Australian Folk Songs
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The Bummer's Song (1902)
[For The Worker.]
I'm getting quite used to the wallaby now--
For some months I've been roaming about--
And though it's but little that squatters allow,
Of rations I seldom run out.
I thought when I started away from the town
Some squatter would give me employ ;
Instead of their labor I met with a frown--
They tell me I only annoy.
Now what can I do?
I will leave it to you--
Though honesty is a good rule,
Whenever I can,
I follow the plan
Of keeping my ration bags full.
At night at the station I bail up the cook,
Tobacco I cadge from the men,
Moreover, wherever I'm swapping a book,
I always ask rations again.
I make to out stations lor sugar and tea,
As squatters no comforts supply ;
I never miss chances when rations I see
Of filling my bags on the sly.
Choru--Now what, etc.
In swagging the countree just lay down your pride,
Be frugal, and humble, and meek,
A man without money must sling fads aside,
Be shameless and brazen of cheek ;
For the dodges and schemes of blokes on the track
A townsman could never conceive ;
Just once let him whack a swag on his back,
He'll soon learn the way to deceive.
Chorus--Now what, etc.
M. M. CLANCY.
From the Wagga Newspaper The Worker Saturday 4 January 1902 p. 5.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory