old bullock dray. So roll up your blankets, &c.
Now it's time I got your answer, if there's one to be had,
I would not treat that steer in the body half so bad ;
You pay no more attention, you don't, upon my soul,
Than that old-man stag offsider in the pole. It's all your own fault, at your door will be the sin,
I'll be off up the country and marry a black gin.
Carbon white fellow budgery, baal gammon, she will say,
Only budgery you and your old bullock dray. So roll up your blankets, &c., * Married by the Registrar.
From the Queensland Figaro and Punch 9 November 1887.This appears to be the first published version of the old bush song. See The Old Bullock Dray in this collection for the version most commonly sung and recorded.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory