Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Five and a Zack




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I've been a few miles I've crossed a few stiles
I've been round the world there and back
But one place I struck between here and hard luck
They stung me for five and a zack

The timekeeper there with his sanctified air
Is Salvation Army lance-jack
On his cornet he'll bleat when they play in the street
But he stung me for five and a zack

The job's at an end I'm camped in the bend
I hate the whole duck-shoving pack
It's not that I'm broke or in need of a smoke
But they stung me for five and a zack

May that time-keeper stand in an Aunt Sally band
And blow till his eyeballs turn black
May each note in his cornet turn into a hornet
And sting him for five and a zack

When my time comes I'll go to that hot place below
And never intend to come back
On my tombstone you'll find these words underlined
They stung me for five and a zack


From Manifold's The Penguin Australian Song Book

The illustration to this post is a photograph of the Australian Womens Salvation Army Band from 1906.

"Zack" was a slang term used mostly in Australia and New Zealand for a Sixpence.

The term is thought to have originated with the Scottish pronunciation of Sixpence - being "Saxpence", with a thick Scottish accent.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't "duck-shoving" a great compound adjective?

    ReplyDelete