Australian Folk Songs

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We Still Are Loyal Unionists (1891)

We Still Are Loyal Unionists,
Resolved to win this fight,
Despite the hybrid Government
Arrayed in all their might,
With laws framed in a barb'rous age,
The souls of men to crush,
Who dared to ask for justice,
As we now do in the bush.

Though they arrest our delegates
And load their limbs with chains,
We are all prepared to follow
Whist one unionist remains.
Their dungeons have no terrors,
Of their guns we're not afraid,
And yet we'll show our rulers
Of what metal we are made.

Though with Nordenfeldts and Gatlings,
At the pastoralists' behest,
They bring forth the skulking blackleg
'Gainst the free men of the West.
The blackleg is a failure,
Whilst the country's debts increase,
Ere long those bumptious gentry
Will be glad to sue for peace.

Let the Government remember
We are men, not cringing slaves,
That before we'll cede our rights as men,
We'll sink in freemen's graves.
And let money-grabbing vampires
Estimate the future loss
Through the struggle they themselves have forced
Beneath the Southern Cross.



From the Brisbane newspaper the Worker Saturday 30 May 1891, p. 8.

This poem is one of some 30 such lyrics associated with the Shearers Strike that were published in the Worker between December 1890 and December 1891.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory