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A Cane-Cutter's Song (1911)

Light, light light !
From the East is glowing.
Beautiful and bright ;
Time "all hands" were going.

Tramp, tramp, tramp !
To the fields are marching
Men from tented camp,
'Neath the trees o'er-arohing. ? ' ~

See, see, see !
All the boys are coming
From each house and humpy,
Lads who're late are running,

Chop, chop, chop !
Hear the cane knives ringing !
Harvesting the crop ;
No time for singing.

Swish, swish, swish !
Hear the cane leaves rustling ;
Only thing we wish
Is more time for hustling.

Load, load, load !
Every creaky waggon.
Send 'em on the road
With their sides "a-saggin."

Stop, stop, stop !
All may smoke a minute !
Give your face a neaded mop ;
Yes, "'all -hands" are in it.

Hop, hop, hop !
Up again and at 'em ;
See how lively you can hop
Round the sticks and 'flat 'em.'

Pile, pile, pile !
Every dray and truck ;
Break, their axels on the road,
If we've any luck.

Time, time, time !
Come along to dinner,
First wash off the red-soil grime,
Every lab'ring sinner.

Night, night, night !
O'er the fields is falling ;
Whilst there's any light
None forsakes his callinng.

Sing, sing sing !
When the "season's" o'er,
Then is heard the echoes ring
All among the clover.

Pay, pay, pay ! Bob and Mick and Sid,
Makings for each working day
Average a "quid."

Help, boys help ! Mates are in the wards
Church and charities need 'help'
From your fair rewards.



From the Queensland newspaper the Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser Tuesday 18 April 1911, p. 3.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory