Saltbush Bill and other Verses


Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

I ain’t the kind of bloke as takes to any steady job;
    I drives me bottle cart around the town;
A bloke what keeps ’is eyes about can always make a bob—
    I couldn’t bear to graft for every brown.
There’s lots of handy things about in everybody’s yard,
    There’s cocks and hens a-runnin’ to an’ fro,
And little dogs what comes and barks—we take ’em off their guard
    And we puts ’em with the Empty Bottle-O!


So it’s any “Empty bottles! Any empty bottle-O!”
You can hear us round for a half a mile or so.
     And you’ll see the women rushing
     To take in the Monday’s washing
When they ’ear us crying, “Empty Bottle-O!”

I’m drivin’ down by Wexford-street and up a winder goes,
    A girl sticks out ’er ’ead and looks at me,
An all-right tart with ginger ’air, and freckles on ’er nose;
    I stops the cart and walks across to see.
“There ain’t no bottles ’ere,” says she, “since father took the pledge;”
    “No bottles ’ere,” says I, “I’d like to know
What right you ’ave to stick your ’ead outside the winder ledge,
    If you ’aven’t got no Empty Bottle-O!”

I sometimes gives the ’orse a spell, and then the push and me
    We takes a little trip to Chowder Bay.
Oh! ain’t it nice the ’ole day long a-gazin’ at the sea
    And a-hidin’ of the tanglefoot away.
But when the booze gits ’old of us, and fellows starts to “scrap”,
    There’s some what likes blue-metal for to throw:
But as for me, I always says for layin’ out a “trap”
    There’s nothin’ like an Empty Bottle-O!

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