Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freedom's On The Wallaby

Words: Henry Lawson
Tune: Traditional (At the Close of an Irish Day)

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Our fathers toiled for bitter bread while loafers thrived beside them
But food to eat and clothes to wear their native land denied them
And so they left their native land in spite of their devotion
And so they came or if they stole were sent across the ocean

Our fathers toiled to make a home hard grubbing twas and clearing
They wasn't troubled much by lords when they was pioneering
But now that we have made the land a garden full of promise
Old Greed must crook his dirty hand and come and take it from us

So we must fly a rebel flag as others did before us
And we must sing a rebel song and join in rebel chorus
We'll make the tyrants feel the sting of those that they would throttle
They needn't say the fault is ours if blood should stain the wattle

Australia's a big country an' Freedom's humping bluey
An' Freedom's on the Wallaby Oh dont you hear her cooey
She's just begun to boomerang she'll knock the tyrants silly
She's going to light another fire and boil another billy

Once Freedom couldn't stand the glare of Royalty's regalia
She left the loafers where they were and came out to Australia
But now across the mighty main the eagle comes to bind us
We never thought we'd see again the wrongs we left behind us.

An edited version of Henry Lawson's famous commentary on the 1891 shearers' strike, set to a traditional Irish tune, At the Close of an Irish Day.

From the cloudstreet album, Clouds on the Road.

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