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A New Chum's Lament (1874)

Och shure now this haet but its fearful !
Not the smallest wiff o' cool air
Can I get aither mornin' or evenin',
And I'm dhriv' to the verge o' despair.

For what wid the dhurst, and the hot winds,
And the botherin' moskaters and flies,
"Tis little enjoymint I've got thin,
For they're ready to ate out me eyes.

And its scarcely the wink of me eyelid
I get when I go to me bed,
And there I lay tossin' and turnin'
Wid me head as heavy as lead..

Faith 'twas mad that I was to come here thin ;
This counthry's a horrible place--
But Pathrick, old boy, yer'e dun for,
Yer'e landed and now 'tis a case.

But oh for one shlaut of auld Ireland !
The land o' me rearin' and birth,
The home of all others the dearest,
Tis the finest auld place on the airth.

Shure I'd rather live home on the praties,
In me little log cabin so nate,
Then I'd be in this counthry o' plinty,
And rhoasted right off wid the haet.

Faith the sun has no maydium whatever,
But sthrikes down as hot as can be ;
And worse I belaive on the new chums--
It seems anyway so to me.

There's plinty o' work that is thrue thin,
But a dacent sthroke I can't give
Whin everthing's quietly scorchin'
And yerself the same time as ye live.

Wisha! bad luck to these nashty moskaters,
No manners at all they possess ;
I'd hang all the murtherin' villians,
But the craythurs 'ed niver be less.

Arrah for me own darliut counthry,
Could I put but a foot on ye're shore,
D'ye think I wud leave you, mavourneen ?
Ah niver, intirely no more !

Shure 'tis lonesome I'm feelin' this minnit,
Wid sorra a sowl for a chat,
But barrin' a nation o' sthrangers,
And niver a genuine


From the South Australian Newspaper the Northern Argus Tuesday 17 February 1874 p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory