Australian Folk Songs

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Australia's on the Wallaby (1893)

Our fathers came to search for gold--the claim has proved a duffer ;
The syndicates and bankers boss will show and make us suffer ;
So we're off to try for freedom for ourselves and mates to toil--
We're bound to New Australia and the billy's on the boil.


Australia's on the wallaby, listen to the cooey :
The kangaroo has packed his port, the emu shoulders bluey,
The boomerangs begin to whiz, the dingo scratches gravel,
The 'possum, bear, and bandicoot are all upon the travel.

The curlew wails a sad good-bye beside the long lagoon,
The brolga does a last weird waltz to the lyre bird's mocking tune.
The mopoke calls the bats and owls--the widgeon and the shags,
The mallee hen and platypus are rolling up their swags.

Australia's on the wallaby, &c.

Of tiger snakes and damper or----(what's this?) on the coals,
Of shadeless gums and sun-scorched plains and dried-up waterholes,
Of droughts and floods and ragged duds, and asking leave to toil,
Australia's sons are weary, so the billy's on the boil.

Australia's on the wallaby, &c.

From the New Australia Journal.


From the Brisbane Newspaper the Worker Saturday 12 August 1893 p. 3.

[Beneath the song is the following intriguing information]
Even in Holy Russia a law is about to be passed prohibiting the transfer of land
in the possession of rural communities or individual peasants to persons not
belonging to the rural population, and providing that the holders of such lands
shall there after be excluded from parting with them either by sale or in any other
manner. The law will be made applicable to the whole of European Russia, with the
exception of the Baltic and Vistula Provinces.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory