Monday, November 28, 2011

The Carrier's Song

Words:  Unknown
Tune:  Traditional (Bow, Wow, Wow)

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To sing you all a pleasant song, I now feel in the mind, sir,
For travelling on the road each day, there's something strange you'll find, sir.
It's strange to know the once-good tracks, no longer we can trust, sir,
For every road we travel now, there's nothing there but dust, sir.

Dust, dust, dust,
Along the roads there's nothing there but dust, dust, dust.

I pity those poor carriers, who on the road oft travel,
With gibs of horses quite knocked up by ruts and sand and gravel.
No water on the way they find, though they in vain may seek, sir,
For dust has filled each waterhole, each gully and dry creek, sir.

If to New England e'er they go, and take much heavy loading,
I fear they'll find their horses then  will need some extra goading,
As stuck upon the Moonbi Range, in them they cannot trust, sir;
Do all they can they will not pull the high load through the dust, sir.

Now, too much rain's a different thing to what we do require
In rainy weather well you know, you can't keep in the fire;
As stuck upon the creek you ask to get a pull out,
From some bull-puncher who has just got his own team with wool out.

Rain, rain, rain,
Along the road there's nothing there but rain, rain, rain.

So now I've sung in humble rhyme the trails of the road, sir,
Of what a driver must endure, who takes a heavy load, sir;
How he may be stuck fast enough, for many, many weeks, sir,
Though 'twould be naught if government would only bridge the creeks, sir.

From Warren Fahey's Australian Folk Songs and Bush Ballads.

The illustration is a photograph by AJ Campbell from around 1900 entitled, Bogged.  From the collection of Museum Victoria.

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