Australian Folk Songs

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The Shepherd's Dream (1909)

I had just come off the shicker, and was feeling pretty bad,
As wrapt, up in my 'possum rag a fancy dream I had,
I dreamt the Maranoa seat was won by Thomas A.,
And everyone had come to town their best respects to pay.
There were soldiere, scalpers, squattermen, selectors, shearers too,
With navvies, farmers, storekeepers, and ladies not a few,
Had met to have a sing-song, and to sing each one was bound,
And those that could not warble had to shout for liquors round.


So everyone of them had to sing, if any one said " I've a cold,"
Sing,--or settle for drinks all ronnd they'd very soon be told,
For Thomas A. was member, and, of coarse, he took the chair,
And sang the chorus of every song whenever he knew the air.

Now, Thomas A., the chairman, in his waistcoat stuck his thumbs,
And sang amid the cheering, " See the conquering hero comes,"
And Robinson, of paper fame, sang, " Soldiers of the Queen,"
When Mrs. Cassidy went off with "Wearing of the green,"
Then Charlie Arnold tried to sing, bat Jack Bones hissed him down.
And Richard Conlan struggled through, " The King without a Crown,"
Then cries went up for Hunter, just to hear what he would say,
And as he waved farewell he sang, " I'm off to Bom Bombay."

Repeat Chorus.

When Aaron Hoskin rose to sing, with cheers the building rang,
As with his arms stretching up to Heaven, " True, true till death" he sang,
Jim Page got on a chair to sing, but slipped and tumbled down,
And Charlie Conroy warbled out, " The Mayor of London Town,"
Then. some old swaggie, out of date, proposed. " God save the Queen,"
And Mr. Johnson (not M.J.) " Strolled out with Angeline,"
And " Good old Bungeworgorai" everyone was yelling out,
As Bunge's Boss, when called to sing exclaimed, " I'd sooner shout."

Repeat Chorus.

When Sammy Gardner tried to sing Jim Chisholm tried to nark,
So old Joe Mayfield gave the same old " Parson-and the Clerk,"
Then Mr. Warren, architect, sang boldly, " Not for Joe,"
And " Caller Harris" (done in Greece) was sang by Comico,
And so the night passed pleasantly, till stars grew faint and dim.
Then, Billy Murphy closed his eyes and sang the evening hymn.
Well, that broke up the meeting, for they judged it past a joke.

. . . .

With Toby licking at my face I stretched myself and woke.


From the Queensland Newspaper the Western Star and Roma Advertiser Saturday 2 October 1909 p. 3.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory