Australian Folk Songs

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The Ramble-Eer

The earth rolls on through empty space, its journey's never done;
It's entered for a starry race throughout the kingdom come.
And, as I am a bit of earth, I follow it because
And to prove I am a rolling stone and never gather moss.

For I am a ramble-eer, a rollicking ramble-eer,
I'm a roving rake of poverty, and son of a gun for beer.

I've done a bit of fossicking for tucker and for gold;
I've been a menial rouseabout and a rollicking shearer bold.
I've "shanked" across the Old Man Plain, after busting up a cheque,
And "whipped the cat" once more again, though I haven't met it yet.

I've done a bit of droving of cattle and of sheep,
And I've done a bit of moving with "Matilda" for a mate;
Of fencing I have done my share, wool-scouring, on the green,
Axeman, navvy. Old Nick can bear me out in what I haven't been.

I've worked the treadmill thresher, the scythe and reaping-hook,
Been wood-and-water fetcher for Mary Jane the cook;
I've done a few "cronk" things too, when I have struck a town,
There's few things I wouldn't do - but I never did "lambing down."


From A.B.Paterson c.1905. Old Bush Songs (1924) No tune is given but the chorus has echoes of another song 'I'm A Rambling Rake Of Poverty. 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