Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Irishman's Song


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Sure it's just about ten years ago as near as I can tell
Since I packed up all my traps and bid my friends at home farewell,
For I'm off to Australia to see my brother Jack,
And if there's any chance out there, I'll not be coming back.

All I possessed was ninepence and a dirty one pound note
When I paid my fare and wrote to Jack to meet me at the boat
When I got there my brother Jack and half a dozen more
Were waving hats and handkerchiefs before I got on shore

Sure I got a hearty welcome the moment I did land
Saying, "God bless you ,Barney" with outstretched hand.
And then, to make me welcome for the remainder of the day
We sampled Irish whiskey in the pub along the way.

We soon knocked all the stuffing out of my dirty one pound note
And Sullivan to keep it up went out and pawned his coat
We swallowed that and other things till ten o'clock that night
And every mother's son of us got roaring blessed tight.

Next day I put the plug in, I went a job to seek
I got work at the gas works at thirty bob a week
In a month they made me ganger, and now I'm overseer
And I think I'll own the gasworks in about another year.

Now Jack and all the other boys are working under me
So now it doesn't become me to go with me on a spree
But I go to private bars where I can quench my thirst
And I'll never forget the fun we had the day I landed first

And now I settled down and taken myself a wife
I have a little family, so I'll be here for life
And when I think of that meeting, with pleasure I recall
That Irishmen throughout the world are brothers after all.

From Singabout, Volume 5, Number 2, October, 1964.

Duke Tritton's note on "The Irishman's Song": "Was travelling with a mob of sheep form Peak Hill to Coolah in 1910. There were five in the team, Billy McBeth, the boss drover, Tim and Tiger Schurr, Joe Goodman and myself. All were good mates and all could sing a fair song, and we all learned to roar it around the campfire. Three years ago I met Joe Goodman again, and he recalled the song to my mind, and we sang it in memory of our three mates who had passed on."

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