Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Banks of the Reedy Lagoon


The sweet scented wattle sheds perfume around,
Enticing the bird and the bee,
As I lie and take rest, in a fern-covered nest
In the shade of a Currajong tree.
High up in the air I can hear the refrain
Of the butcher bird piping his tune,
For the Spring in her glory has come back again
To the banks of the reedy lagoon.

I've carried my bluey for many a mile,
My boots are worn out at the toes,
And I'm dressing this season in different style
From what I did last year, God knows!
My cooking utensils, I'm sorry to say,
Consist of a knife and a spoon;
And I've dry bread and tea, in a battered Jack Shea
On the banks of the reedy lagoon.

Oh where is poor Frankie (and how he could ride!)
And Johnny the kind hearted boy?
They tell me that lately he's taken a bride
A Benedick's life to enjoy.
And Mac the big Scotsman? I once heard him say.
He wrestled the famous Muldoon.
But they're all far away, and I'm lonely today
On the banks of the reedy lagoon.

Oh where is the lady I often caressed,
The girl with the sad dreamy eyes?
She pillows her head on another man's breast
Who tells her the very same lies!
My bed she would hardly be willing to share
Where I camp in the light of the moon!
But it's little I care, for I couldn't keep square,
On the banks of the reedy lagoon.

First heard from Peter Bate at the Top End Folk Club.

1 comment:

  1. Peter says he learnt the song from Manifold’s Penguin Book of Australian Folk Songs; Ron Edwards has collected it from Jack Crossland at Smithfield, FNQ; and Stewart & Keesing (1957) have it collected by Nancy and Geoff Wills from Lance Carew at Mataranka, NT.