A Bullock-Driver’s Song [song by Louis Esson]

[Editor: This song by Louis Esson was published in Red Gums and Other Verses (1912).]

A Bullock-Driver’s Song.

Yer gives er man the drought
Callin’ yer, an’ haulin’ yer
In the crick an’ out.

* * *

Mud an’ slush an’ slime!
Yer Hindu calves, it’s time
Ter pull ther lovely log
Outer this gawd-sent bog. . .
But ain’t yers rollin’ fat?
My oath! we’ll work orf that!

* * *

There and back
Always on the track.
I ain’t the bloke ter curse,
I’ve seen the travellin’ worse.
Gee-on, there, up the hill,
It’s ten mile ter the mill.
Ten mile o’ pretty goin’
Wi’ roarin’ cricks o’erflowin’,
Trees fallen, Hell-fire streamin’
An’ pantin’ bullocks steamin’.

* * *

Me curse on flooded lakes,
An’ bless the big black bogs
Choked wi’ stumps an’ logs,
An’ tracks wot twist like snakes!

* * *

Come-hee, yer sinners, now!
Bill, yer spotted Sow!
Tom, yer crimson Crawler!
Pete, yer purple Brawler!
Ye’re slower’ nor yer granny,
Yairs, I’m a-torkin’ to you, Danny,
Gerrup, yer scarlet Cow!

Louis Esson, Red Gums and Other Verses, Melbourne: Fraser & Jenkinson, 1912, pages 42-43

Editor’s notes:
bloke = man, chap, fellow

crick = creek

crimson = a euphemism for “bloody”

granny = grandmother

o’erflowing = overflowing

pretty going = hard going; hard work

purple = a euphemism for “bloody” (may also refer to rude or shocking language)

scarlet = a euphemism for “bloody”

Vernacular spelling in the original text:
ain’t (am not)
ain’t (aren’t; are not)
an’ (and)
come-hee (come here)
er (a)
gawd (god)
gerrout (get out)
gerrup (get up)
o’ (of)
orf (off)
outer (out of)
ter (to)
ther (the)
torkin’ (talking)
wi’ (with)
wot (what)
yairs (yes)
yer (you)
ye’re (you’re; you are)
yers (“yous”; you) [plural]

Speak Your Mind