The Leary Boy [song by Charles Thatcher, 1857]

[Editor: This song by Charles Thatcher was published in Thatcher’s Colonial Songster, 1857.]

The Leary Boy.

New Original song, by Thatcher.
Tune — The Learned Man.

Come all you lads both great and small,
Come stumpy ones as well as tall,
If you honor me now with a call,
My time I will employ.

A few short words to you I’ll say,
And in a ditty fire away,
For to put you up to the time o’ day,
I own quite gives me joy.

If your attention you’ll bestow,
I’ll tell you in a trice,
How you’ll derive great benefit
In taking my advice.

First put on cheek, and no mistake,
For colonial expressions rake,
For you must be jolly wide awake
To be a leary boy.

Now education some folks puff —
Arithmetic’s a pack of stuff;
If you count at cribbage, that’s enough;
Learning serves but to annoy.

Acquiring grammar is quite tame —
What if you cannot write your name,
You know the way to jump a claim,
And that yields much more joy.

The pleasures found in history,
Some fools will prate about;
’Tis insignificant, compared
With “three up,” or “odd man out.”

Algebra is all my eye;
For mathematics do not sigh;
But at tossing learn to be quite fly,
And you’ll be a leary boy.

If you see a cove on horseback ride,
’Twill be your great delight and pride,
To caution him to get inside,
It’s certain to annoy;

Ask if his mother knows he’s out;
About his calves then talk about,
Keep shouting Joe, and I’ve no doubt
Great sport you will enjoy.

If he presumes to answer,
Ply him with lets of chaff;
Amongst bystanders you are sure,
To cause a hearty laugh;

With ready wit reply you must,
Tell him to take a fit and “bust,”
Ask if he gets his boots on trust,
And you’ll be a leary boy.

No doubt you frequently will meet,
A Chinaman going down the street
With slang expressions then to greet
This cove will yield you joy;

Say to him, “How are you, old flick,”
You may strike him, if you have a stick,
Or administer a gentle kick
Upon his corduroy.

’Twill heighten your enjoyment
And t’ enrage him will not fail,
If somehow you can manage
To pull his long pigtail;

Heave quartz stones when he’s at his tub,
Earning his miserable grub,
With delight his leg you’ll see him rub,
And you’ll be a leary boy.

When you are chaffing bear in mind,
Slang terms quite useful you will find,
And you’ll leave quite in the shade behind,
Those coves whom you annoy.

Of course genteelly learn to swear,
When ethers de so, ’tis but fair,
That you should prove yourself all there,
By the oaths that you employ.

If nice expressions you would learn,
Colonial and new,
Some bullock driver who is bogged,
Is just the man for you:

Learn well what from his foul mouth flies,
And when he blesses Strawberry’s eyes,
Admire, but do not show surprise,
And you’ll be a leary boy.

New money is your only friend,
So if you want some tin to spend,
To paddocks rich your footsteps bend,
And your time there well employ;

When no one’s looking fill your dish,
And you may wash out what you wish,
Puddling mullock’s knocked into a “mish,”
Hard work will but annoy.

When the diggers go to dinner,
That’s just the time for you;
For if you’re sharp you then may scrape
Out cradles not a few.

If they catch you they’ll knock you about,
And duck you in a hole, no doubt;
What matters, for you scramble out,
A soak’d but leary boy.

If you ever get into a fight,
Of course you’ll not forget to skite,
And learn to prop well with your right,
And your opponent you’ll annoy.

Your utmost science you must try,
Mind how you fib; and, by-the-by,
If you bung up your opponent’s eye,
His chance you will destroy.

In all houses of amusement
Your noso of course you’ll poke;
At bowling places roll for drinks,
And a short black pipe you’ll smoke;

Fakements pick up not a few,
And it you learn what I’ve taught you,
By George, you’ll know a thing or two,
And be a leary boy.

Charles R. Thatcher. Thatcher’s Colonial Songster, Containing All the Choice Local Songs, Parodies, &c., of the Celebrated Chas. R. Thatcher, Charlwood & Son, Melbourne, 1857, pages 15-18

Editor’s notes:
fakements = something faked, a contrivance used to deceive (also refers to a counterfeit signature or a forgery)

mullock = mining refuse; dirt and stone which remains after the ore has been separated (often placed in a big pile outside of a mine, a mullock heap)

puddling = the process of working clay, dirt, pulverized ore, etc., with water; soaking alluvial wash to make it easier to recover the gold; to separate gold from clay, small amounts of clay were put into in a large container, which was then filled with water and stirred with wooden stake, whereupon the clay would break up and dissolve into the water and gold particles would sink to the bottom (during the gold rush, puddling boxes and cradles were used to separate gold from the dirt and water)

skite = to boast

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