The Old Keg of Rum [song, 1905]

[Editor: This was published in The Old Bush Songs, edited by Banjo Paterson, 1905.]

The Old Keg of Rum

My name is old Jack Palmer,
I’m a man of olden days,
And so I wish to sing a song
To you of olden praise.
To tell of merry friends of old
When we were gay and young;
How we sat and sang together
Round the Old Keg of Rum.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
How we sat and sang together
Round the Old Keg of Rum.

There was I and Jack the plough-boy,
Jem Moore and old Tom Hines,
And poor old Tom the fiddler,
Who now in glory shines;
And several more of our old chums,
Who shine in Kingdom Come,
We all associated round the
Old Keg of Rum.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
We all associated round
The Old Keg of Rum.

And when harvest time was over,
And we’d get our harvest fee,
We’d meet, and quickly raise the keg,
And then we’d have a spree.
We’d sit and sing together
Till we got that blind and dumb
That we couldn’t find the bunghole
Of the Old Keg of Rum.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
That we couldn’t find the bunghole
Of the Old Keg of Rum.

It’s jovially together, boys —
We’d laugh, we’d chat, we’d sing;
Sometimes we’d have a little row
Some argument would bring.
And oft-times in a scrimmage, boys,
I’ve corked it with my thumb,
To keep the life from leaking
From the Old Keg of Rum.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
To keep the life from leaking
From the Old Keg of Rum.

But when our spree was ended, boys,
And, waking from a snooze,
For to give another drain
The old keg would refuse,
We’d rap it with our knuckles —
If it sounded like a drum,
We’d know the life and spirit
Had left the Old Keg of Rum.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
We’d know the life and spirit
Had left the Old Keg of Rum.

Those happy days have passed away,
I’ve seen their pleasures fade;
And many of our good old friends
Have with old times decayed.
But still, when on my travels, boys,
If I meet with an old chum,
We will sigh, in conversation,
Of the Grand Old Keg of Rum.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
We will sigh, in conversation,
Of the Grand Old Keg of Rum.

So now, kind friends, I end my song;
I hope we’ll meet again,
And, as I’ve tried to please you all,
I hope you won’t complain.
You younger folks who learn my song,
Will, perhaps, in years to come,
Remember old Jack Palmer
And the OLD KEG of RUM.

Chorus
Oh! the Old Keg of Rum! the Old Keg of Rum!
Remember old Jack Palmer
And the Old Keg of Rum.



Source:
A. B. Paterson (editor). The Old Bush Songs, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1905, pages 89-92

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