Broken-down Squatter: 1894 lyrics by Charles Flower, Australia

Tom Boland (
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 17:18:10 -0700 (PDT)

FWD from songNet

Broken-down Squatter

       Come, Stumpy old man, we must shift while we can
       All your 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's tough that such things have to be
       And it's hard on a horse to have 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 big-wigs are brought
       To the Bankruptcy Court
       What hope 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 on yon pine, as though longing to dine
       On a broken-down squatter like me

       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 money was spent, they doubled the rent
       And resumed the best half of the run

       '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 you can't save the price of your grub
       And there's not much to choose 'twixt the banks and the screws
       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


       First published in the Queenslander in 1894 Written by Charles
Augustus Flower. The brothers Horace and Charles Flower, Queensland station
owners, were keen songwriters in the 1880's - 90's. Charles Flower's
manuscripts are in the Oxley Library, Brisbane. In 1891 the squatters were
at war with the shearers in the Shearers' Strike. In 1893 the banks
crashed. This tune is from Jack 'Hoopiron' Lee who was 77 and had been
blind for a number of years when he was recorded by John Meredith in 1953.


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