Australian Folk Songs

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The Hobo (1931)

"Yer got a zac about yer mate?
I'm clean bang out o' bread ?"
I let the speaker tell his tale,
And this is what he said :
"It almost seemed a century
Since I 'ave 'ad a boss,
I've done the round o' every State
Beneath the South'rn Cross ;
I've 'opped the fastest rattlers north,
An' south, an' east, an' west;
Yes, seen me native land be rail,
While seasons were the best.
I've done the coast o' Queensland with
A pack o' ration cards.
An' seen some dinkum scenery,
An' read the best o' bards.
I've snored quite sound inside o' sheds,
On Show-grounds built for 'oggs,
An' dreamt some windy night away
Inside o' 'ollow logs.
An' met some wags along the roads,
An' cultured sort o' blokes,
Ooh didn't seep ter compre'end
A 'obo's ways an' jokes.
When with the best 'obos
I Don't play no second part,
Gi' mg the 'ardest butcher,
I Know 'ow ter touch 'is 'art,
An' how ter ask a woman for
A "and-out or a 'at,
An' when it comes ter gettin' smokes
I 'old me own at that.
I 'elped a cove along a bit
Ooh didn't know the swag,
Times when yer wouldn't fatten on
What I 'ad in me bag;
One thing I've learnt along the road'
--is that the life is free ;
Another is--I'm only what
The world 'as made o' me.
I'll "leave yer now, thanks fer' the bob.
An' if me judgments right,
I'll 'op the first truck on that "mixed",
Wot leaves 'at ten ter-night."

P.O., Katoomba.


From the Queensland Newspaper the Blue Mountain Star 17 Jan 1931 p. 5.

Songs like this one are much more common right through the Great Depression than has formerly been recognised, but a number of Australian Newspapers ensured their popularity in those tough times.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory