Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Pommy's Lament


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All you on emigration bent,
With home and England discontent,
Come listen to my sad lament
About the bush of Australia.

Illawarra, Mittagong,
Parramatta, Wollongong,
If you wish to become an orang-outang
Well, go to the bush of Australia.

Once I possessed a thousand pounds,
Says I to meself how grand it sounds,
For a man to be farming his own grounds
In the promising land of Australia.

When coming out the ship got lost,
In a very sad plight we reached the coast,
And very nearly made a roast
For the savages of Australia.

Escaped from thence I lighted on
A fierce bushranger with his gun,
Who borrowed my garments, every one,
For himself in the bush of Australia.

Sydney town we reached at last,
Says I to meself, all danger's passed,
Now I'll make me fortune fast
In the promising land of Australia.

So off I went with cash in hand,
Upon the map I bought my land,
But found it naught but barren sand
When I got to the bush of Australia.

Of sheep I got a famous lot;
Some died of hunger, some of rot,
But the divil a lot of rain we got
In this promising land of Australia.

My convicts, they were always drunk,
And kept me in a mighty funk,
Says I to meself as to bed I sunk,
I wish I were out of Australia.

Of ills I've had enough, you'll own,
But something else my woes to crown,
One night my bark hut tumbled down
And settled me in Australia.

Of cash and homestead thus bereft,
The ruddy spot I gladly left,
Making it over by deed of gift
To the savages of Australia.

Now stones upon the road I break,
And earn my seven bob a week.
'Tis better surely than the freak
Of settling down in Australia.

Credited to Muriel Whalan in Meredith and Scott's Authentic Australian Bush Ballads which dates this song to the early 19th Century and notes the use at the time of aboriginal words in "nonsense" choruses.

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