Australian Folk Songs

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Song Of The Reporter (1892)

There are many who live but for pleasure,
There are they who labour for wealth,
There are many who seek after treasure,
And many who hunt after health.
But reporters, in craftsmanship brothers--
A peculiar race of men,
Spend their lifetime in working for others--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

Each night in the week, even Sunday,
When others attend to their prayers,
He's at work and expected on Monday
At his place, or the editor stares.
He reports the Eight Hours Demonstration
With a grin that's sartorial when
He reflects on his own situation--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

If a fire should break out in the city,
Or a murder be done in the dark ;
Should a big pot say something that's wittty,
Or a matron elope with her spark ;
Should a body be found in the water,
Or gold be observed in a glen,
There's work for the happy reporter--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

At theatres, concerts, or dances,
Elections, or counting of votes,
The public is wrong if it fancies
A reporter's not there with his notes.
Post mortems, a scientist's lecture,
There's nothing that's out of his ken,
From a goat to new architecture--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

The joys of a married existence
Are things he knows only in dreams,
For all night with a steady persistence
" More copy" the overseer screams.
Such being the case it's a pity
If he can't have a lark now and then.
So join me in yelling this ditty--
"Sing hey for the pencil and pen !"



From the Tasmanian newspaper the Tasmanian Saturday 19 March 1892 p. 4 S.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory