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The Squatter's Man

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



Come, all ye lads an' list to me,
That's left your homes an' crossed the sea,
To try your fortune, bound or free,
All in this golden land.
For twelve long months I had to pace,
Humping my swag with a cadging face,
Sleeping in the bush, like the sable race,
As in my song you'll understand.

Unto this country I did come,
A regular out-and-out new chum.
I then abhorred the sight of rum
Teetotal was my plan.
But soon I learned to wet one eye
Misfortune oft-times made me sigh.
To raise fresh funds I was forced to fly,
And be a squatter's man.

Soon at a station I appeared.
I saw the squatter with his beard,
And up to him I boldly steered,
With my swag and billy-can.

I said, "Kind sir, I want a job!"
Said he, "Do you know how to snob
Or can you break in a bucking cob?"
Whilst my figure he well did scan.

"'Tis now I want a useful cove
To stop at home and not to rove.
The scamps go about—a regular drove
I 'spose you're one of the clan?
But I'll give ten—ten, sugar an' tea;
Ten bob a week, if you'll suit me,
And very soon I hope you'll be
A handy squatter's man.

"At daylight you must milk the cows,
Make butter, cheese, an' feed the sows,
Put on the kettle, the cook arouse,
And clean the family shoes.
The stable an' sheep yard clean out,
And always answer when we shout,
With ‘Yes, ma'am,' and ‘No, sir,' mind your mouth;
And my youngsters don't abuse.

"You must fetch wood an' water, bake an' boil,
Act as butcher when we kill;
The corn an' taters you must hill,
Keep the garden spick and span.

You must not scruple in the rain
To take to market all the grain.
Be sure you come sober back again
To be a squatter's man."

He sent me to an old bark hut,
Inhabited by a greyhound slut,
Who put her fangs through my poor fut,
And, snarling, off she ran.
So once more I'm looking for a job,
Without a copper in my fob.
With Ben Hall or Gardiner I'd rather rob,
Than be a squatter's man.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:57 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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