Thursday, July 21, 2011

Australia's On The Wallaby


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Our fathers came in search of gold, the claim that proved a duffer
The syndicates, the banks, went broke and so we had to suffer,
We're all for freedom for ourselves, ourselves and mates of toil,
Australia's on the wallaby and the billy's on the boil.

Australia's on the wallaby oh listen to the cooee
The kangaroo he packs his port and the emu shoulders Bluey
The boomerangs are whizzing round, the dingo scratches gravel
The possum, bear and bandicoot are always on the travel.

With old tiger snakes and damper sizzling on the coals,
The droughts and floods and ragged duds and dried up waterholes
Oh sun-scorched plains where shade is not, they're asking us to toil,
Australia's sons are weary and the billy's on the boil.

The kooka calls the bats and now the black duck and the shag,
The the mallee hen and the platypus are rolling up their swags,
The curlew waves his last goodbye beside some long lagoon
And the brolga does his last gay waltz to the lyre-bird's mocking tune

From Authentic Australian Bush Ballads (ed John Meredith and Alan Scott). Accompanied by the following note:

A depression song from Northern Queensland which probably only dates back to the 1930s.

The illustration to this post is a watercolour, On the Wallaby Track, painted in 1913 by Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo (1870-1955) and held by the Manly Art Gallery & Museum.

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