Australian Folk Songs

songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home

Dosser Doyle

By "Bushie Bill"

"Dosser" Doyle was a swagman,
With ever a smile to spare,
Mate to the 'bum' and bagman,
Never a curse or care.

Torn swag and billy battered,
All thro' the lonely years,
By shed and shanty scattered,
By tracks of trials and tears.

Where water is the worry,
Far West, and further West,
From Burketown to the "Curry,"
And North to Drover's Rest.

By sun-tanned teamsters sweating,
And bullocks bent with toil,
By border fence of netting,
Went grizzled "Dosser Doyle."

No earthly destination,
No earthly aim or goal,
From bushland shack to station,
From tank to waterhole.

In wet of Winter weather,
In days of drenching rain,
When boots are useless leather
Upon the muddy plain.

In scorching sun of summer,
In hazy hell of heat,
Old Dosser Doyle, the bummer
Bore blisters on his feet.

Year after year, still tramping,
Until one even-tide,
He made his last lone camping,
And crossed the Great Divide.

And though his bones are yellow
By some forgotten track,
The spirit of this fellow
Still tramps the far Outback.



From Bill Bowyang's "On The Track" column in the Queensland newspaper the Townsville Daily Bulletin Thursday 3 August 1933 p. 5.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory