Monday, May 9, 2011

The Old Bark Hut




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Oh, my name is Bob the Swagman before you all I stand
And I've had many ups and downs while travelling through the land
I once was well-to-do my boys but now I am stumped up
And I'm forced to go on rations in an old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
I'm forced to go on rations in an old bark hut

Ten pounds of flour ten pounds of beef some sugar and some tea
That's all they give to a hungry man until the Seventh Day
If you don't be mighty sparing you'll go with a hungry gut
For that's one of the great misfortunes in an old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
For that's one of the great misfortunes in an old bark hut

The bucket you boil your beef in has to carry water too
And they'll say you're getting mighty brash if you should ask for two
I've a billy and a pint-pot and a broken-handled cup
And they all adorn the table in the old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
And they all adorn the table in the old bark hut

Faith, the table is not made of wood as many you have seen
For if I had one half so good I'd think myself serene
'Tis only an old sheet of bark God knows when it was cut
It was blown from off the rafters of the old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
It was blown from off the rafters of the old bark hut

And of furniture there's no such thing 'twas never in the place
Except the stool I sit upon and that's an old gin-case
It does us for a safe as well but you must keep it shut
Or the flies would make it canter round the old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
Or the flies would make it canter round the old bark hut

If you should leave it open and the flies should find your meat
They'll scarcely leave a single piece that's fit for man to eat
But you musn't curse nor grumble what won't fatten will fill up
For what's out of sight is out of mind in an old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
For what's out of sight is out of mind in an old bark hut

In the summertime when the weather's warm this hut is nice and cool
And you'll find the gentle breezes blowing in through every hole
You can leave the old door open or you can leave it shut
There's no fear of suffocation in the old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
There's no fear of suffocation in the old bark hut

In the winter-time preserve us all! to live in there's a treat
Especially when it's raining hard and blowing wind and sleet
The rain comes down the chimney and your meat is black with soot
That's a substitute for pepper in an old bark hut

In an old bark hut, in an old bark hut
That's a substitute for pepper in an old bark hut

I've seen the rain come in this hut just like a perfect flood
Especially through that great big hole where once the table stood
There's not a blessed spot me boys where you could lay your nut
But the rain is sure to find you in the old bark hut

In an old bark hut, in an old bark hut
But the rain is sure to find you in the old bark hut

So beside the fire I make me bed and there I lay me down
And think myself as happy as the king that wears a crown
But as you'd be dozing off to sleep a flea will wake you up
Which makes you curse the vermin in the old bark hut

In an old bark hut, in an old bark hut
Which makes you curse the vermin in the old bark hut

Faith such flocks of fleas you never saw they are so plump and fat
And if you make a grab at one he'll spit just like a cat
Last night they got my pack of cards and were fighting for the cut
I thought the Devil had me in the old bark hut

In an old bark hut, in an old bark hut
I thought the Devil had me in the old bark hut

So now my friends I've sung my song and that as well as I could
And I hope the ladies present won't think my language rude
And all ye younger people in the days when you grow up
Remember Bob the Swagman and the old bark hut

In an old bark hut in an old bark hut
Remember Bob the Swagman and the old bark hut


Another from Paterson's Old Bush Songs. Lyrics from Mark Gregory's Australian Folk Songs site.

Recorded with an 1859 Wheatstone baritone concertina.

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