The Poetry Corner

The Murrumbidgee Shearer

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

Come, all you jolly natives, and Ill relate to you Some of my observationsadventures, too, a few. Ive travelled about the country for miles, full many a score, And oft-times would have hungered, but for the cheek I bore. Ive coasted on the Barwonlow down the Darling, too, Ive been on the Murrumbidgee, and out on the Paroo; Ive been on all the diggings, boys, from famous Ballarat; Ive 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, Ive touched the shepherds hut, of 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, Ive done it on the cross. Although I carry bluey now, Ive sweated many a horse. Ive helped to ease the escort of manys 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. Ive been hunted like a panther into my mountain lair. Anxiety and misery my grim companions there. Ive 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, Im a Murrumbidgee shearer, and one of the good old time.