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The Burra Mine (A Song Of The Olden Time)

Listen ye sons of this land land of corn and wine
To the song of olden times--all of the Burra mine,
When with the bullocks and the dray the heavy loads
Were carted all along its hard and dusty roads.

Six times and all had we encamped one night
Near the "Kapunda Mine," just by the River Light;
There was Charley, the Frenchman, and Yorks and me,
Sliding Bill, and two others, all bent on fun and glee.

One Johnny from Gawler, who was as good a blade
As ever whip upon the back of bullock team had laid ;
With Pat, from dear old Ireland, that happy home of cheer,
Who could ride the young buck-jumper with a cry of " Look out, there!"

And the singing and the jesting went merrily around,
Until the hill-tops of the light re-echoed with the sound;
The grog passed in a tin pannikan there
In a way and manner to make a poor Good Templar stare.

For Charley played the Fiddle, and Paddy all the while
Gave us " Finnigan's Wake" just in a proper style;
Till the curlew's note was heard in wild and weird-like cry,
And the scared oppossums scaled the gum trees hard by.

So we kept up the night with laughing and with fun,
Till the small hours began to ring until the clock struck one ;
Then round the fire we slept, and never opened eye
Till the bright sun in in the east illumined all the sky.

Then up we rose and merrily into our toil once more,
We laboured on, with right good will as cheerful as before;
And now that season has passed by, yet be the story mine
To tell now, we carted copper from the Burra Burra Mine.


From the Bunyip Friday 9 April 1880 p. 4.

[We publish this in order to encourage our local poet to increased efforts towards success.--ED]


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory