Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fine Old Border Squatter

Words: Unknown (Giant Genius, after Sir Wm Norcott, Barr.)
Tune: Henry Russell (Fine Old English Gentleman)

I am a Border Squatter, I have both stock and run,
And twice a year I come to town to seek for spree and fun
And when I'm there I carry on, the Devil, he knows how,
I chitt the girls, I sell the duns, and kick up such a row,
Like a fine old Border Squatter, one of the olden time.

My hut is built wilth slabs, without window or with door,
The roof is covered in with bark, and mother earth the floor
The dogs they are my only friends, they do just as they please
While I sit smoking by the fire with comfort and with ease,
Like a fine old Border Squatter, one of the olden time.

My dray comes now and then from town and always brings good cheer
The neighbours then come flocking in from statlons far and near
And there we sit around our fire and smoke our pipes till black,
Our grog we drink, our songs we sing, and jokes of old we crack, -
Like a fine old Border Squatter, one of the olden time.

But all things here will have a change, the grog is it an end,
The merrie nights we oft have had and more we hope to spend
For aching head will sometimes come in spite of jovial heart
Altho' so gay before were we when to Adelaide we did start,
Like a fine old Border Squatter, one of the present day.

At Adelaide when arrived we find our taxes we have to pay
Alas! our licenses and assessments are doubled every day,
For if you are behind your time the Commissioner he'll say,
"I'll fine you sir, £100, that fine you'll have to pay,"
Like a poor tax ridden Squatter one of the olden time.

The money that I saved so long intending for a spree,
I find I have to pay away to a Government called free
My funds being thus brought to a close the duns now call for pay,
High time it is that I resolve from town to start away,
Like a poor tax ridden Squatter, one of the present day.

My horse stands saddled at the door, I quaft my parting glass,
And drink the health and bid adieu to every Adelaide lass,
Thus leaving all the duns behind, I seek again repose,
And seated by my own fireside I banish all my woes,
Like a fine old jolly Squatter, one of the olden time.

An Australian version of Henry Russell's much-parodied Fine Old English Gentleman. Dated 6 March, 1860 at Mount Gambier and published in the Portland and Normanby General Advertiser on 12 March that year.

The illustration to this post is a portrait of Henry Russell.

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