The Murrumbidgee Shearer
Come, all you jolly natives, and I’ll relate to you
Some of my observations — adventures, too, a few.
I’ve travelled about the country for miles full many a score,
And oft-times would have hungered, but for the cheek I bore.
I’ve coasted on the Barwon — low down the Darling, too,
I’ve been on the Murrumbidgee, and out on the Paroo;
I’ve been on all the diggings, boys, from famous Ballarat;
I’ve loafed upon the Lachlan, and fossicked Lambing Flat.
I went up to a squatter, and asked him for a feed,
But the knowledge of my hunger was swallowed by his greed.
He said I was a loafer and for work had no desire,
And so, to do him justice, I set his shed on fire.
Oh, yes, I’ve touched the shepherd’s hut for sugar, tea, and flour;
And a tender bit of mutton I always could devour.
I went up to a station, and there I got a job;
Plunged in the store, and hooked it, with a very tidy lob.
Oh, yes, my jolly dandies, I’ve done it on the cross.
Although I carry bluey now, I’ve sweated many a horse.
I’ve helped to ease the escort of many’s the ounce of gold;
The traps have often chased me, more times than can be told.
Oh, yes, the traps have chased me, been frightened of their stripes;
They never could have caught me, they feared my cure for gripes.
And well they knew I carried it, which they had often seen
A-glistening in my flipper, chaps, a patent pill machine.
I’ve been hunted like a panther into my mountain lair,
Anxiety and misery my grim companions there.
I’ve planted in the scrub, my boys, and fed on kangaroo,
And wound up my avocations by ten years on Cockatoo.
So you can understand, my boys, just from this little rhyme,
I’m a Murrumbidgee shearer, and one of the good old time.
A. B. Paterson (editor), The Old Bush Songs, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1905, pp. 93-94