Australian Folk Songs

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Song of the Old Bushman (1922)

Old age is trying hard to get a Nelson full on me,
And little imps are driving spikes in shoulder blade and knee;
But still my soul is young enough to sit a right good hack,
And many a time it rolls the swag and starts upon the track.

From far Cape York to Albany,
From Sydney town to Broome
From Adelaide to Moreton Bay,
From Perth to old Taroom.

I'd like to go a-droving--would they take me now as cook.
To lift from anywhere at all and land In Muswellbrook ?
I'd like to be in Queensland when the western sheds commence,
I'd like to sink a well or two and run just one more fence.

From Darwin down to Wyalong,
From Dardanup to Nhill,
From Marble Bar to Humpybong
By way of Broken Hill.

The young lads now are just the same as young lads long ago;
But if the distant fields are green, the distant times are so.
At shaker or on windlass, as I watch the merry crew,
I'm battling with the horses in the early days of Cue.

From Southern Cross to Margaret,
From Yalgoo to the Peak;
From Mount Black (have they found it yet?)
To dawn by Wilson's Creek.

Although I hate to think it, I'm afraid when next I roam
I'll be rolling up the bluey for the Old Men's Home,
But even so till age has got a strangle hold on me.
In fancy I'll be roving in the days that used to be

Through Brigalow and Mulga land
And rivers swollen wide,
By saltbush spinifex and sand
Towards the Great Divide.



From the Perth Newspaper the Sunday Times 19 March 1922 p. 17.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory