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Song of the Reportee (1887)

There are many who live but for pleasure,
There are many who labour for wealth,
There are many who seek after treasure.
And many who hunt after health.
But reporters, in craftsmanship brothers
A race of peculiar men,
Spend their lifetime in working for others
Sing hey for the penicil and pen.

Each night in the week, even Sunday,
When others attend to their prayers,
He's at work, and expected on Monday
At his place, or the editor stares.
He reports the Eight Hours' Demonstration
With a grin that's satirical when
He reflects on his own situation--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

If a fire should break out in the city,
Or a murder be done in the dark ;
Should a big pot say something that's witty,
Or a matron elope with her spark ;
Should a body be found in the water,
Or gold be observed in a glen ;
There is work for the happy reporter--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

At theatres, concerts, or dances,
Elections, or counting of votes,
The public is wrong if it fancies
A reporter's not there with his notes.
Post-mortems, a scientist's lecture,
Thore's nothing that's out of his ken ;
From a goat to new architecture--
Sing hey for the pencil and pen.

The joys of a married existence
Are things he knows only in dreams,
For all night with a steady persistence
"More copy" the editor screams.
Such being the ease it's a pity
If he can't have a spree now and then ;
So join me in yelling this ditty--
"Hurrah for. the pencil and pen" !

W. B. Livesey.


From the Tasmanian Newspaper the Launceston Examiner 9 Jul 1887 p. 2.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory