Australian Folk Songs

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

Across the Western Plains

It's ah! for my grog, my jolly, jolly grog,
It's ah! for my beer and tobacco,
I spent all my tin in the shanty drinking gin,
Now across the western plains I must wander.

I'm stiff and stony broke and I've parted with my moke,
And the sky is looking black as thunder,
And the boss of the shanty too, for I haven't a sou
That's the way you're treated when you're out and under.

I'm crook in the head, for I haven't been to bed,
Since first I touched this shanty with my plunder,
I see centipedes and snakes, and I'm full of aches and shakes,
So I'd better make a push out over yonder.

I'll take the Old Man Plain, criss-cross it all again,
Until my eyes the track no longer see,
My beer and brandy brain seeks balmy sleep in vain,
I feel as if I had the Darling Pea.

Repentance brings reproof, so I sadly 'pad the hoof,'
All day I see the mirage of the trees,
But it all will have an end when I reach the river bend,
And listen to the sighing of the breeze.

Then hang the jolly prog, the hocussed shanty grog,
The beer that's loaded with tobacco,
Grafting humour I am in, and I'll stick the peg right in
And settle once more down to Yakka.


From A.B.Paterson c.1905, Old Bush Songs (1924) A fragment of the song was published in the Melbourne newspaper the Age of Saturday 21 February 1925 p. 25.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory