Wallabi Joe [song, 1905]

[Editor: This was published in The Old Bush Songs, edited by Banjo Paterson, 1905; previously published in The Queenslander, 20 October 1894.]

Wallabi Joe

(Air: “The Mistletoe Bough”)

The saddle was hung on the stockyard rail,
And the poor old horse stood whisking his tail,
For there never was seen such a regular screw
As Wallabi Joe, of Bunnagaroo;
Whilst the shearers all said, as they say, of course.
That Wallabi Joe’s a fine lump of a horse;
But the stockmen said, as they laughed aside,
He’d barely do for a Sunday’s ride.

Chorus: Oh! poor Wallabi Joe.
O — oh! poor Wallabi Joe.

“I’m weary of galloping now,” he cried,
“I wish I were killed for my hide, my hide;
For my eyes are dim, and my back is sore,
And I feel that my legs won’t stand much more.”
Now stockman Bill, who took care of his nag,
Put under the saddle a soojee bag,
And off he rode with a whip in his hand
To look for a mob of the R.J. brand.

Chorus: Oh! poor Wallabi Joe, &c.

Now stockman Bill camped out that night,
And he hobbled his horse in a sheltered bight;
Next day of old Joe he found not a track,
So he had to trudge home with his swag on his back.
He searched up and down every gully he knew,
But he found not a hair of his poor old screw,
And the stockmen all said, as they laughed at his woe,
“Would you sell us the chance of old Wallabi Joe?”

Chorus: Oh! poor Wallabi Joe, &c.

Now as years sped by, and as Bill grew old,
It came into his head to go poking for gold;
So away he went with a spade in his fist,
To hunt for a nugget among the schist.
One day as a gully he chanced to cross,
He came on the bones of his poor old horse;
The hobbles being jammed in a root below
Had occasioned the death of poor Wallabi Joe.

Chorus: Oh! poor Wallabi Joe, &c.



Source:
A. B. Paterson (editor). The Old Bush Songs, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1905, pages 106-107

Previously published in:
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), Saturday 20 October 1894, page 740

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