Australian Folk Songs
songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home
The Hut Upon The Rise (1909) [By Bronzewing.] It was close to Wambiana, where the old Macquarie flows,
Where the wilga, and the coolabah, and sighing she-oak grows.
There an old hut stood for years, and 'twas said there were strange cries,
And it got the name of being the haunted hut upon the rise. Well, a Jackaroo named Simpson, when the shearing was in swing,
And the mustering, and branding, and in fact 'most everything
That is done upon a station at this special time of year,
When the "Guns" of every district had settled down to shear. Well, this Jackaroo Bill Simpson, whom the shearers reckoned mad,
Had been for weeks a hatching of a joke that was not bad.
So one night, when all the shearers were playing "crib" and loo,
To the hut upon the rise went this cunning Jackaroo ; With old bells, tins, and kettles he'd make a hellish noise,
Till he'd see the shearers and the rowdy pick-up boys
Come hurrying from the doorways of their huts in great surprise,
When they heard the devilish rumpus in the hut upon the rise. And the shearers all went to it--even to the shearers' cook--
And swore in every corner of the hut they'd have a look
They would find the blessed spirit if they had to wait till morn ;
But they could have gone back to bed--the spirit he had gone. This Simpson, Jackaroo Simpson, who worked the haunting plan,
Before he started haunting would count up every man,
And if none of them were missing, with a twinkle in his eyes
He'd leave their hut and scamper to the hut upon the rise. And nigh throughout the shearing, till the sheep were near all done,
Did this Jackaroo Bill Simpson enjoy his bit of fun.
But at last the shearers tumbled, or in plainer words they thought
That Simpson was the spirit and they'd have a little sport. It was Carroty Jim, the ringer, who hailed from Ballarat,
And a rouseabout from Minindie and the cook, who was no flat,
Who formed the plan to catch him and swore to give him pies ;
So set to work to trap him in the hut upon the rise. They had found his "kit" in a chaff bag on the ceiling stowed away,
Where Simpson hid them after he had finished up the play.
He would give the bag a shaking, then rattle it on the floor,
Then off he'd go to the homestead, when the shearers came to their door. So the cook he got a pumpkin and scooped the middle out,
While for colored tissue paper the others looked about,
And a little bit of candle--it was a trifle hard to find,
For a slush light guides the shearer, it is a simple kind. And a tent-fly owned by Carroty Jim, they couldn't sport a sheet,
Was to complete the raiments of the ghost the ghost would meet,
And Carroty Jim, who'd wear it, said "when he sees them bloomin' eyes
I swear it will make him shiver in the hut upon the rise." The pumpkin it was finished, and the tissue paper bright
Was pasted on the holes to dim the candle light,
And holes cut in the top and back to give the candle air,
When one and all decided it would give the ghost a scare. The night to work the little dodge was not long drawing round,
And Carroty Jim, who bore a grin, with tent-fly rolled around.
The pumpkin mask, a good one too, said "suppose the beggar dies,
And to see a ghost will kill the ghost in the hut upon the rise." So behind the door in the old hut with this ghostly rig out on
Stood Carroty, whilst through the holes a sickening glimmer shone.
The mask was fastened on his head, the tent-fly over all,
Except a place to show the face, had been cut out, that's all. It was not long he waited when the ghost of other nights
Came hurrying to the hut thinking everything was right.
He entered and was lifting down his rattles from their place
When, lo ! great scott, another ghost was grinning in his face. The new born ghost then caught him by the arm and led him out,
He was that blessed frightened that he couldn't even shout.
He was led off to the shearers' hut and could scarcely realise
That, 'twas Carroty who caught him in the hut upon the rise. All the shearers and the tarboys, the rouseabouts and the cook,
Came hurrying out for at the ghost to have a look.
He pleaded hard for mercy but they heeded not his cries,
But gave him such a ducking he'll remember till he dies. And before the day was breaking there was trudging on a track
That leads to Ballarora with his swag upon his back,
It was this Jackaroo Simpson while the stars were in the skies,
Striding out like Billy Hazes from the hut upon the rise. Notes From the NSW Newpaper the Wellington Times 23 Sep 1909 p. 2. Top
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory