The Poetry Corner

The Squatters Man

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

Come, all ye lads an list to me, Thats left your homes an crossed the sea, To try your fortune, bound or free, All in this golden land. For twelve long months I had to pace, Humping my swag with a cadging face, Sleeping in the bush, like the sable race, As in my song youll understand. Unto this country I did come, A regular out-and-out new chum. I then abhorred the sight of rum Teetotal was my plan. But soon I learned to wet one eye Misfortune oft-times made me sigh. To raise fresh funds I was forced to fly, And be a squatters man. Soon at a station I appeared. I saw the squatter with his beard, And up to him I boldly steered, With my swag and billy-can. I said, Kind sir, I want a job! Said he, Do you know how to snob Or can you break in a bucking cob? Whilst my figure he well did scan. Tis now I want a useful cove To stop at home and not to rove. The scamps go abouta regular drove I spose youre one of the clan? But Ill give tenten, sugar an tea; Ten bob a week, if youll suit me, And very soon I hope youll be A handy squatters man. At daylight you must milk the cows, Make butter, cheese, an feed the sows, Put on the kettle, the cook arouse, And clean the family shoes. The stable an sheep yard clean out, And always answer when we shout, With Yes, maam, andNo, sir, mind your mouth; And my youngsters dont abuse. You must fetch wood an water, bake an boil, Act as butcher when we kill; The corn an taters you must hill, Keep the garden spick and span. You must not scruple in the rain To take to market all the grain. Be sure you come sober back again To be a squatters man. He sent me to an old bark hut, Inhabited by a greyhound slut, Who put her fangs through my poor fut, And, snarling, off she ran. So once more Im looking for a job, Without a copper in my fob. With Ben Hall or Gardiner Id rather rob, Than be a squatters man.