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The New Chum's Lament (1874)

Before I left Old England,
The home of liberty,
I ever felt dissatisfied
At how they treated me ;
In search of work I travelled
Full many a weary day,
And for my toilsome labour
Recceived a scanty pay.

We had some trade depressions ;
These visit every land ;
We struck against reductions,
All wrongs we did withstand.
But tyranny, and cruel
Oppression gained the day,
And for their honest labour
Men got a scanty pay.

'Twas bad enough in England
Before I left its shore,
But once I were within it
I'd never leave it more.
I left because they told me
That in this sunny land
Wealth easily was gotten
By every willing hand.

Upon thy shores, Australia !
Thy bush-encumbered soil,
I only ask employment--
For daily bread to toil.
With purest heart, and motives,
I utter my request ;
Alas ! thou seem'st to offer
A grave upon thy breast.



From the South Australian Newspaper the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate Friday 29 April 1887 p. 2.

"Bachgen O Gymru" is a Welsh expression that translates to "Boy from Wales".


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory