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The Freehold On The Plain

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



I'm a broken-down old squatter, my cash it is all gone,
Of troubles and bad seasons I complain;
My cattle are all mortgaged, of horses I have none,
And I've lost that little freehold on the plain.

The stockyard's broken down, and the woolshed's tumbling in;
I've written to the mortgagees in vain;
My wool it is all damaged and it is not worth a pin,
And I've lost that little freehold on the plain.

I commenced life as a squatter some twenty years ago,
When fortune followed in my train;
But I speculated heavy and I'd have you all to know
That I've lost that little freehold on the plain.

I built myself a mansion, and chose myself a wife;
Of her I have no reason to complain;
For I thought I had sufficient to last me all my life,
But I've lost that little freehold on the plain.

And now I am compelled to take a drover's life,
To drive cattle through the sunshine and the rain,
And to leave her behind me, my own dear loving wife
We were happy on that freehold on the plain.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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