Friday, April 29, 2011

The Maryborough Miner





Unknown, with words based on The Murrumbidgee Shearer by Banjo Paterson.




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Come all you sons of liberty and listen to me song:
I'll tell you me observations and it won't take very long.
I've fossicked around this continent five thousand miles or more
And many's the time I might have starved but for the cheek I bore.

I've been on all the diggings, boys, from famous Ballarat,
I've long-tommed on the Lachlan and I've fossicked Lambing Flat.
So you can understand, me boys, just from my little rhyme,
I'm a Maryborough miner and I'm one of the good old time.

I came to the Fitzroy River all with me Bendigo rig;
I had a shovel, a pick, and a pan, and for a licence I begged.
But the assay man called me a loafer, said for work I'd no desire,
And so to do him justice, boys, I set his office on fire.

Oh yes, my jolly jokers, I've done it on the cross,
Although I carry me bluey now, I've sweated many a horse.
I've helped to rob the escort of many an ounce of gold
And the traps have trailed upon my tail more times than I've ever told.

Oh yes, the traps have trailed me and been frightened out of their stripes;
They never could have caught me for they feared me cure for gripes.
And well they knew I carried it for they had often seen it
Glistening in me flipper chaps, me patent pill machine.

I'm one of the men who cradled on the reef at Tarrangower,
Anxiety and misery me grim companions there.
I puddled the clay at Bendigo and I chanced me arm at Kew,
And I wound up my avocation with ten years on Cockatoo.

I've been on all the diggings, boys, from famous Ballarat,
I've long-tommed on the Lachlan and I've fossicked Lambing Flat.
So you may understand, my boys, just from this little rhyme,
I'm a Maryborough miner and I'm one of the good old time.


From AL Lloyd's 1956 Australian Bush Songs album.

These sleeve notes are from his second recording of the song on his 1958 release, Across the Western Plains:

The great gold rushes which began in the 1850's developed a self-reliant class of men. Among the most admirable were the men who raised the flag of stars at Eureka Stockade in 1854 against oppressive authority. Among the least admirable were those who were prepared to get their gold at the point of a pistol, if they couldn't get it by the point of a pick. But often it was hard to tell the best from the worst among the diggers, as with the genial old rascal of this song. Of the Victorian township of Maryborough, Mark Twain said it was a “railway station with a town attached.” The people of Maryborough replied: “Even Mark Twain has to pay tribute to our impressive railway station.” (Some say that the railways people got their plans mixed, and that the station they built at Maryborough had been designed for the centre of Melbourne.)

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