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The Squatter's Prayer (1901)

It was the squatter-man down west,
Had cause for discontent ;
He was not over pleased about
The way the shearing went.
But he had got religion and
Kept in the narrow path ;
So nowadays he had perforce
To bottle up his wrath.

To make things worse the men were scarce,
As scarce as they could be ;
And therefore it behoved old Mac.
To "wire" them carefully.
All hands to church the bell did ring
Upon next Sunday morn ;
And as they'd nothing else to do
They went in "rammies" torn.

The squatter prayed extempore,
To keep his dander cool :
"Oh, Lord ! thou knowest times are hard,"
He prayed, "and wool is wool ; "
Then lowering fierce upon the men
So they might comprehend :
"And every ounce per sheep it makes
A difference in the end.

"Oh, Lord ! instil in the heart
Of every shearer here
To keep down to an even thing--
Unto my prayer give ear,
Oh, God of hosts ! and save the souls
Of these most reckless men,
In peril every day of hell
And everlasting pain.

"By reason of their carelessness--
Of which thou art aware--
And unjust treatment of the sheep
Confided to their care.
Oh, Lord! especially keep Thine eye
On Micky Brown and Wall,
On Follent, Day, and Charlie Kent,
And Billy Arkinstall.

"With righteousness imbue their hearts,
Their clumsy hands with skill,
Let light into their gloomy heads,
Their souls with pity fill.
Oh, Lord ! and for thy servant's sake
Put to an end I pray
The awful tomahawking of
The week that's fled-away."

Reedy Creek, Oct., 1901.


From the Wagga NSW Newspaper the Worker p. 5.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory