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The Ballad of the Carpet Bag

Andrew Barton Paterson 1864 (Orange, New South Wales) – 1941 (Sydney, New South Wales)



Ho! Darkies, don't you hear dose voters cryin'
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must get to de Poll, you must get there flyin';
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must travel by de road, you must travel by de train,
And the things what you've done you will have to explain,
And the things what you've promised, you must promise 'em again.
Pack dat carpet bag!
Hear dem voters callin!
Pack de clean boiled rag.
For there's grass in the west, and the rain am fallin'.
Pack dat carpet bag!

You must pack up a volume of Coghlan's Figures,
Pack dat carpet bag!
And a lot o' little jokes to amuse those niggers.
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must wheedle all de gals with a twinkle of your eye,
You must bob down your head when de eggs begin to fly.
Oh! those eggs what they're saving, and they'll throw 'em by and by.
Pack dat carpet bag!

Hear dem voters callin'!
Pack de clean boiled rag.
For there's grass in the west, and the rain am fallin'.
Pack dat carpet bag!

You must get upon a stump, you must practise speakin',
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must follow Georgie Reid or Alfred Deakin.
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must come to de scratch, or you're bound to fail,
For it ain't any time to be sittin' on de rail,
Or de votes that you'll get -- they won't keep you out o' jail.
Pack dat carpet bag!

Hear dem voters callin'!
Pack de clean boiled rag.
For there's grass in the west, and the rain am fallin'.
Pack dat carpet bag!

And supposin' that you're beat, and you feel like cryin',
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must hustle back to work -- just to keep from dyin'.
Pack dat carpet bag!
You must travel second-class when you travel by de train,
For you haven't got a pass on de end of your chain,
While the other fellow's packing for de great campaign.
Pack dat carpet bag!

Hear dem voters callin'!
Pack de clean boiled rag.
For there's grass in the west, and the rain am fallin'.
Pack dat carpet bag!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:53 min read
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Andrew Barton Paterson

Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Clancy of the Overflow" (1889), "The Man from Snowy River" (1890) and "Waltzing Matilda" (1895), regarded widely as Australia's unofficial national anthem. more…

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    "The Ballad of the Carpet Bag" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/2623/the-ballad-of-the-carpet-bag>.

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