Australian Folk Songs

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The Australian Shepherd (1902)

He wanders afar o'er the lone mountain steep,
Over logs that are scorched and grim ;
He tenderly cares for the lot of his sheep,
And they all seem friendly with him.

He loveth the sound of their tinkling bells,
As they ring on the clear silent air ;
The music of birds floats o'er him, and tells
Him to try and get rid of his care.

His old battered ' billy' hath many dear charms,
On the embers it singeth its song ;
Its contents can sooth his dire alarms,
And cheer him bis wanderings along.

He longs not for cities' load bustle and toil,
He envies not palaces fine ;
But loves to be free from strife and turmoil,
In the West where the sun loves to shine.

The green banks of Darling are homely to him,
Each track, creek, and gully he knows ;
Whether morning be bright, or evening be dim,
He strolls where the clear river flows.

At nightfall he rests on his favorite log,
When the laughing jackass bids adieu to the day ;
The bandicoot bounds from the sight of his dog,
To the green, tangled bowers and there hides away.

Then he makes for his hut, and lies on his bunk ;
His damper can the sweetest of pleasure afford
His ' billy ' of tea, and seasoned corn junk,
Can make'him both happy and content as a lord.




From the NSW Newspaper the Bowral Free Press Saturday 3 May 1902 p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory