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Folk Songs

Modern Folk Songs
Humorous & Christmas

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Brisbane Ladies

Farewell and adieu to you Brisbane ladies
Farewell and adieu to you girls of Toowong
For we've sold all our cattle and have to be moving
But we hope we shall see you again before long

Chorus
We'll rant and we'll roar like true Queensland drovers
We'll rant and we'll roar as onward we push
Until we get back to the Augathella station
It's flaming dry going through the old Queensland bush

The first camp we make we shall call it the Quart Pot
Cabbolture then Kilcoy and Collington's hut
We'll pull up at the Stone House, Bob Williamson's paddock
And early next morning we cross the Blackbutt

Then onto Taromeo and Yarraman Creek lads
It's there we shall make our next camp for the day
Where the water and grass are both plenty and sweet lads
And maybe we'll butcher a fat little stray

Then onto Nanango that hard-bitten township
Where the out of work station hands sit in the dust
And the shearers get shore by old Tim the contractor
I wouldn't go by there but I flaming well must

The girls of Toomancy they look so entrancing
Those young bawling heifers are out looking for fun
With the waltz and the polka and all kinds of dancing
To the racketty old banjo of Henry Gunn

Then fill up your glasses and we'll drink to the lasses
We'll drink this town dry then farewell to all
And when we return once more to Augathella
We hope you'll come by there and pay us a call

The Wild Colonial Boy

It's of a wild colonial boy Jack Doolan was his name
Of poor but honest parents he was born in Castlemaine
He was his father's only hope his mother's pride and joy
And so dearly did the parents love their wild colonial boy

Then come along my hearties and we'll roam the mountains high
Together we will plunder together we will die
We'll wander o'er the valleys and we'll gallop over plains
And we'll scorn to live in slavery bound down in iron chains

Twas in eighteen hundred and sixty five he started his wild career
With a heart that had no danger no foeman did he fear
He stuck up the Royal Mail beach coach and robbed Judge MacEvoy
With a tremble hand gave up the gold to the wild colonial boy

As John rode out one morning and riding slowly on
When listening to the little birds they sweetly sang their song
He spied three mounted troopers Kelly Davis and Fitzroy
All riding up to capture the wild colonial boy

Surrender now Jack Doolan You see there's three to one
Surrender in the Queen's name It's of a victory won
He fired at trooper Kelly and he brought him to the ground
And returning right to Davis he received a mortal wound

With my Swag upon my Shoulder

When first I left Old England's shore
Such yarns as we were told
As how folks in Australia
Could pick up lumps of gold
So, when we got to Melbourne town
We were ready soon to slip
And get even with the captain
All hands scuttled from the ship

Chorus
With my swag all on my shoulder
Black billy in my hand
I travelled the bush of Australia
Like a true-born native man

We steered our course for Geelong town
Then north west to Ballarat
Where some of us got mighty thin
And some got sleek and fat
Some tried their luck at Bendigo
And some at Fiery Creek
I made a fortune in a day
And spent it in a week

For many years I wandered round
As each new rush broke out
And always had of gold a pound
Till alluvial petered out
'Twas then we took the bush to cruise
Glad to get a bite to eat
The squatters treated us so well
We made a regular beat

So round the lighthouse now I tramp
Nor leave it out of sight
I take it on my left shoulder
And then upon my right
And then I take it on my back
And oft upon it lie
It is the best of tucker tracks
So I'll stay here till I die

Click go the Shears

Out on the board the old shearer stands
Grasping his shears in his long bony hands
Fixed is his gaze on a bare-bellied "joe"
Glory if he gets her, won't he make the ringer go

Chorus
Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and is beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"

In the middle of the floor in his cane-bottomed chair
Is the boss of the board, with eyes everywhere
Notes well each fleece as it comes to the screen
Paying strict attention if it's taken off clean

The colonial-experience man he is there, of course
With his shiny leggin's just got off his horse
Casting round his eye like a real connoisseur
Whistling the old tune "I'm the Perfect Lure"

The tar-boy is there awaiting in demand
With his blackened tar-pot and his tarry hand
Sees one old sheep with a cut upon its back
Here's what he's waiting for "Tar here Jack!"

Shearing is all over and we've all got our cheques
Roll up your swag for we're off on the tracks
The first pub we come to it's there we'll have a spree
And everyone that comes along it's, "Come and drink with me!"

Down by the bar the old shearer stands
Grasping his glass in his thin bony hands
Fixed is his gaze on a green-painted keg
Glory he'll get down on it ere he stirs a peg

There we leave him standing, shouting for all hands
Whilst all around him every shouter stands
His eyes are on the cask which is now lowering fast
He works hard he drinks hard and goes to hell at last

You take off the belly-wool clean out the crutch
Go up the neck for the rules they are such
You clean round the horns first shoulder go down
One blow up the back and you then turn around

Click, click, that's how the shears go
Click, click, so awfully quick
You pull out a sheep he'll give a kick
And still hear your shears going click, click, click

Moreton Bay

One Sunday morning as I went walking
By Brisbane waters I chanced to stray
I heard a convict his fate bewailing
As on the sunny river bank I lay
I am a native from Erin's island
But banished now from my native shore
They stole me from my aged parents
And from the maiden I do adore

I've been a prisoner at Port Macquarie
At Norfolk Island and Emu Plains
At Castle Hill and at cursed Toongabbie
At all these settlements I've been in chains
But of all places of condemnation
And penal stations in New South Wales
To Moreton Bay I have found no equal
Excessive tyranny each day prevails

For three long years I was beastly treated
And heavy irons on my legs I wore
My back from flogging was lacerated
And oft times painted with my crimson gore
And many a man from downright starvation
Lies mouldering now underneath the clay
And Captain Logan he had us mangled
All at the triangles of Moreton Bay

Like the Egyptians and ancient Hebrews
We were oppressed under Logan's yoke
Till a native black lying there in ambush
Did deal this tyrant his mortal stroke
My fellow prisoners be exhilarated
That all such monsters such a death may find
And when from bondage we are liberated
Our former sufferings will fade from mind

Stringybark Creek

A sergeant and three constables set out from Mansfield town
Near the end of last October for to hunt the Kellys down;
They started for the Wombat hills and thought it quite a lark
When they camped upon the borders of a creek called Stringybark.

They had grub and ammunition there to last them many a week,
And next morning two of them rode out, all to explore the creek,
Leaving McIntyre, behind them at the camp to cook the grub
And Lonergan to sweep the floor and boss the washing tub.

It was shortly after breakfast Mac thought he heard a noise
So gun in hand he sallied out to try to find the cause,
But he never saw the Kellys planted safe behind a log
So he sauntered back to smoke and yarn and wire into the grog.

But Ned Kelly and his comrades thought they'd like a nearer look
For being short of grub they wished to interview the cook;
And of firearms and cartridges they found they had too few,
So they longed to grab the pistols and the ammunition too.

Both the troopers at a stump alone they were well pleased to see
Watching as the billies boiled to make their pints of tea;
There they joked and chatted gaily never thinking of alarms
Till they heard the fearful cry behind, 'Bail up, throw up your arms

The traps they started wildly and Mac then firmly stood
While Lonergan made tracks to try and gain the wood,
Reaching round for his revolver but, before he touched the stock
Ned Kelly pulled the trigger and he dropped him like a rock.

Then after searching McIntyre all through the camp they went
And cleared the guns and cartridges and pistols from the tent,
But brave Kelly muttered sadly as he loaded up his guns,
"Oh, what a bloody pity that the bastard tried to run."

Kelly Gang

Come all you sons of liberty the news is going round
That on the bold Ned Kelly's head they've set a thousand pound
For Steve Hart and Dan Kelly five hundred they will give
But if the sum was doubled I'm sure the Kelly boys would live

It was in November Seventy Nine the Kelly boys came down
After shooting sergeant Kennedy they rode into Euroa town
To rob the bank of all its gold was their idea that day
Blood horses they was mounted on to make their getaway

Ned Kelly walked into the bank a pistol in his hand
Hand over all the money now ten thousand pound on demand
Likewise the ammunition the bold Ned Kelly said
And get on the go and dont be slow or I'll shoot youse through the head

An Afghan hawker they captured next as everybody knows
He come in handy to the gang by fitting them out with clothes
And of their worn out rags me boys they made a few bonfires
And then destroyed the telegraph by cutting down the wires

They raced into Jerilderie town about twelve o'clock at night
They caught the troopers in their beds and gave them a hell of a fright
They held them up at pistol point and I'm ashamed to tell
They marched them along in their nightshirts and they locked them in a cell

Next morning dressed in troopers clothes still owners of the ground
They took their horses to the forge and had them shod free all round
They led them back and mounted and their plans worked out so well
They strolled along the main street and stuck up the Royal Hotel

Their robbing over the mounted then and made a quick retreat
They swept awy with all their loot along down Morgan's old beat
And where they are now well I dont know if I did I wouldn't tell
So now until I hear from them I bid youse all fairwell

Kelly's Byrne and Hart

It was in November, seventy-eight, when the Kelly Gang came down
Just after shooting Kennedy in famed Euroa town
Blood horses they were all upon, revolvers in their hand
They took the township by surprise, and gold was their demand

Ned Kelly walked into the bank, a cheque all in his hand
For to have it changed for money, now of Scott he did demand
And when that he refused him, he looking at him straight
Said, "See here, my name's Ned Kelly, and this here man's my mate"

They rode into Jerilderie town at twelve o'clock at night
Aroused the troopers from their beds and gave them an awful fright
They took them in their nightshirts, ashamed I am to tell
They covered them with revolvers and locked them in a cell

They next acquainted the women-folk that they were going to stay
And take possession of the camp until the following day
They fed their horses in the stalls, without the slightest fear
Then went to rest their weary limbs till daylight did appear

Next morning being Sunday morn, of course they must be good
They dressed themselves in troopers' clothes, and Ned he chopped some wood
Now no-one there suspected them, as troopers they did pass
And Dan, the most religious, took the troopers wife to Mass

They spent the day most pleasantly, had plenty of good cheer
With fried beef steak and onions, tomato sauce and beer
The ladies in attendance indulged in pleasant talk
And just to ease the troopers' minds, they took them for a walk

It was when they robbed Euroa bank you said they'd be run down
But now they've robbed another one that's in Jerilderie town
That's in Jerilderie town, my boys, and we're here to take their part
And shout again "Long may they reign - the Kellys, Byrne and Hart"

As high above the mountains so beautiful and grand
Our young Australian heroes in bold defiance stand
In bold defiance stand, my boys, the heroes of today
So let us stand together boys, and shout again, "Hurray"

Botany Bay

Farewell to old England forever
Farewell to my rum culls as well
Farewell to the well known Old Bailey
Where I used for to cut such a swell

Singing Tooral liooral liaddity
Singing Tooral liooral liay
Singing Tooral liooral liaddity
And we're bound for Botany Bay

There's the captain as is our commander
There's the bosun and all the ship's crew
There's the first and the second class passengers
Knows what we poor convicts go through

Taint leaving old England we cares about
Taint cos we mis-spells what we knows
But because all we light fingered gentry
Hops around with a log on our toes

These seven long years I've been serving now
And seven long more have to stay
All for bashing a bloke down our alley
And taking his ticker away

Oh had I the wings of a turtle dove
I'd soar on my pinions so high
Slap bang to the arms of my Polly love
And in her sweet presence I'd die

Now all my young Dookies and Dutchesses
Take warning from what I've to say
Mind all is your own as you toucheses
Or you'll find us in Botany Bay

Dying Stockman

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

Chorus
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 over the plains would I fly
Straight to the land of my childhood
And there I would lay down and die

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

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

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

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

Bound for South Australia

In South Australia I was born
Heave away, haul away
South Australia round Cape Horn
We're bound for South Australia

Chorus
Heave away, you rolling king
Heave away, haul away
Heave away, oh hear me sing
We're bound for South Australia

There ain't but one thing grieves my mind
Heave away, haul away
To leave Miss Nancy Blair behind
We're bound for South Australia

Oh when I sailed across the sea
Heave away, haul away
My girl said she'd be true to me
We're bound for South Australia

I rung her all night I rung her all day
Heave away, haul away
I rung her before we sailed away
We're bound for South Australia

And now I'm on some foreign strand
Heave away, haul away
With a bottle of whiskey in my hand
We're bound for South Australia

And as we wallop around Cape Horn
Heave away, haul away
You wish to God you'd never been born
We're bound for South Australia

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