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The Maranoa Drovers

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



The night is dark and stormy, and the sky is clouded o'er;
Our horses we will mount and ride away,
To watch the squatters' cattle through the darkness of the night,
And we'll keep them on the camp till break of day.

For we're going, going, going to Gunnedah so far,
And we'll soon be into sunny New South Wales;
We shall bid farewell to Queensland, with its swampy coolibah
Happy drovers from the sandy Maranoa.

When the fires are burning bright through the darkness of the night,
And the cattle camping quiet, well, I'm sure
That I wish for two o'clock when I call the other watch
This is droving from the sandy Maranoa.

Our beds made on the ground, we are sleeping all so sound
When we're wakened by the distant thunder's roar,
And the lightning's vivid flash, followed by an awful crash
It's rough on drovers from the sandy Maranoa.
We are up at break of day, and we're all soon on the way,
For we always have to go ten miles or more;
It don't do to loaf about, or the squatter will come out
He's strict on drovers from the sandy Maranoa.

We shall soon be on the Moonie, and we'll cross the Barwon, too;
Then we'll be out upon the rolling plains once more;
We'll shout "Hurrah! for old Queensland, with its swampy coolibah,
And the cattle that come off the Maranoa."

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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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