The Poetry Corner

The Broken-Down Squatter

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

(Air: Its a fine hunting day.) Come, Stumpy, old man, we must shift while we can; All our mates in the paddock are dead. Let us wave our farewells to Glen Evas sweet dells And the hills where your lordship was bred; Together to roam from our drought-stricken home It seems hard that such things have to be, And its hard on a hogs when hes nought for a boss But a broken-down squatter like me! Chorus For the banks are all broken, they say, And the merchants are all up a tree. When the bigwigs are brought to the Bankruptcy Court, What chance for a squatter like me. No more shall we muster the river for fats, Or spiel on the Fifteen-mile plain, Or rip through the scrub by the light of the moon, Or see the old stockyard again. Leave the slip-panels down, it wont matter much now, There are none but the crows left to see, Perching gaunt in yon pine, as though longing to dine On a broken-down squatter like me. Chorus: For the banks, &c. When the country was cursed with the drought at its worst, And the cattle were dying in scores, Though down on my luck, I kept up my pluck, Thinking justice might temper the laws. But the farce has been played, and the Government aid Aint extended to squatters, old son; When my dollars were spent they doubled the rent, And resumed the best half of the run. Chorus: For the banks, &c. Twas done without reason, for leaving the season No squatter could stand such a rub; For its useless to squat when the rents are so hot That one cant save the price of ones grub; And theres not much to choose twixt the banks and the Jews Once a fellow gets put up a tree; No odds what I feel, theres no court of appeal For a broken-down squatter like me. Chorus: For the banks, &c.