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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Stewie Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (987* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 06 Nov 20


DIGGER’S FAREWELL
(Anon/Colqhoun)

Just as you say sir - I'm off once more
The Palmer River, that's my way
I landed here in sixty-four
That's ten years' struggle along the Grey

Ten long years since I landed here
In a trackless land of wet and cold
Some of our lives were pretty severe
But who lacks hardship looking for gold?

Latterly gold has been hard to find
I've enough to carry - none to spend
I'm going away and leaving behind
Not one deserving the name of friend

Now the gold was pretty near duffering out
When Bill - that's me mate - he says to me
There's gold on the Palmer beyond all doubt
So here's for sailing out over the sea

There’s the whistle - a drink before I start
A step to the corner, I hear you say?
My last on the coast - with all my heart
A brandy straight and then I'm away

Here's a long farewell to the old West Coast
And a heart prepared for whatever I find
‘Success to the Palmer’ - is that your toast?
Mine's - ‘Here's to the land I leave behind!’

The poem was published in ‘The Grey River Argus’, a newspaper on the west coast of NZ’s South Island in 1874. When gold workings petered out on the west coast, many diggers headed for the Palmer River in Australia. The ‘whistle’ was the boarding call.

Youtube clip

--Stewie.


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