Monday, August 8, 2011

Freehold on the Plain

Words: Traditional
Tune: Will S Hays (The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.)

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I’m a broken-down old squatter, my cash it is all gone,
Of troubles and bad seasons I complain;
My cattle are all mortgaged, of horses I have none,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

The stockyard’s broken down, and the woolshed’s
tumbling in;
I’ve written to the mortgagees in vain;
My wool it is all damaged and it is not worth a pin,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

I commenced life as a squatter some twenty years ago,
When fortune followed in my train;
But I speculated heavy and I’d have you all to know
That I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

I built myself a mansion, and chose myself a wife;
Of her I have no reason to complain;
For I thought I had sufficient to last me all my life,
But I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

And now I am compelled to take a drover’s life,
To drive cattle through the sunshine and the rain,
And to leave her behind me, my own dear loving wife —
We were happy on that freehold on the plain.

Another from Paterson's Old Bush Songs. To the tune of The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane, a song of very similar theme, with the second verse:

Oh the chimney's fallen down and the roof's all caved in
Lettin' in the sunshine and the rain
And the only friend I've got now is that good old dog of mine
And the little old log cabin in the lane

There's a great version by Fiddlin' John Carson at this link: Fiddlin John Carson Vol. 1 1923 - 1924 - Fiddlin John Carson

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