Give Me A Hut



Give Me a Hut in My Own Native Land


The Australia of the first half of the 19th century was a lonely place made more desperate by the scarcity of women. Many settlers took Aboriginal women as their ‘mate’ and successfully made a comfortable life in the new land. Australians are usually reserved about openly stating their love of country but this bush poem does not hold back. It is full of wonderful imagery as it brings in flora, fauna and landscape. The most important aspect is the desire for a ‘dear native girl who will share it with me’. From the text published in the Queenslander and taken from the Hurd Collection where it was titled ‘The Dear Native Girl’. It is also known as ‘Native Mate’ and ‘My Own Native Land’. Paterson included a version in the 1924 revised edition of Old Bush Songs as ‘Then Give Me A Hut In My Own Native Land’.

Australia, dear land of my childhood and birth,
I think of you still amidst beauty and mirth;
Your forests, your mountains, their charms have for me,
And the dear native girl who will share it with me.

Then give me a hut in my own native land,
Or a tent in the bush with the mountains so grand;
With the scenes of my childhood contented I’ll be,
And the dear native girl who will share it with me.

I love far to roam where the emu does stray,
Where the wild native dog cries aloud for his prey,
Where the kangaroo, wallaroo, and wombat so rare
Are found with the scrub turkey and native bear.

How pleasant to rise at the dawn of the day,
And chase the wild horses o’er the hills far away,
Where he’ll prance and he’ll snort all alone in his glee
Until he’s run down by hearts bold and free.

When winter winds whistle and blast the sweet flowers,
How happy and cheerful we’ll then pass the hours
With the friends of our youth in song or in glee,
And the dear native girl who will share it with me.