Australian Folk Songs

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The Song Of The City-Stockman (1910)
BY 6X8.

Some genuine far-western stockmen and drovers have been engaged by a Sydney biograph
picture firm to enact realistic scenes of droving, yarding cattle, breaking-in horses, and
other out-back station life.--News item.

The days of our droving are over,
And branding and mustering, too.
We've thrown-up the life of the rover
'Twixt the Gulf and the parching Barcoo;
We've quitted the graft on the station,
And sacked the old black billy-can
To work in a town-situation
For a biograph-picture man.

We are still handling horses and cattle,
It is true, in the old western way.
But, Lord, what a different battle,
For very near six times the pay!
For we yard in the heart of the city,
Near pubs and the choicest of scran;
Old "milkers" we can't help but pity,
For a biograph-picture man.

No more through the Mulga and Gidyea,
We gallop the leaders to check
No more 'cross the plains, and the ridgy
Hill-country we're risking our neck!
We're actors, in white shirts and collar,
And shiny top-boots, spick and span,
And we crack our stock-whips, and holler
For a biograph-picture man.

No night-watches now, and no soaking
When the skin-drenching rain starts to fall
And you shiver and list' to the croaking
Of frogs, and the curlews' shrill call.
We're swells now, and city street rovers,
And camp with the white-handed clan--
We're high-class Centennial Park drovers
For a biograph-picture man.

We have done with the breaking of fillies
And colts, near related to Nick,
On the stations out-back, where the will is
Oft stronger than power to stick!
In front of the camera's "blinkers,"
In a pub-yard the size of a pan,
We are breaklng-in horses with winkers!
For a biograph-picture man.

It's a life full of ease and of leisure,
And liquor, and blue eyes aqd brown,
Yet at times we get weary of pleasure
And the hustle and bustle of town;
And we sit down and pine like a tracker
For the bush and the black billy-can,
And wish we had down with the yakker
For the biograph-picture man.


From the NSW Newspaper the The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser Wednesday 28 September 1910 p. 43.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory