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The Rabbit Trapper's Song (1902)


A worker who could not obtain employment in his own line in the city went up country and got a job rabbit trapping.
In the township one day in the store he overheard a sneering remark about his being "only one o' them rabbitin'
fellows, and this is his reply in rhyme: --

You say that killing rabbits is a very lowly game;
It's honest work, it seems to me--there's little in a name.
Your hands are whiter far than mine, your clothes are better too,
In the store, behind the counter, is the place for chaps like you.
But as sure as winter's coming and nipping winds will blow,
The people working in the towns have something still to know.

To measure yards of calico may be a noble thing--
I'd rather face the mountain side and hear the bell bird's ring.
If tailors' shops are far away it's little odds to me,
When blood and fur are flying round you can't beat dungaree.
It isn't heavy boots that make a fellow mean and low--
The people working in the towns have plenty yet to know.

If you could come along with me some morning when I start,
You'd feel the brightness of the air go stealing to your heart;
You'd reckon you were twice the man, and be so too perhaps.
While dew beads hang on all the grass along the line of traps.
You'd tell your mates when you went home that work in town was slow--
There's something up the country that some other fellows know.

There's pleasure working in the sun and frost and wind and rain,
There's glory on the. mountain top and on the shining plain,
There's fragrance in the spear grass fire, there's music in the creek,
And duff on Sunday at the hut, our great feast once a week;
Good healthy work for simple men, an honest wage to earn--
The people living in the towns have something still to learn.


From the Victorian Newspaper the Leader 3 May 1902 p. 6.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory