Stephen Cain [song by Charles Thatcher, 1857]

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

Stephen Cain.

Parody on “Tubal Cain,” by Thatcher.

Oh, Stephen Cain was a nice young man,
And he went to Bendigo;
In the days when Eagle Hawk was young,
About three years ago.
And he rose with the cock at five o’clock,
And toiled until ’twas late;
And fortune kindly smiled on him,
For he took out twelve pounds weight.
And he sang, “Hurrah for the nuggets so bright,
Hurrah! for a digger’s life;
I like this country vastly well,
So I’ll go and look out for a wife.”

He took his lob, then, down to town,
Along with another pal;
And then kept open his weather eye,
To look out for a nice young gal.
But he couldn’t find a lass to his mind,
Though there were lots of every size —
Some with carrotty hair, some dark, some fair,
And come with gravy eyes.
And they sang, hurrah, for this jolly young brick,
Who the right thing means to do;
Hurrah for his cash, which he means to flash,
And hurrah for his nuggets too.

At the play one night he at length caught sight,
Of a very nice young maid;
Home with her he walked, and most lovingly talked
And to her his addresses he paid.
He told her that he’d just come down
From the diggings with a lob;
And she said in return she’d just landed, as one
Of Missis Chisholm’s mob.
And he popped the question, and she agreed
To become this digger’s wife.
And they sang, “hurrah! fal, lal, lal, lal, la,
Won’t we lead a jolly life.”

They went to church the very nest day,
And she came out precious flash;
And he found his Sal the identical gal,
That knew how to spend his cash.
She bought satins so nice, no matter what price,
Till their tin ran very low;
And he said, “my dear, I must go, ’tis clear,
For more nuggets on Bendigo.”
So the very next day he loaded a dray,
And to Bendigo they went;
And when he arrived he soon rigged up
A comfortable tent.

But a mournful change had come o’er the spot,
For he hardly knew it again;
And he found the ground was all torn up,
And he viewed the drives with pain.
He saw Chinese, like swarms of bees,
Puddling surface in a tub;
Pick and spade he plied, and his best he tried,
But he hardly earnt his grub.
And he said alas, I’ve been a great ass,
Whatever shall I do?
Confound the way I’ve spent my tin,
And confound those Chinese too.

And for many a day poor Stephen Cain
Kept brooding o’er his woe;
And his wife, remarking how things went,
To upbraid him wasn’t slow.
And she’d sit in the tent, while to work he went,
And all day nobblerise ;
And when drunk she’d get cross, and the crockery toss,
And blow up sky-high, no flies.
And she sang, hurrah, for brandy hot,
Hurrah, for the steaming gin;
And he soon found out in the choice of a wife,
He’d been deucedly taken in.

One day whilst at work, as hard as a Turk,
From the tent away she ran;
And he found the young slut right off had cut
With another more fortunate man.
But he sang, “Hurrah! it’s as well as it is,
It’s jolly good riddance for me,
For if I’d made a thousand pounds,
She’d have spent it, I plainly see;
And if kind Fortune smile again,
And I get another lob,
I’ll always steer clear, by Jingo, no fear,
Of this emigration mob.

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 22-24

Editor’s notes:
Chisholm = Caroline Chisholm, who was heavily involved in promoting the welfare of female immigrants to Australia

nobblerise = to drink frequently

[Editor: Corrected could’nt to couldn’t.]

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