The Plains – Banjo Paterson

A land, as far as the eye can see, where the waving grasses grow 

Or the plains are blackened and burnt and bare, where the false mirages go 

Like shifting symbols of hope deferred – land where you never know. 
Land of the plenty or land of want, where the grey Companions dance, 

Feast or famine, or hope or fear, and in all things land of chance, 

Where Nature pampers or Nature slays, in her ruthless, red, romance. 
And we catch a sound of a fairy’s song, as the wind goes whipping by, 

Or a scent like incense drifts along from the herbage ripe and dry 

  • Or the dust storms dance on their ballroom floor, where the bones of the cattle lie.

The Shepherd – Banjo Paterson 

He wore an old blue shirt the night that first we met, 

An old and tattered cabbage-tree concealed his locks of jet; 

His footsteps had a languor, his voice a husky tone; 

Both man and dog were spent with toil as they slowly wandered home. 
I saw him but a moment—yet methinks I see him now 

While his sheep were gently feeding ‘neath the rugged mountain brow. 

When next we met, the old blue shirt and cabbage-tree were gone; 

A brand new suit of tweed and “Doctor Dod” he had put on; 

Arm in arm with him was one who strove, and not in vain, 

To ease his pockets of their load by drinking real champagne. 
I saw him but a moment, and he was going a pace, 

Shouting nobbler after nobbler, with a smile upon his face. 

When next again I saw that man his suit of tweed was gone, 

The old blue shirt and cabbage-tree once more he had put on; 

Slowly he trudged along the road and took the well-known track 

From the station he so lately left with a swag upon his back. 
I saw him but a moment as he was walking by 

With two black eyes and broken nose and a tear-dropp in his eye.

The Swagman – Banjo Paterson

Kind friends, pray give attention 

To this, my little song. 

Some rum things I will mention, 

And I’ll not detain you long. 

Up and down this country 

I travel, don’t you see, 

I’m a swagman on the wallaby, 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 

I’m a swagman on the wallaby, 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 
At first I started shearing, 

And I bought a pair of shears. 

On my first sheep appearing, 

Why, I cut off both its ears. 

Then I nearly skinned the brute, 

As clean as clean could he. 

So I was kicked out of the shed, 

Oh! don’t you pity me, &c. 
I started station loafing, 

Short stages and took my ease; 

So all day long till sundown 

I’d camp beneath the trees. 

Then I’d walk up to the station, 

The manager to see. 

“Boss, I’m hard up and I want a job, 

Oh! don’t you pity me,” &c. 
Says the overseer: “Go to the hut. 

Says the overseer: “Go to the hut. 

In the morning I’ll tell you 

If I’ve any work about 

I can find for you to do.” 

But at breakfast I cuts off enough 

For dinner, don’t you see. 

And then my name is Walker. 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 

I’m a swagman, &c. 

And now, my friends, I’ll say good-bye, 

For I must go and camp. 

For if the Sergeant sees me 

He may take me for a tramp; 

But if there’s any covey here 

What’s got a cheque, d’ye see, 

I’ll stop and help him smash it. 

Oh! don’t you pity me. 

I’m a swagman on the wallaby, 

Oh! don’t you pity me.