Links to all of the poetry and songs included on the Institute of Australian Culture site, up to 31 November 2015.
See also: Poetry and songs, 1901-1954.
These poems and songs are either written in Australia, by Australians, or regarding Australia. The list includes two works which were created with no direct relationship to Australia, but which have been included as they are an iconic part of Australia’s military traditions: “The Ode of Remembrance” (1914) and “In Flanders’ Fields” (1916).
This list is arranged in chronological order.
Poems included within books on the site are not listed individually; instead, a link is given to the individual books, each of which has its own contents list.
Books and booklets are marked with an asterisk *.
Poetry included within a longer item, such as within articles, newspaper columns, and reviews, are marked with a hash #.
Music videos are listed separately:
1) Rock music and pop music [videos]
2) Folk music and bush music [videos]
3) Early music [videos]
Justices and Old Bailey [song, circa 1780-1812]
Note: Contains elements later used in the popular song “Botany Bay”. Year unknown.
Botany Bay: A New Song [song, November 1786]
Note: The popular song of the same name, “Botany Bay”, is included in this list with the entries for the year 1885.
Botany Bay [poem, January 1787]
Visit of Hope to Sydney-Cove, Near Botany-Bay [poem by Erasmus Darwin, 1789]
The Convicts’ Departure [song, 1790]
Young Henry the Poacher [song, 1800s]
Also known as “Henry’s Downfall”; originally printed as a broadside ballad. Year unknown.
Prologue [“True patriots all” poem, 1801]
A Rum Effect [12 March 1803]
Epitaph [poem, 29 July 1804]
The Cottager [poem, 26 May 1805]
[Friendly Admonition; Native Habits] [poems, 6 November 1808]
Two early poems. No authorship is given, although the first poem is signed “S”. The second poem includes an early usage of the word “Australasia”.
The Little Mendicant [poem, 9 July 1809]
A Strange Mistake [poem, 17 September 1809]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth Day [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 9 June 1810]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth Day, 1811 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 19 January 1811]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth-Day, 1812 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 6 June 1812]
Effusions of Gratitude [poem, 30 January 1813]
This 1813 poem contains a rare early usage in print of the word “Australia” (see the 4th line), especially as applied to the discovered continent (i.e. as distinct from any early references to a theoretical southern land mass); this pre-dates Matthew Flinder’s recommendation of the word “Australia” in his A Voyage to Terra Australis (published July 1814); although the word “Australia” had been used in some other publications prior to 1813.
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1814 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 22 January 1814]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1815 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 21 January 1815]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth Day, 1816 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 8 June 1816]
Song: To the Tune of Rule Britannia [1 February 1817]
A song, written by a Mr. Jenkins, sung at a function in 1817 to celebrate the founding of the colony of New South Wales.
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1818 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 24 January 1818]
Ode for His Majesty’s Birth-Day, 1818 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 6 June 1818]
Ode for the Queen’s Birth-Day, 1819 [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 23 January 1819]
Song, for the Commemoration Dinner, January 26, 1820 [song by Michael Massey Robinson, 5 February 1820]
A song written for the anniversary of the founding of the colony of New South Wales.
Ode For His Majesty’s Birth-Day [poem by Michael Massey Robinson, 18 August 1821]
On Affixing a Tablet to the Memory of Captain Cook, and Sir Joseph Banks, Against the Rock of their First Landing in Botany Bay [22 March 1822]
The Slave [poem, 6 November 1823]
Australasia [poem by William Wentworth, 25 March 1824]
To Miss * * * * * * on Her Arrival in New South Wales [poem, 29 April 1824]
Anniversary meeting [including a song by Michael Massey Robinson, 3 February 1825]
# An article about an “Australia Day” celebration, including a song by Michael Massey Robinson, which was elsewhere published under the title of “Song, for the Commemoration Dinner, 1825”.
To J——. [poem, 10 February 1825]
Australian Hymn [song, by the Rev. John Dunmore Lang, 1826 (republished 1835)]
A republication of a song which was originally published in Aurora Australis; or Specimens of Sacred Poetry, for the Colonists of Australia (1826) by John Dunmore Lang.
The Violet, an Acrostic [poem, 20 October 1826]
[Australia’s Birth-day] [song, 3 February 1827]
This song from 1827 was written to the tune of “Patrick’s Day” for the anniversary of the founding of New South Wales, later to be known as Australia Day.
Lines addressed to Miss ———, of V. D. Land [poem, 9 April 1828]
A Hot Day in Sydney [poem, 29 January 1829]
On the Occasion of Meeting a Young Lady at the Last Public Ball [poem, 2 May 1829]
Lines Suggested by the Recent Death of a Relative [poem, 26 August 1830]
Lines Written at “Lake Farm,” Port Macquarie, the Property of A. C. Innes, Esq. [poem, 11 January 1831]
[Her dark blue eyes] [poem, 4 October 1832]
The Wreck [poem by Charles Harpur, 20 December 1833]
We Met [poem, 14 February 1834]
Verses Occasioned by the Death of a Child of the Measles [poem by Charles Harpur, 12 May 1835]
The Hectic To Her Nurse [poem by Charles Harpur, 22 May 1835]
The Minstrel’s Last Lay [poem by Charles Harpur, 23 May 1835]
The Broken Heart’s Carouse [poem by Charles Harpur, 2 June 1835]
To Imagination [poem by Charles Harpur, 9 June 1835]
Love’s Memories [poem by Charles Harpur, 12 June 1835]
Memory’s Genesis [poem by Charles Harpur, 10 July 1835]
To the Harp of Australia [poem by Charles Harpur, 19 September 1835]
Melody [poem by Charles Harpur, 26 September 1835]
The Adieu [poem, 3 September 1836]
On Friendship [poem, 13 September 1836]
Reason and Passion [poem, 2 November 1837]
The Aboriginal Mother [poem by Eliza Hamilton Dunlop, 13 December 1838]
[A Very Sad Account of Van Dieman’s Land (the “Lament” of Sarah Collins); and The London ’Prentice-Boy] [April 1839]
Song [Of Britain’s Fair Daughters] [song, 15 October 1840]
Song of Remembrance [5 January 1841]
Our Children’s Native Land [poem by Henry Parkes, 20 July 1841]
The Aboriginal Mother [song by Eliza Hamilton Dunlop, 15 October 1841]
Billy Barlow in Australia [song, 2 September 1843]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with minor variations.
Scraps from a Bushman’s Note Book [poem, 22 January 1844]
The “Cataraqui” [poem, 26 November 1845]
Epitaph for a Sailor [poem by Charles Harpur, 4 November 1846]
The Tree of Liberty [poem by Charles Harpur, 4 November 1846]
Love in a Cottage [poem by Daniel Deniehy, 1909 (first published 1847)]
Poetic talent of the Aborigines of Australia [songs, 3 March 1848]
[Elegy, on the death of E. B. Kennedy] [poem, 26 June 1849]
Stanzas, Written on the Death of an Irish Emigrant Girl at Sea [poem, 16 November 1850]
The Bush Fire [poem by Charles Harpur, 31 March 1851]
Songs for the Miners. No. I. [song, 22 May 1851]
Songs for the Miners. No. 2. [song, 24 May 1851]
Songs for the Miners. No. 3. [song, 26 May 1851]
Noon in the Forest at Midsummer [poem by Charles Harpur, 27 May 1851]
Songs for the Miners. No. IV. [song, 30 May 1851]
Lines on the Discovery of Gold in Australia [poem, 5 January 1852]
An Anthem for the Australasian League [song by Charles Harpur, 1853]
On Tasmania’s Receiving the Writ of Freedom [poem by Caroline Leakey, 1854]
The Prisoner’s Hospital, Van Diemen’s Land [poem by Caroline Leakey, 1854]
Australian Anthem: The Sun of Australia [song, 17 October 1854]
The Dream [poem by Menie Parkes, 19 June 1855]
This poem was later re-written as A Dream (1867).
The Old House in Park Street [poem, 22 September 1855]
A poetic advertisement, encouraging the public to buy baskets to carry their food and drinks to the opening of the Sydney and Parramatta Railway.
Australia’s daughters [poem by Robert Wisdom, 27 May 1856]
* Thatcher’s Colonial Songster [by Charles Thatcher, 1857]
Book of songs
Sonnet on Port Jackson [poem, 2 February 1858]
The Song of Australia [song, 21 October 1859]
A True Love [poem by Menie Parkes, 14 January 1860]
Australian War Song [poem by Henry Kendall, 20 August 1860]
Free Selection Before Survey [1 December 1860]
The Squatter’s Dirge to his Ladye Love [song, 11 December 1860]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), under the title of “Dwell not with me”, with some variations.
The Banks of Wollombi [poem by Basil E. Kendall, 26 February 1861]
* Poems and Songs [by Henry Kendall, 1862]
Book of poetry
A Song of Australia [song, 3 September 1862]
* The Burke and Wills Expedition: One of a Series of Poems [by a Native of Australia, 1863]
A poem by an anonymous author, regarding the Burke and Wills expedition, published as a booklet.
This Southern Land of Ours [poem by Charles Harpur, ca. 1863]
The Stockman’s Song [song, 3 June 1863]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), under the title of “The Australian Stockman”, with minor variations.
* The Tower of the Dream [poem by Charles Harpur, 1865]
A poem by Charles Harpur, published as a booklet.
* The Bronze Trumpet: A Satirical Poem [by Henry Kendall, 1866]
A poem by Henry Kendall, published as a booklet.
* Poems [by Menie Parkes, 1867]
Book of poetry
The Swagman [poem, 25 July 1868]
Special Report from Cape River Gold-Fields [7 November 1868]
A Dream of Long Ago [poem, 9 August 1870]
The “Sundownder” [poem, 20 March 1871]
Under the Trees [poem by Mowbray Morris, 26 April 1871]
Slavery in Australia [poem, 17 August 1871]
Geoffry Prophesieth to his Public of the Future Greatness of Adelaide [poem, 9 July 1872]
A poem published in Geoffry Crabthorn’s column “Echoes from the bush” in the South Australian Register.
Little Things [poem, 21 December 1872]
The Future of Australia [poem by Mary Hannay Black (Mary Hannay Foott), 8 February 1873]
The Aurora Australis [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 3 May 1873]
Wentworth [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 10 May 1873]
Hawking [song, 4 October 1873]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with some variations.
Broken Vows [poem, 22 December 1874]
Ilma De Murska [poem, 4 December 1875]
Christmas in Australia [poem, 25 December 1875]
The Wattle Tree [poem, 1 January 1876]
A Poem on Australia [poem by Marguerite A. Thompson, 18 January 1876]
The Wallaby Track [poem, 22 June 1877]
Advance Australia Fair [1878, from the sheet music of 1879]
A Christmas Welcome [poem, 21 December 1878]
Araluen [poem by Henry Kendall, 27 September 1879]
An Aboriginal Mother’s Lament [poem by Charles Harpur, 1880]
An Australian Anthem: The People’s Hymn [song, 15 May 1880]
When the Pigs Fly [song, 3 July 1880]
A song of humourous intent, directed against the idea of women being given the right to vote.
Where the Pelican Builds [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 26 March 1881]
A Ballad for the Brutal [song, 22 February 1882]
Recollections [poem, 22 February 1882]
Unfurl the Flag [song, 16 December 1882]
Advance, Australia [song, by Walker and McBurney, circa 1883]
Song of the Stockman [song, 28 June 1884]
Lost in the Mallee [poem by Charles Allan Sherard, 20 September 1884]
The Squatter’s Farewell [song, 1 November 1884]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), under the title of “The Broken-Down Squatter”, with some variations.
The Australiad [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 20 December 1884]
Botany Bay [song, 1885]
The text of the song from the stage show “Little Jack Sheppard”, which played in London in 1885, and in Melbourne in 1886, and which went on to become a popular song in Australia.
The Massacre of the Bards [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 1885]
England and Australasia [poem by Percy Russell, 22 April 1885]
A Call to Arms [song, 13 June 1885]
A Business Melody [poem, 24 July 1885]
An encouragement to advertising, based upon the old poem “The Man in Our Town”.
Britannia’s Volunteers [song, 12 September 1885]
The Song of the New-Chum [song, 19 September 1885]
Sunrise [poem, 19 September 1885]
South Australia’s Jubilee [poem by Miss M. G. Leask, 11 September 1886]
# Port Lincoln [including an Ode to Australia, 8 December 1886]
Picturesque Australia [poem, 7 May 1887]
Australia [poem by Agnes Neale, 1888]
The Blue Lake — Mount Gambier [poem by Agnes Neale, 1888]
Solitude [poem by Sir Henry Parkes, 1888]
To Australia [poem by Douglas B. W. Sladen, 1888]
In Memoriam: Lady Parkes [poem by Menie Parkes, 11 February 1888]
To a Bird [poem by Louisa Lawson, 15 May 1888]
The Birth of Australia [poem by Percy Russell, 1889]
Australia Federata [poem by James Lister Cuthbertson, 10 August 1889]
Ode to the Wattle Blossom [poem, 27 September 1889]
Australia, or Heart to Heart and Hand to Hand [song, 1890s]
Click Go the Shears [traditional Australian song, 1890s]
A traditional song, from at least the 1890s; the earliest known published version is The Bare Belled Ewe (1891).
The Tasmanian National Anthem [by F. A. Packer, circa 1890]
In the Land of Dreams [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 1890]
In Time of Drought [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 1890]
Melbourne International Exhibition [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 1890]
Up North [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 1890]
The Old Bullock Dray [song, 14 March 1890]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with some variations.
Decay of the Aboriginal Race [poem, 19 December 1890]
Freedom on the Wallaby [poem by Henry Lawson, 16 May 1891]
One of Henry Lawson’s most well-known poems, published in The Worker in 1891. It was quoted by conservative Queensland parliamentarians as an example of the radicalism of The Worker newspaper.
The Bare Belled Ewe [song, 5 December 1891 (“Click Go the Shears”)]
A Rhyme of the Pretty Girls of Colac [31 May 1892]
The Australian Pioneers [poem, 5 January 1893]
* Short Stories in Prose and Verse [by Henry Lawson, 1894]
Book of poetry and prose
When the Nigger Saw the Train [poem, 28 April 1894]
To the Wattle Blossom [poem, 19 July 1894]
A Hearty “Shake Hands” [poem by Philip D. Lorimer, 3 August 1894]
The Dying Stockman [Doyle/stalwart version] [song, 4 August 1894]
Printed in the “Flotsam and Jetsam” column of The Queenslander (4 August 1894). Two different versions of the same song were printed on the same page; this is the version supplied by G. Doyle, which uses the phrase “stalwart young stockman” (the other version, supplied by F. Harrison, uses the phrase “strapping young stockman”). This song was also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with some variations.
The Dying Stockman [Harrison/strapping version] [song, 4 August 1894]
Printed in the “Flotsam and Jetsam” column of The Queenslander (4 August 1894). Two different versions of the same song were printed on the same page; this is the version supplied by F. Harrison, which uses the phrase “strapping young stockman” (the other version, supplied by G. Doyle, uses the phrase “stalwart young stockman”). This song was also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), with some variations.
True Bushmen [song, 22 September 1894]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905), under the title of “The Bushman”, with some variations.
The Australian Nation — When? [poem, 13 October 1894]
Badger, My Gray [song, 13 October 1894]
Good-Night [poem by Evelyn Threlfall, 1895]
* The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses [by Banjo Paterson, 1895]
Book of poetry
Ode to Sydney Harbour [poem by Evelyn Threlfall, 1895]
Australia For Ever [poem, 21 January 1895]
Australians! Rise & Federate [song, 15 November 1895]
* In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses [by Henry Lawson, 1896]
Book of poetry
* While the Billy Boils [by Henry Lawson, 1896]
Book of poetry
Aboriginal songs and words [16 May 1896]
Also published in Banjo Paterson’s collection, The Old Bush Songs (1905).
In Memoriam [poem by Louisa Lawson, 1 June 1896]
Lions v. Kangaroos [song, 1 August 1896]
A song for the cricket matches played between England and Australia.
Happy Tassy: A Long Way after Little Jack Sheppard [song, 5 September 1896]
Clancy’s Reply [poem by Thomas Gerald Clancy, 1897]
The Christmas Angel [poem by Mary Hannay Foott, 21 December 1897]
Love’s Golden Flow [poem by Philip D. Lorimer, 21 December 1897]
Also published as “Love’s Golden Hour”.
Unclasped [poem by Philip D. Lorimer, 21 December 1897]
An Australian Cradle Song [poem by John Harrison Wagner, 7 May 1898]
Nation Builders [poem by George Essex Evans, 20 May 1898]
Unity is Strength! [song, 6 June 1898]
Australian Scenery [poem by Agnes L. Storrie, 27 August 1898]
Australia for the Australians [poem, 24 December 1898]
* The Ways of Many Waters [by E. J. Brady, 1899]
Erase the Border Line! [poem by John Knight, 2 September 1899]
Australia Federata [poem, 9 September 1899]
A poem with an internationalist flavour.
“Snazelleparilla” [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 17 September 1899]
Bill Bludger — My Oath! [poem, 24 September 1899]
’93 and ’99 [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 31 December 1899]
The Absentee [poem, 31 December 1899]
Fighting the Boers [poem, 31 December 1899]
* On the Track [by Henry Lawson, 1900]
Book of poetry
* Verses Popular and Humorous [by Henry Lawson, 1900]
Book of poetry
The Bastard from the Bush [ca. 1900?]
This is an anonymously-authored bawdy rhyme, apparently from the early 1900s (or possibly the late 1890s); it was obviously based upon Henry Lawson’s poem “The Captain of the Push” (published 1892). Year unknown.
A National Song [17 April 1900]
Federation [poem, 29 September 1900]
vaughan humphreys says
I have 23 sequential poems based on the women of the First Fleet. Spanning The Enclosure Act in England through to the first xmas in the colony under Phillip. The poems are all rhyming couplets and could be used as song lyrics.
I don`t know where to go to have them appraised. Could you suggest something / someone ?
Any suggestion or help would be appreciated.
I wonder if you can help me find a title or author of a poem I’d heard on radio once.
I heard it on AM radio, when they were talking about a book about Australian home brew poetry and stories and history and such.
Well, the gist of it was about a guy who meets some other guy in the bush and the first guy is holding a home brew in one hand and a pistol in the other. He points the pistol at the fellow and passes over the bottle and asks him to drink. The man having the gun pointed at him and everything obeys. “God, this is awful stuff he says” (or something like that). The guy with the gun says “I know” and says as he’s passing the gun to him “Now you point this thing at me so I could take a sip of it”.
have you heard this at all? Does anyone know what is the title of this poem and who is it by? I’ve searched online but no luck.
judith Oliver says
I am looking for a poem or song of convict women in Tasmania or arriving.
I’m looking for a poem, also sung, about a shearer’s wife? who suffers while her husband is away for months at a time. She buries a child on her own.. sad and beautiful.
My grandfather was born 1889 and was a mallee pioneer who recited a poem about Irish stew. It went along these lines:
I went into a restaurant and ordered irish stew. The waiter brought it quickly as waiters seldom do. …The rest speaks of goanna, steak the dog refused to eat and being thickened with glue. Does anyone know of it and its origin?