Australian Folk Songs

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Song of the Wheat Lumpers (1930)

The lumpers toil the livelong day
At building great high stacks
Of wheat, which comes from ev'ry way,
Via main roads and bush tracks.

The lorries pour in all day long,
As well as big horse-teams,
Which lug their monstrous loads along
And come in endless streams.

And lumpers, must unload them all,
And do it mighty quick--
Theirs is to answer ev'ry call
And keep right on the tick.

None have the time to look about
Nor wipe a sweaty face;
They are busy men, beyond all doubt
And each must keep his place.

But when, at last, the burning sun
Sinks, far out in the west,
They're thankful that day's task is done,
So they can seek their rest.

And when they knock off for the day,
With lagging steps they trudge,
As home they wend their weary way
On feet that scarcely budge.

Lo! how their jaded footsteps creep;
See how each body sags;
And when at length they're wrapt in sleep,
They dream they're lumping bags !

A. F. Myers.

Delungra, January, 1930.


From the NSW newspaper the Inverell Times Monday 6 January 1930, p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory