Words: Banjo Paterson Tune:
Traditional (The Lincolnshire Poacher)
Non-flash audio for iPhone, iPad etc
Come all ye lads of the droving days, ye gentlemen unafraid,
I'll tell you all of the greatest trip that ever a drover made,
For we rolled our swags, and we packed our bags, and taking our lives in hand,
We started away with a thousand goats, on the billy-goat overland.
There wasn't a fence that'd hold the mob, or keep 'em from their desires;
They skipped along the top of the posts and cake-walked on the wires.
And where the lanes had been stripped of grass and the paddocks were nice and green,
The goats they travelled outside the lanes and we rode in between.
The squatters started to drive them back, but that was no good at all,
Their horses ran for the lick of their lives from the scent that was like a wall:
And never a dog had pluck or gall in front of the mob to stand
And face the charge of a thousand goats on the billy-goat overland.
We found we were hundreds over strength when we counted out the mob;
And they put us in jail for a crowd of theives that travelled to steal and rob:
For every goat between here and Bourke, when he scented our spicy band,
Had left his home and his work to join in the billy-goat overland.
The illustration to this post is the copy of the 1933 edition of Paterson's collection from which this poem comes, The Animals Noah Forgot.