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The Rabbit Trapper

A letter written by Salt-Bush Bill, late of the Outer Barcoo, to his brother in Burra

We are the rabbit trappers
From the Hogback far away,
Far beyond the ranges
Out towards Palpara way.
There are three of us in the camp,
The boss and George and I.
We never see a living thing.
Only the clouds in the sky

This is the place in the winter.
Far away on the saltbush plain.
Working in daylight and darkness.
Far away from the frost and rain.

But give me the town in the summer,
Far away from the mosquitoes and fleas.
Back to the land of my childhood,
There to live in comfort and ease.

This is the life we lead out back.
While toiling away on the plain.
When the summer is over
We will have another go at the game.

And when the trapping is over
The shearing is coming around
I will make for up the country
Where the bare-belly sheep are found.

I will make for the outback stations
Where you get plenty, of mutton and tea,
And thirty bob a hundred,
That's good enough for me.

And when I am away on the blades
And the township at my back.
There is time to think of home and sweetheart
When I am on the homeward track.

And when I get tired of the jumbucks
I'll get married and settle down,
To my little brown-eyed sweetheart
That lives in Burra town.

Well Brick old boys its getting late,
It's nearly time for tea.
The billy is nearly boiling,
so I'm getting hungry you see.

Remember me to all you see,
Remember me to Brown,  
Remember me to to Jack and Bill
When, you go into town.


From the South Australian newspaper the Burra Record Wednesday 8 August 1917 p. 3.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory