The Dying Stockman [song, 1905]

[Editor: This was published in The Old Bush Songs, edited by Banjo Paterson, 1905; previously published (with variations) in The Queenslander, 4 August 1894, in which two different versions were provided by G. Doyle (which uses the phrase “stalwart young stockman”) and F. Harrison (which uses the phrase “strapping young stockman”).]

The Dying Stockman

(Air: “The Old Stable Jacket.”)

A strapping young stockman lay dying,
His saddle supporting his head;
His two mates around him were crying,
As he rose on his pillow and said:

“Wrap me up with my stockwhip and blanket,
And bury me deep down below,
Where the dingoes and crows can’t molest me,
In the shade where the coolibahs grow.

“Oh! had I the flight of the bronzewing,
Far o’er the plains would I fly,
Straight to the land of my childhood,
And there would I lay down and die.

Chorus: Wrap me up, &c.

“Then cut down a couple of saplings,
Place one at my head and my toe,
Carve on them cross, stockwhip, and saddle,
To show there’s a stockman below.

Chorus: Wrap me up, &c.

“Hark! there’s the wail of a dingo,
Watchful and weird — I must go,
For it tolls the death-knell of the stockman
From the gloom of the scrub down below.

Chorus: Wrap me up, &c.

“There’s tea in the battered old billy;
Place the pannikins out in a row,
And we’ll drink to the next merry meeting,
In the place where all good fellows go.

Chorus: Wrap me up, &c.

“And oft in the shades of the twilight,
When the soft winds are whispering low,
And the darkening• shadows are falling,
Sometimes think of the stockman below.”

Chorus: Wrap me up, &c.

A. B. Paterson (editor). The Old Bush Songs, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1905, pages 66-67

Previously published (with variations) in:
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), Saturday 4 August 1894, page 212 [a second version of the same song was also published on the same page of that newspaper; the two different versions were from G. Doyle and F. Harrison]

The authorship of the song has been attributed to Horace Flower, with it being first published in the Portland Mirror (Portland, Vic.) on 8 July 1885. Horace Flower and his brother, Charles Flower, were Queensland station owners who were songwriters in the 1880s and 1890s.

Richard Walsh (editor). Traditional Australian Verse: The Essential Collection, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest (NSW), page 43]
Dying Stockman, Australian Folk Songs (accessed 23 October 2012)

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