Billy Nutts in Australia [song by Charles Thatcher, 1857]

[Editor: This song by Charles Thatcher was published in Thatcher’s Colonial Songster, 1857.]

Billy Nutts in Australia.

New Original Song by Thatcher.

I’m Billy Nutts wot always cuts
A figure, as a poet;
I’ve got some rhymes to suit the times,
And I means to let you know it.
I dare be swore you’ve heard before
My thoughts upon a trotter ;
Here’s something new I’ll now give you,
It’s lines upon a squatter.

Spoken — yes, lines upon the injured individual, who considers the gold fields a curse to the country.


After the style of Hogg, improved by Lamb.

Oh, you stupid, grumbling chap,
At you I means to have a rap;
For you always are complaining
Of your bad luck here, and feigning
That by the discovery of gold,
You fellows are completely sold;
But had net gold been found out here,
You all might then have, p’raps, looked queer,
And found no customers, I fear,
For that bad scabby mutton.

But now you sell your crops like fun;
Hay at an awful price per ton; .
And that’s the way we coves are done,
You avaricious glutton.

Signed, Billy Nutts.

Chorus — The clever verse that I rehearse,
No poetry book would sully;
Then all agree to welcome me,
I’m the bard of Sawpit Gully.

A fine career is opened here
For me in famed Australia;
The lines I make are sure to take,
And there’s no such thing as failure.
My experience I’ll new commence,
And my very best I’ll try, sirs,
Se that when away you shall not say
That Billy was a “shicer.”

Spoken. — No, in poetry I’m not a shicer, but regularly dead on the gutter; none of your old fossicked ideas, but something original. I’m a poet, by my style I’ll show it, Billy Nutts, go it.

After the style of Pitt, improved by Goldsmith.

Oh, you duffer, how I suffer,
It nearly makes me cry, air,
To stand and sing of such a thing
As a worthless, nasty shicer.
We hit the reef, you ugly thief,
And ’tis madness to be thinking,
Of the lots of slabs you took, my nabs,
And the time we spent in sinking.
To work we went, four months we spent,
Thought we were on the gutter;
But the truth we learnt, for we never earnt
Our blessed bread and butter.

Signed, W. Nutts.

The clever verse, &c.

The poor man here has nought to fear;
To some it seems a curse, sir,
Those coves that toil get golden soil,
With the swells it’s wice werser.
All kinds of work they seem to shirk,
For at home they lolled on sofas;
And so you see they prove to be
Most miserable loafers.

Spoken — Yes, regular loafers. By-the-by, I’ve got some lines on a loafer, that I’ll now recite to you.


Oh, you worthless, spunging chap,
Never worth a single rap,
Whenever down the road we pass,
You have the moat consummate brass;
You crawl about to get a glass,
But will not work, you stupid ass.
Of gold you never earn an ounce,
But on the flats you try to pounce,
And often come it on the bounce.
To all the restaurants you go,
And loaf about for weeks, you know;
But in paying up you’re very slow,
And your board you always owe for.

But to you it is a fatal blow,
When your gammon you’re compelled to stow;
To trust you longer they say “no,”
And with features of the deepest woe,
Out of the blessed place you go,
You miserable loafer.

Signed, Nutts.

The clever verse, &c.

Here’s some more lines I’ll recite to you.


After the style of “The Soldier’s Tear.

Upon the hill he turned,
To take a last fond look,
Of the diggers who were washing up,
Near the bridge, there, at the brook;
He heard the cradles rock,
So familiar to his ear;
And th’ inspector leaned against the fence,
And wiped away a tear.

Around the blessed creek,
Some diggers took a sight
At the inspector standing there,
And joed with all their might.
But he was too far off,
Their insolence to hear;
And he still kept leaning ’gainst the fence,
And brushed away a tear.

He turned and left the spot —
Oh, do not deem him weak,
For new were the inspector’s togs,
And quite plump was his cheek.
Go watch the jolly style,
These coves live in up here;
Be sure that those who have to leave,
Will wipe away a tear.

The clever verse, &c.

Charles R. Thatcher. Thatcher’s Colonial Songster, Containing All the Choice Local Songs, Parodies, &c., of the Celebrated Chas. R. Thatcher, Charlwood & Son, Melbourne, 1857, pages 10-13

Editor’s notes:
Ballaarat = the early spelling of Ballarat

duffer = a non-paying or unproductive mine

gammon = misleading, deceptive, or nonsensical talk, humbug (also a cured or smoked ham)

joed = a call of derision; from the call of warning regarding police on the diggings searching for diggers without gold licences, where a general call would go out amongst the diggers of “Joe”, being a reference to Governor Joseph LaTrobe

on the bounce = to make an arrogant demand (also, on the spur of the moment)

shicer = an unproductive mine (also can refer to a con-man, swindler, or trickster)

wice werser = visa versa (possibly referring to a Germanic pronunciation of the phrase)

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