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Maryborough, Qld.


“I learned this song when I was a boy about sixteen. We had a small station in Victoria not far from the Campaspe River at a place called Rochester. There was a shearer called Jack Flanagan who’d worked all over the Riverina and Northern Victoria and he had quite a few bush songs and recitations. I liked this particular one and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve sung it all my life off and on.

Mr Gilmer did not have a title for the song.

Limejuice Tub

Now the shearing comes throw down your drums
Step onto the board you spanking chums
When once you’ve crossed the briny deep
You gammon you can shear a sheep

You never saw a sheep before,
Until you reached the Australian shore
When into the bush, by the Lord it’s true
You’d swear the sheep were kangaroos


With a rowdem a rowdem, rub a dud dub
We’ll drive them back to the limejuice tub

Oh, there’s lots of learners, suckers of gums,
Cockatoo’s sons and big new chums
All they want is to clip the wool
They try the shears with a tug and a pull

They make a mull and lots of scars
Such a bawling out for tar
By the Lord Harry the poor jumbucks
Are tommy-hawked by the great humbugs

Now you at home won’t warn-ed be
But come humping your swags to this country
Sixteen thousand miles you’ve come
To hump about a blanket drum

And when you meet upon the road
To kill the time throw down your load
It’s at the sun you give a look
It will soon be time to see the cook

With a rowdem a rowdem, rub a dud dub
We’ll drive them back
to the limejuice tub

This is a poem I only remember the first two lines and it’s about the Kelly’s in Australia.

There was Kelly the rake and Kelly the rambler
Blackguard Kelly and Kelly the gambler

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