station life view6


Queensland Punch

Tune: Bonnie Dundee
SITE SOURCE: Bush Life

The Bonnie Barcoo

Now I’ll sing you a song in praise of that land,
Which ignorant folk called a desert of sand,
Where the thick Mitchell grass grows thick fit to reap
And the wide Downs are covered with millions of sheep –
I’ll sing of a hardy intelligent race,
Whose deeds father Time can never efface
Whose hearts to a comrade have ever proved true,
I sing of the lads of the Bonnie Barcoo.

Chorus
Then hurrah! for the creeks, the quartpot and swag,
Hurrah! for the back of the trusty young nag.
Hurrah! for the hearts to their mates ever true,
Success to the lads of the Bonnie Barcoo.

You’ll have heard of the time when the drought was abroad,
When the sun beat relentless down on the sword,
And how nobly Dick Johnson, in spite of his thirst,
Attended the wants of his young comrades first –
How he fetched in the lad who else would have died,
Placed him on his horse and calm walked beside.
Ten miles was the track, and waterless too –
But Dick was a lad of the Bonnie Barcoo

Up to wellshot’s large shed, see the tall shearers ride,
(The board’s built for six and for sixty beside)
The Boss of the shed is prepared for the fray
And their talk is of how many sheep in a day.
Then at night when all traces of daylight have fled,
they gather together beneath the bough shed,
And some play at Euchre while some play at Loo,
Both favourite games on the Bonnie Barcoo.

At length the day comes when the cheques are all paid,
When accounts are adjusted and settlements made.
When the ringer and those who now reap the reward
Make tracks for Blackall or else Isisford,
And those townships soon fill with a boistrous crowd,
(For who the deuce cares if their voices are loud?)
They’ve worked for their coin and they make a shivoo,
Do these sheep shearing lads of the Bonnie Barcoo.

Then hurrah! for the creeks, the quartpot and swag,
Hurrah! for the back of a trusty young nag,
Hurrah! for the hearts to their mates ever true,
Success to the lads of the Bonnie Barcoo.