On the Road to Bangalow [poem by Jack Moses]

[Editor: This is a poem from Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse (1923) by Jack Moses.]

On the Road to Bangalow

I’ve left the stuffy city,
Where my nerves have had a jar,
Through the hustle and the bustle,
Till I dunno where I are.
I’m tramping in the open,
Just for freedom and a blow,
Where no coppers guard the corner,
On the road to Bangalow.

The Richmond hills are bonny,
And are worthy of a “boost,”
And we ought to crow our loudest,
Like the rooster on his roost.
I’ve seen them in the dawning,
And at sunset’s ruddy glow,
Where the kookaburra chuckles,
On the road to Bangalow.

There’s the ibis in the rushes,
And the blue cranes at the pool,
And the kiddies on their ponies,
All a-coming home from school.
The corn is getting riper,
While the pigs and poddies grow,
There’s money in the milkers,
On the road to Bangalow.

May the river go on flowing,
Just below the banker line,
And the grass all keep as green as wheat,
Away out Narromine!
Now I’m going to have a snifter,
With a cobber that I know,
And toast the lads and lassies,
On the road to Bangalow.

It’s not a Jimmy Woodser
’Cause I’ve got me cobber here,
And we’ll have another snifter
Just to toast the Pioneer.
We’ll drink this with our hats off,
’Cause we wouldn’t like to go
And forget the Digger’s father,
On the road to Bangalow.

Jack Moses, Beyond the City Gates: Australian Story & Verse, Sydney: Austral Publishing Co., 1923, pages 64-[64a] (the last stanza of the poem is on an unnumbered page, with a photograph, placed between pages 64 and 65)

Editor’s notes:
boost = promote, speak well of, to advance the cause of

Jimmy Woodser = someone who drinks alone, or a drink taken alone; the phrase dates from at least 1881, and was notably used in the 1892 poem “Jimmy Wood”, by Barcroft Boake, about a man who did not join in the custom of “shouting” (buying drinks for friends), and which ended with the line, “Who drinks alone — drinks toast to Jimmy Wood, sir”

poddies = plural of “poddy” (a poddy calf, a hand-fed calf; can also refer to an unbranded calf)

snifter = small drink of distilled liquor, such as bourbon, brandy, or whisky (may also refer to a vessel used to serve such drinks, a short-stemmed glass with a wide bowl and a narrower top)

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