Monday, March 7, 2011

Sign-On Day



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It's sign-on day at the Dance Palais
And we're down to a quid or two
But we'll cut a quick ton if you give us the run
And we'll see the season through

Chorus:
You can have Maria,
Sophia and Madelaine,
But we'll take the sugar
That comes from sugarcane

We've cut down on the rivers
And up at Mossman too,
But give us the cane with the Herbert strain
And we'll see the season through

The ganger is a gun, me boys,
The cook can make a stew,
If he drops the cane inspector in,
We'll see the season through

Our hands are raw, but two bob more
Will make them seem like new,
If we get enough pay we'll cut all day
'Til we see the season through

There's grog of sorts in other parts,
But Cairns has got the brew
That we'll drink and drink and drink and drink
When we've seen the season through

From Ron Edwards Great Australian Folk Songs. "Learnt from Bill Oliver, Redlynch, North Queensland, 1960. The song refers to signing on for work on the cane-fields near Cairns. Signing-on would often take place at a local hall, in this case The Grand Palais.

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