Hawking [song, 4 October 1873]

[Editor: This song was published in The Queenslander (4 October 1873). It was also included in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with some variations.]


Air — “Bow, wow, wow.”

Now shut your months, you loafers all,
You vex me with your twaddle;
You own a nag, or big or small,
A bridle and a saddle.
I you advise at once be wise,
And waste no time in talking,
But load your nags with damaged rags,
And make your fortune hawking.

Chorus — Hawk, hawk, hawk.
Our bread to win we’ll all begin
To hawk, hawk, hawk.

Of Englishmen and Irishmen
And Scotsmen there are many,
Of Germans and Italians, Jews,
Some scarce possess a penny;
Tho’ their beginning be but poor
(They’re packed themselves and walking),
They’ll make their pile at length, be sure,
If they continue hawking.

Chorus — Hawk, &c.

The stockmen and the bushmen and
The shepherds leave the station;
And the hardy bullock-punchers
Throw aside their occupation;
While some have horses, some have drays,
And some on foot are stalking,
We surely must conclude it pays
When everyone’s a hawking.

Chorus — Hawk, &c.

A life it is so full of bliss,
’Twould suit the very niggers,
And lads I know a hawking go
Who are sadly back in figures;
But penmanship’s not requisite,
Keep matters square by chalking,
Strokes with pencil, pen, or ruddle —
That’s exact enough for hawking.

Chorus — Hawk, &c.

The hawker’s gay for half the day,
While others work he’s spelling;
Though he may stay upon the way
His purse is always swelling.
With work his back is never bent,
With pain he’s never croaking;
Two hundred is the rate per cent
Of profit when a hawking.

Chorus — Hawk, &c.

Since pedlaring yields more delight
Than ever digging gold did,
And since to Fortune’s envied height
The path I have unfolded,
We’ll fling our moleskins to the dogs,
And don tweeds without joking,
And, honest men as well as rogues,
We’ll scour the country hawking.

Chorus — Hawk, &c.


The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), Saturday 4 October 1873, page 7

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