Australian Folk Songs

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The Heart of a Swaggie (1926)

Night is coming' and it's cold, people all homeward bound,
Life don't mean a thine to me--just a poor old hound;
Cripes! my feet are sore to-night, trampin' all the day,
Looks as if rain was comin' too wonder where I'll stay?

Seems that everybody else has some place to go,
But, well, I just tramp along, sometimes I dunno,
Why I keep on livln' all along, and down and out.
Hungry, weary, friendless--wanderin' all about.

Well, the night on me now and that moon is pale.
I think I'll eat my crust or bread,
h-m-n. I think it's gettin' stale;
Hello! what's that across the street? Thought I saw it fall;
What the devil can it be? Black, and round and small.

Yea, that rain is cold: I think I'll go and see
What's that crlngtn' In the gutter--all forlorn like me!
Well, 'well, little chap, my you're shiverin' with the cold.
Here now, puppy, don't Be scared. I ain't goin' to scold.

Eat this lump of bread, do I wish I had more stuff;
Here, I'll wrap you in my coat. I'll be warm enough;
Cripes; your tail's a-waggln' now, I think you're on the mend,
Look here, let's, tramp together, pup--I too, need a friend.

Longreach, TED ROSS.


From the Queensland Newspaper the Townsville Daily Bulletin 26 Jun 1936 p. 5.

Songs and poems like this were much more common right through the Great War and the Great Depression than has formerly been recognised, but a variety of Australian Newspapers ensured their popularity in those tough times.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory