Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Old Keg of Rum




Anonymous




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My name is old Jack Palmer, and I once dug for gold
And the song I'm going to sing you recalls the days of old
When I'd plenty mates around me, and the talk would fairly hum
As we all sat together round the old keg of rum

CHORUS
The old keg of rum, the old keg of rum
As we all sat together round the old keg of rum

There was Bluey Watt, the breaker, and old Tom Hynes
And little Doyle, the ringer, who now in glory shines
And many more hard doers, all gone to Kingdom Come
We were all associated round the old keg of rum

When the shearing time was over in the sheds on the Bree
We'd raise a keg from somewhere, and we'd all have a spree
We'd sit and sing together till we got that blind and dumb
That we couldn't find the bung-hole of the old keg of rum

There was some would last the night out, and some would have a snooze
And some were full of fight, boys, but all were full of booze
Till often in a scrimmage I have corked it with my thumb
Just to stop the life from ebbing from the old keg of rum.

Well, now my song is ended, I've got to travel on
Just an old buffer skiting of days dead and gone
But I hope you youngsters round me will, perhaps in years to come
Remember Jack Palmer and the old keg of rum



A version of this song was published in Paterson's Old Bush Songs. This version is from An Anthology of Australian Poetry to 1920 , edited by John Kinsella in 2007 (link)

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