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"Lou" - Charcoal Burnin'

There is nae wark aboot th' toon,
'There's vera little earnin',
Sae Lou has ta'en the Gladys doon
The river, charcoal burnin'.

A luv th' honest workin' man,
Wi' limbs sae tough an' brawny,
Whose sun-broon face is like th' tan,
Whose hans wi' toil are horny.

He's little luv for folks that preach,
For creed nor parson carin' ;
He's democratic in his speech,
A fearfu' man for swearin'.

Yet truth be told, when labor calls,
Ye'll never find him shirkin' ;
It hides a multitude of falls,
Th' luv of honest workin'.

Gang roond th' Depot, where puir wrecks
Of men are slowly dyin',
An' pass the boats in Rotten Row,
Mid reeds an' mud a-lyin'.

In front o' Saul's, just through Gunn's yard,
There oft ye'll see him bendin',
Bare-armed, bare-headed, workin.' hard,
Beside some craft he's mendin'.

When all th' work in toon is slack,
'T may suit th' man that's lazy ;
But Lou must soon get on its track,
Or, losh! 'twill drive him crazy.

Th' idler luks for work an' prays
Tae heaven he'll never find it;
His guid wife keeps him most his days,
An' faith, he doesn' mind it.

Oh ! Lou's a braw an' honest lad,
An' must be always earnin' ;
Sae as th' times in toon are bad,
He's ganged off charcoal burnin'.

He'll hae tae work frae morn till night,
Wi' hans an' face all dark O ;
But all th' money's fair an' bright,
He'll gain a-burnin' charco'.

His mither's hair is silver white,
An' wi' a tender yearnin',
She thinks o' him baith morn an' night,
Awa a-charcoal burnin'.

But, eh ! he'll cheer her hert th' noo,
When he comes hame returnin';
He'll bring her back a poond or two
He made a-charcoal burnin'.



From the Tasmanian Newspaper the Daily Telegraph Saturday 1 February 1902 p. 7.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory