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Billy Barlow's Visit To Inglewood (1863)

I've come up the country, at length, as you see,
Not before I was wanted--it seems so to me,
And I'll show ye a picture as few of ye know
That's a sketch of yourselves, done by Billy Barlow
Hey, Oh ! Raggedy Oh !
'Tis most time you saw one, says Billy Barlow.

They says as I'm silly, and loses my wits,
But between whiles I spit out the truth in my fits,
I've met with some shams in my tramps up and down,
But a box full of shams is this Inglewood town.
Hey, oh ! raggedy oh !
You're a queer set o'codgers, says Billy Barlow.

You've a grand street laid out, with a house here and there,
Like a cove with a dickey, but no shirt to wear,
For a share in the front street you spend all you know !
Just to gammon us strangers how fast you can grow.
Hey ! ho ! raggedy oh !
You'd best drain your swamps first, thinks Billy Barlow.

You've some other fine shams in your town, as I see,
Your best street when it rains is a regular sea,
You've a reservoir threatens the neighbors to drown,
But the devil a pint have you brought to the town.
Hey ! ho! raggedy ho !
'Tis a sham water privilege, says Billy Barlow.

You've a fine powder magazine, out on a hill,
But the chap let's your stores, keep their powder free still.
If you're blown up some fine day, 'twill serve yo all' right,
'Cos you don't blow the chap up, and make him "indict."
Hey ! ho ! raggedy oh !
Make him do what he's paid for, says Billy Barlow.

You've a sham 'chanics' Institute, twelve feet by ten ;
It was goin' to do wonders, when first it began,
But your flashy prospectus has turned out a hum,
You've got nothing to read when the few readers come.
Hey ! ho ! raggedy oh !
But 'tis nobody's' fault, they tell Billy Barlow.

You've a batch o' Town Councillors, 'cordin' to law,
And some do the voting, and some do the law ;
But the most that they do is to Melbourne to dance,
And to raise as much cash as the banks 'ill advance.
Hey ! ho ! raggedy oh !
Deppitations is nice things, says Billy Barlow.

You've got a few coves calls emselyes "leading men,"
They starts lots of projecks with meetings, and then
'Tis plain that they're shamming, they back out content,
Ven they're put on committees, and gets into print.
Hey! ho ! raggedy oh !
It's the lame leads the blind here, thinks Billy Barlow.

Your system o' trade is a sham to the core ;
A twopenny job must be contracted for ;
And the consekens is, that your work it gets botched,
And the 'tractor he laughs ven the money is cotched
Hey ! ho ! raggedy oh !
Cheap and nasty's your motto, thinks Billy Barlow.

Your sham reefs have kept your best backers away.
And your good ones have small chance to come into play
For if anything happens that ought to be told
You've to wait a sham newspaper, half a week old.
Hey! Oh ! raggedy oh !
You're a house without windows says Billy Barlow.

There's a sham in your shambles, I hear people say,
And I'm frightened I'll ab some sham beef for my tea,
So to keep down the pison, a nip I'll reckvire,
Perhaps you'll press, fun on Villum Barlow Esckyire.
Hey ! Ho ! Raggedy oh !
I'll not take it offensive, says Billy: Barlow.


From the Bendigo Newspaper the Bendigo Advertiser Wed 1 Apr 1863 p. 3.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory