I ain't the kind of bloke as takes to any steady job;
I drives me bottle cart around the town;
A bloke what keeps 'is eyes about can always make a bob --
I couldn't bear to graft for every brown.
Men fight all shapes and sizes as the racing horses run,
And no man knows his courage till he stands before a gun.
At mixed-up fighting, hand to hand, and clawing men about
They reckon Fuzzy-Wuzzy is the hottest fighter out.
Down along the Snakebite River, where the overlanders camp,
Where the serpents are in millions, all of the most deadly stamp;
Where the station-cook in terror, nearly every time he bakes,
Mixes up among the doughboys half-a-dozen poison-snakes:
"HALT! Who goes there?” The sentry’s call
Rose on the midnight air
Above the noises of the camp,
The roll of wheels, the horses’ tramp.
The sheep were shorn and the wool went down
At the time of our local racing;
And I'd earned a spell -- I was burnt and brown --
So I rolled my swag for a trip to town
And wherefore have they come, this warlike band,
That o'er the ocean many a weary day
Have tossed; and now beside Suakim's Bay,
With faces stern and resolute, do stand,
It was the Bondi golfing man
Drove off from the golf house tee,
And he had taken his little daughter
To bear him company.
Come all ye lads of the droving days, ye gentlemen unafraid,
I'll tell you all of the greatest trip that ever a drover made,
For we rolled our swags, and we packed our bags, and taking our lives in hand,
We started away with a thousand goats, on the billy-goat overland.
A land, as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow
Or the plains are blackened and burnt and bare, where the false mirages go
Like shifting symbols of hope deferred - land where you never know.