Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Drover's Life by Desert Rat

And here is the alternate view of the drover's life to that presented by Banjo Paterson. In this case the parody is written by a real drover, Wally Darling, who wrote under the pen name, Desert Rat.

A Drover's Life

By Wally Darling (Desert Rat)

As I write this little ditty

Perhaps I'm feeling blue

For the swag is wet and sodden

And the fly is blown in two.

The rain is pouring heavy,

The wind is bloody chill.

And I rather feel like howling

With the dingo on the hill.

No doubt this life is thrilling

Out beneath the desert stars.

When your fitting sole companion

Are a mob of mad Gallahs.

Then the old joke comes to memory.

It was written long ago,

That the drover's life has pleasures

That the townsfolk never know.

When your are sitting on a rooter

With a green-eyed monkey holt

A quiet horse they tell you

But sometimes he'll buck and bolt.

So you hit him in the shoulders

With a pair of three inch spurs.

Next thing you know, you're sitting

In a patch of bloody burrs.

When you are tangling with the clean skins

In the dust and in the heat

And the big Mick with a grievance

Makes a beeline for your seat.

You try to make the fence

But the Mick's got too much tow.

Oh, yes, the drover's life has pleasures

That the townsfolk never know.

When you are coming down the Canning

Where the lonely stages are

And the owner comes to meet you

With his brand new motor car.

And the dust he raises mingles

With that churned up by the feet

Of the hides that you are droving

Some of which perhaps he'll eat.

And when you are sitting on the night horse

On a dark and stormy night.

You see the white-horns glistening

In the lightning's ghostly light.

And you shiver there and wonder

If they jump, which way they'll go.

Ah, yes, the drover's life has pleasures

That the townsfolk never know.

Now the tucker's mostly tasty

On the Canning route you know.

When the flies have had a gutful

And the meat hats have had a go

And when you eat the babbler's browny

Well it's best to close your eyes.

For it's hard to tell the difference

Between the currants and the flies.

Or when you're whipping water

Till your bellows nearly burst.

And your water camel joeys

And you bullocks cry from thirst.

When the feed is mostly scanty

And the waterholes are dry.

The squatters sitting on your back

It's enough to make you cry.

So you reckon that you will truck it in

Give something else a go.

Yes, the drover's life has pleasures

That the townsfolk never know.

You battle down a dusty stage

To a well that's broken down.

Or a tank shot full of bullet holes

By yokels from the town.

And they wonder why you hit the grog

And curse their lousy stations.

Why many a man has cut his throat

In sheer desperation.

So let this be a warning,

To you fellows of the town.

Who want to go a droving,

Where the bullocks all come down.

For if you go a droving

You very soon will know

That the drover's life has pleasures

That it's better not to know

Yes, I sometimes rather doubt it

But then I wouldn't know.

They say that the drover's life

Has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

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