The Bullock-Creek Picnic [song by Charles Thatcher, 1857]

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

The Bullock-Creek Picnic.

New Original Song, written and sung by Thatcher, with great applause.
Tune — “Kitty Jones.

An excursion in the summer is a pleasant kind of thing,
So of a certain picnic party I’m about to sing.
Some gentlemen and ladies who reside on Bendigo,
Went to spend the day at Lockwood — a charming spot, you know.
They took provisions with them, and sat under shady trees,
Fowls and prime ham sandwiches, champagne and Stilton cheese;
I’m told on good authority the turn-out was unique,
And there they rested on the banks of charming Bullock Creek.

The ride gave them an appetite, they feasted with delight,
And the fowls and other eatables they soon put out of sight;
To polish off the Stilton cheese not one of them did fail,
And Knockemdown, the auctioneer, walked into Bass’s ale.
The water trickled beautifully, and sparkled in the sun, .
“To have a bathe,” the ladies said, “Oh! wouldn’t it be fun;
The weather’s very hot, and so some shady pool we’ll seek,
And the gentlemen will all retire, whilst we go in the creek.”

They choose a little shady spot; the ladies then did say —
“Now, gentlemen, please to retire some hundred yards away;
And we furthermore require of you to watch around, for fear
That any passer-by or Chinaman should come too near.”
They did as they were hid, for off they walked up to the road,
And like military sentinels themselves away they stowed,
To hinder anyone that to the water down should sneak,
To view these charming nymphs, as they all bathed in Bullock Creek.

Now if ever down to Brighton or to Margate you have been,
Of course you are aware the ladies bathe from a machine;
With towels all in readiness, and steps to let them down —
And to disappoint the vulgar gaze, they wear a bathing gown.
But Margate and dear Brighton are very far away,
And no machines, with useful steps, to let them down had they;
And in no gowns were they arrayed; but if I the truth must speak, ‘
They’d not a blessed thing on when they bathed in Bullock Creek.

They ducked, and dived, and floundered, and the water they did dash,
And then just for amusement, themselves began to splash;
The bottom was fine gravel, and the water very clear,
And Mrs. G. exclaimed with glee, “Oh ain’t it stunning, dear?”
The gents, as I have said before, sat ’neath some shady trees,
And as they kept upon the watch, enjoyed the cooling breeze;
But they started up in terror, for they heard a fearful shreik,
Proceeding from the ladies, as they bathed in Bullock Creek.

Regardless of their dishabille, the spot they soon did reach,
As one of them from off her leg was trying to pull a leech;
There were two upon her shoulder, and a whopper on her calf;
And the gentlemen maliciously at them began to laugh.
Says Mrs. ——, “for shame, you men, retire again, I pray;
And you, you nasty auctioneer, just turn your head away
And stay beneath the trees there, till you hear another shriek.”
And then she adds, “I wish I’d never bathed in Bullock Creek.”

I trust that everyone will see a moral in my song;
The tale is quite authentic, and in it there’s nothing wrong.
An excursion’s very pleasant, I’m sure you will agree,
Especially in summer time, in this fine colony.
The experience of this charming picnic party to you teaches,
That if you want a bathe, you’d better keep clear of the leeches;
Without you’re fond of being bled, its plain that you should seek
Another spot, and not go in that dirty Bullock Creek.

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 24-26

Editor’s notes:
dishabille = (French) being carelessly or partially dressed, or undressed

[Editor: Corrected would’nt to wouldn’t.]

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