Tune: Allan Cunningham (A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea)
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A bright sun and a loosened rein,
A whip whose pealing sound
Rings forth amid the forest trees
As merrily forth we bound—
As merrily forth we bound, my boys,
And, by the dawn’s pale light,
Speed fearless on our horses true
From morn till starry night.
“Oh! for a tame and quiet herd,”
I hear some crawler cry;
But give to me the mountain mob
With the flash of their tameless eye—
With the flash of their tameless eye, my boys,
As down the rugged spur
Dash the wild children of the woods,
And the horse that mocks at fear.
There’s mischief in you wide-horned steer,
There’s danger in you cow;
Then mount, my merry horsemen all,
The wild mob’s bolting now—
The wild mob’s bolting now, my boys,
But ’twas never in their hides
To show the way to the well-trained nags
That are rattling by their sides.
Oh! ’tis jolly to follow the roving herd
Through the long, long summer day,
And camp at night by some lonely creek
When dies the golden ray.
Where the jackass laughs in the old gum tree,
And our quart-pot tea we sip;
The saddle was our childhood’s home,
Our heritage the whip.
This parody of Allan Cunningham's A Wet Sheet and A Flowing Sea is from Paterson's Old Bush Songs.
Allan Cunningham portrait by Henry Room (1840)