Australian Folk Songs
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For the FieldsAt our brand new Railway Station, every afternoon at three
(A Digger's Ballad)
All is bustle and confusion, and as lively as can be,
The porters with their luggage trucks, move busily along,
And boys who sell the Daily News, dart in and out the throng.
The booking office is beseiged, by hordes of eager faces,
All wanting to be served at once, and get a choice of places
And every fellow does his best, the rest to get before them,
And for one ticket up to York, a score are sold for Northam.
They've watered up the engine, and the driver chats and nods
To his pals the point and brakesman, as he oils the piston rods,
The stoker's fired the furnace up, till the valve of safety yields
For the 3 p.m. is leaving, with the diggers for the fields.
There are stalwart New South Welshmen, and chaps from Bendigo
And from Ararat and Ballarat, whom one another know,
With parties too, from Queensland, and from Maoriland a few.
(Of a fellow's life it's worth an hour to gaze upon this view.)
The men now tumble in pell mell, such hand-shakings and adieu,
With those oft repeated parting words " Now tip us all the news,"
And one lusty individual, with coat and waistcoat peeled -
Sings out "Look here, I'll buy up Perth, if I'm I'm lucky on the field."
But the time is up for starting, as they sharply jerk the bell,
The crowd upon the platform give three cheers and wish them well,
The Station Master gives the word, then the guard his whistle blows,
The driver pulls the lever down, with a shriek--away she goes.
Good-bye you diggers, come back soon, with your pocket books well lined,
Good luck to you where'ere you go, at every rush or find,
May Dame Fortune smile upon each one, who pick or shovel wields
And keep from hunger, thirst aught ills, when you're digging on the fields.
NotesFrom the the Perth newspaper the Daily News Wednesday 18 July 1894 p. 2.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory