Australian Folk Songs
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The Digger's Lament (1919)
They call me a blimey 'ero
And says I'd done me bit,
They jumps me from me khakis
Into "civvies" that didn't fit.
They took me name or me number
Along with another mob.
And told me that they'd find me
A real good dinkum job.
And 'ere I'm cutting' sugar
Out in the swelterin' 'eat,
With me 'ands a mass o' blisters,
And me face as red as a beet.
And me tongue is sore from cursin'
The blighters 'oo sent me 'ere
Where there ain't no life or nuthing',
Not even a smell o' beer.
And 'ere I am on a blinkin' farm
Miles from the nearest town.
And me girl just calls me an 'ayseed,
And how she 'as turned me down.
And the yells of them 'orful curlews.
Nearly drives me 'orf me 'ead,
Till me life's just like a nightmare
And I wisht that I wuz dead.
Aw! Gee! but wot's a bloke to do,
Yer gotter earn yer grub.
It ain't no use in sinkin' low,
And 'angin' round a pub.
But strike me pink! a man's a mug
To listen to their kid;
It makes yer mad-but still, O' Lor'.
I simply "dips me lid."
NotesFrom the Queensland newspaper the Cairns Post Thursday 20 November 1919 p. 8.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory