Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Stockman's Last Bed


Trad.




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Be ye stockmen or no, to my story give ear.
Alas! for poor Jack, no more shall we hear
The crack of his stockwhip, his steed's lively trot,
His clear "Go ahead, boys," his jingling quart pot.

Chorus
For we laid him where wattles their sweet fragrance shed,
And the tall gum trees shadow the stockman's last bed.

Whilst drafting one day, he was horned by a cow.
"Alas!", cried poor Jack. "It's all up with me now!
For I never again shall my saddle regain,
Or bound like a wallaby over the plain."

His whip it is silent, his dogs, they do mourn;
His steed looks in vain for his master's return.
No friend to bemoan him, unheeded he dies.
Save Australia's dark sons no one knows where he lies.

Now, stockmen, if ever on some future day,
After the wild mob you happen to stray,
Ride softly the creek beds where trees make a shade,
For perhaps it's the spot where poor Jack's bones are laid.


From the Queensland Native Companion Songster (1865). Recorded by Burl Ives on his 1958 album, Australian Folk Songs.

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