The Old Bush Songs

The Broken-Down Squatter

Edited by

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

     (Air:    “It’s a fine hunting day.”)

COME, Stumpy, old man, we must shift while we can;
    All our mates in the paddock are dead.
Let us wave our farewells to Glen Eva’s sweet dells
    And the hills where your lordship was bred;
Together to roam from our drought-stricken home—
    It seems hard that such things have to be,
And its hard on a “hogs” when he’s nought for a boss
    But a broken-down squatter like me!


     For the banks are all broken, they say,
                 And the merchants are all up a tree.
         When the bigwigs are brought to the Bankruptcy Court,
                 What chance for a squatter like me.

No more shall we muster the river for fats,
    Or spiel on the Fifteen-mile plain,
Or rip through the scrub by the light of the moon,
    Or see the old stockyard again.
Leave the slip-panels down, it won’t matter much now,
    There are none but the crows left to see,
Perching gaunt in yon pine, as though longing to dine
    On a broken-down squatter like me.

     Chorus: For the banks, &c.

When the country was cursed with the drought at its worst,
    And the cattle were dying in scores,
Though down on my luck, I kept up my pluck,
    Thinking justice might temper the laws.
But the farce has been played, and the Government aid
    Ain’t extended to squatters, old son;
When my dollars were spent they doubled the rent,
    And resumed the best half of the run.

     Chorus: For the banks, &c.

’Twas done without reason, for leaving the season
    No squatter could stand such a rub;
For it’s useless to squat when the rents are so hot
    That one can’t save the price of one’s grub;
And there’s not much to choose ’twixt the banks and the Jews
    Once a fellow gets put up a tree;
No odds what I feel, there’s no court of appeal
    For a broken-down squatter like me.

     Chorus: For the banks, &c.

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