Friday, October 7, 2011

Wallaby Joe

Words: Unknown
Tune: Henry Bishop (The Mistletoe Bough)

The saddle was hung on the stockyard rail,
And the poor old nag stood whisking his tail,
For there never was seen such a regular screw
As old Wallaby Joe, of Bellagaroo;
Whilst the shearers all said, as a matter of course,
That Wallaby Joe was a fine cut of a horse;
But the stockmen cried, as they laughed aside,
He’d hardly do for a blackboy to ride.

Oh! poor Wallaby Joe.
Old Wallaby Joe of Bellagaroo

“I’m weary of galloping now,” he cried,
And my bones all ache in my poor old hide
For my eyes are dim, and my back is sore,
And I feel that my legs can't stand much more.”
Now Bill was a man who took care of his nag,
And put under his saddle an old sugee bag,
And off he went with a whip in his hand
To run in a mob of the O and bar brand.

Now stockman Bill camped out that night,
And he hobbled his horse in a sheltered bight;
Nex morn, of old Joe he found not a track,
So he had to walk home with his swag on his back.
And the shearers all cried, as they laughed at his woe
"Won't you sell us the chance of Old Wallaby Joe"
But Bill being riled, said, "I'm hanged if I do"
"For I'll wattle the ribs of that wretched old screw"

Now as years flew by, and Bill grew old,
It came into his head to go looking for gold;
So off he went with his pick and his spade
For digging, says he, shall now be my trade
It chanced as a gully he happened to cross
He came on the bones of his poor old horse;
The hobbles being jammed in a root below
Had occasioned the death of poor Wallaby Joe.

From John Meredith's notebooks in the National Library of Australia, transcribed from the The Queenslanders New Colonial Campfire Song Book (or to give it its full title:

First Number
Price 2s.
New Colonial
Camp Fire Song Book
containing popular songs of the day and new songs
Never before printed
an Old Explorer
(or any other man)
November 25th, 1865.

a book compiled and in part written by George Loyau.

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