Australian Folk Songs
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A Visit to the Gold Field (1870)
Air,--" King of the Cannibal Island."
Sung by Mr Howson at the Amateur performance on Monday 5th September.
Oh ! have you heard the news of late ?
About which the people all do prate,
From morn 'till night they are all agate,
And it's all about the Gold field !
As in the Bay the other night,
I chance'd to drop, when lo, a sight
Which nearly put me in affright--
But it soon was turned into delight,
For just outside H. G's store,
Such a thundering mob stood round the door,
And their tongues ran ninety to the score,
And all about the Gold field !
So its rifum tifum galloping fun,
The work now fairly is begun,
And everybody's off ding dong ;
For a visit to the Gold field !
A little further down the street,
There an old friend I chanced to meet
With a shake of the hand he did me greet,
Saying have you heard about the Gold field!
It's really true this time they say,
And the people's all going mad in the Bay,
And say's they'll go without delay,
If they have to tramp it all the way--
And travelling Sall's got ready her pack,
And say's she'll hump it on her back ;
She'll wait for neither Bill nor Jack
But she'll set off to the Gold field !
Rifum tifum &c.
The ta.ilor's wife's in such a rage,
That she can't in the affair engage,
Her grief she really can't assuage
She's thiniking so much of the Gold field !
The old Fogies too, are makling a fuss,
Say's they it'll make more pay for us ;
You'd laugh to hear them thus discuss,
About going to carry the blunderbuss--
And Humpy Jennings leap'd for joy,
He swears he'll go and carry his boy,
And in company with Tinker Toy.
He's going to work in the Gold field .
Rifun tifum &c.
And Tilly she skipped, about on her feet,
And says dear Billy we'll rise the meat;
And the boys at the depot we'll starve and cheat
While the Beak's away to the Gold field !
And in her joy she stept a jig--
But falling athwart a half-starved pig
Which threw her against the filthy block,
And spoiled her crinoline and frock--
How you.would have laugh'd to have seen her I am sure,
As about the shop she stamp'd and swore,
You never heard a Queen curse more
Than she did--but not at the Gold field !
Rifum tifum, &c.
So now kind friends I'll bid you farewell,
As there's no more just at present to tell,
And hoping you all may succeed well,
I wish you safe to the Gold field !
But oh ! just fancy the morn they'll start,
You'll see them off in a bullock cart,
The Traveller, Humpy, and Tinker so smart,
The tailor's wife will break her heart
And how the boys will shout and bawl,
To see H. Miller and P. Wall,
With cradle, pick's, spades, shovels and all,
Just jogginig off to the Gold field !
Rifum, tifum, &c.
From the Fremantle Newspaper the Herald Saturday 10 September 1870 p. 4.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory