Australian Folk Songs

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A Processional Hymn

Tune--St. Gertrude--Sir A. S. Sullivan.
"Onward! Christian Soldier."

Toilers of the nations,
Thinkers of the time,
Sound the note of battle
Loud through every clime !
March ye 'gainst the tyrants
Heedless of their steel,
Be a band of brothers,
Speed the Common Weal!

Onward ! friends of freedom,
Onward ! for the strife,
Each for all we struggle,
One in death or life.

Seamstress in the hovel,
Women of the mill,
Low indeed ye grovel,
Tsume ye are and still.
Come like the Walkyries
Beauteous in your might,
Sing us songs of valour,
Nerve us for the fight !

Teachers of the people,
Priests beside the shrine,
Men of light and leading,
Speak the word divine ;
Gather us together
In a holy band,
Sworn to help each other,
Pledged both heart and hand

Toil we now no longer
For another's gain,
While our wives and children
Pine in want and pain ;
Grieve we now no longer
At another's good,
Let us all be brothers,
Let us all have food !

Come, then, worn and weary,
Come, then, stout and brave,
Join this noble army
Sworn our land to save,
From the powrer of tyrants,
From the curse of greed--
Down with the destroyers !
Crush the serpents' seed !

Edinburgh J.G.


From the English Socialist magazine the Commonweal October 22 1887.

Under the title 'Toilers of the Nation' a shortened and repurposed version of this song was published in Australia in the 'Women's Anti-Conscription Songs' broadside distributed in the lead up to the conscription referendum in 1916. See Women's Anti-Conscription Songs in this collection.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory