Australian Folk Songs

songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home

License Hunting To-Day (1894)
Air.--"The Gay Cavalier."

The morning was fine,
The sun brightly did shine,
And the diggers were working away;
When the Inspector of "traps"
Said, "Now, my fine chaps,
We'll go license hunting to-day !"
Some went this way, some that,
Some to Bendigo Flat,
And some to the White Hill did tramp;
While others did bear
Towards Golden Square,
While the rest kept an eye round the camp.

Now a tall, ugly trap
Espied a young chap
Up the gully a cutting like fun ;
And quickly gave chase,
'Twas a deuce of a race,
I believe you ! that digger could run.
Down a hole he went pop !
While the bobby up top
Says, "Come up here," a shaking his staff ;
"Young man of the Crown !
If you want me, come down !
I'm not to be caught with such chaff !"

Now you would have thought
This sly fox he'd have caught
By dragging him out of the hole;
But the Crown-man ! No fear !
He scorned the idea
Of going underground like a mole.
More wise he, by half,
He put up his staff,
And, as homeward he went, said he !
"When a cove's down a drive,
Whether dead or alive,
He can stop there till Christmas for me."


From the Brisbane Newspaper the Queenslander Saturday 27 October 1894.

This is version of a Charles Thatcher song originally titled "What I Really Saw". The Bendigo Advertiser in 1906 published another version with the comment "The above is part of a song sung by C. R. Thatcher at "Billy" Heffernan's Shamrock hotel, for which he received 20 per night."


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory