Australian Folk Songs

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A Bushman's Farewell
To His Cabbage Tree Hat (1925)

(Reprinted by request.)

Old hat, though I don't like a new one,
Through this war I must cast you aside;
You've proved a good friend, a true one,
Through many a blazing hot ride.

Each rip in your crown tells a story
Of our gallops o'er mountain and flat
And each patch is more to your glory,
My battered, old Cabbage-tree Hat.

We've streaked it, old hat, by the moonlight,
When the cattle were going like smoke,
We've heard the wild bull's distant bellow
In his stronghold 'mid the brigalows and oak.

You've been soaked in the floods of the Darling,
Cut to ribbons and tramped nearly flat
By the bullocks when they broke at "The Crossing,"
My hardy old Cabbage-tree Hat.

Though your crown be patched up with leather,
Though I've sewn you with horse-hair and string,
No more shall we travel together
When the mustering comes next spring.

For your work is ended--Rest peacefully there--
And should I through this war come to that,
I trust life may close with a record as true
As that of my Cabbage-tree Hat.



From the ACT Newspaper the Federal Capital Pioneer Sun 1 Feb 1925 p. 3.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory