The Wallaby Brigade [song, 1905]

[Editor: This song was published in The Old Bush Songs (1905), edited by Banjo Paterson. It was previously published in The Queenslander, 29 September 1894.]

The Wallaby Brigade

You often have been told of regiments brave and bold,
But we are the bravest in the land;
We’re called the Tag-rag Band, and we rally in Queensland,
We are members of the Wallaby Brigade.

Tramp, tramp, tramp across the borders,
The swagmen are rolling up, I see.
When the shearing’s at an end we’ll go fishing in a bend.
Then hurrah! for the Wallaby Brigade.

When you are leaving camp, you must ask some brother tramp
If there are any jobs to be had,
Or what sort of a shop that station is to stop
For a member of the Wallaby Brigade.

Chorus: Tramp, tramp, tramp, &c.

You ask me if they want men, you ask for rations then,
If they don’t stump up a warning should be made;
To teach them better sense — why, “Set fire to their fence”
Is the war cry of the Wallaby Brigade.

Chorus: Tramp, tramp, tramp, &c.

The squatters thought us done when they fenced in all their run,
But a prettier mistake they never made;
You’ve only to sport your dover and knock a monkey over —
There’s cheap mutton for the Wallaby Brigade.

Chorus: Tramp, tramp, tramp, &c.

Now when the shearing’s in our harvest will begin,
Our swags for a spell down will be laid;
But when our cheques are drank we will join the Tag-rag rank,
Limeburners in the Wallaby Brigade.

Chorus: Tramp, tramp, tramp, &c.

To knock a monkey over is to kill a sheep, monkey being slang for sheep in many parts of the bush.

A. B. Paterson (editor), The Old Bush Songs, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1905, pp. 125-126

Previously published in:
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), 29 September 1894, p. 596

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