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Lyr ADD: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)

Celtaddict 23 Aug 05 - 10:30 PM
Bob Bolton 24 Aug 05 - 09:33 PM
Celtaddict 25 Aug 05 - 12:55 AM
Bob Bolton 25 Aug 05 - 02:42 AM
Celtaddict 25 Aug 05 - 07:13 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Aug 05 - 07:50 PM
Celtaddict 28 Aug 05 - 02:04 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Sep 05 - 09:14 AM
Bob Bolton 03 Sep 05 - 03:00 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Sep 05 - 06:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Sep 05 - 06:46 AM
Celtaddict 12 Sep 05 - 04:50 PM
Celtaddict 16 Jul 07 - 09:45 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Jul 07 - 11:51 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 01:18 AM
Sandra in Sydney 18 Jul 07 - 05:35 AM
Bob Bolton 18 Jul 07 - 05:41 AM
Sandra in Sydney 18 Jul 07 - 09:14 AM
Celtaddict 18 Jul 07 - 02:09 PM
Rowan 18 Jul 07 - 06:20 PM
Celtaddict 18 Jul 07 - 09:42 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Aug 07 - 08:41 AM
Celtaddict 26 Aug 07 - 04:56 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Aug 07 - 12:51 AM
Rowan 27 Aug 07 - 01:41 AM
Bob Bolton 27 Aug 07 - 09:50 AM
Celtaddict 27 Aug 07 - 04:57 PM
Celtaddict 04 Sep 07 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Ben 06 Jan 11 - 01:16 AM
GUEST,jamie macqueen 20 Apr 11 - 12:58 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 11 - 05:08 PM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Aug 11 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Sharon Radliffe Fowler in Sydney 09 May 12 - 05:57 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 17 - 07:15 AM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Apr 17 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,mac3 24 Nov 17 - 08:29 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 10:30 PM

I am looking for what may be a fragment of an Australian bush poem. The family of a friend, for at least the last three generations, when drinking, raises the pint, intones "When you're stony broke and walking, and no bastard there is talking, and the billy's getting low..." then they drink. I understand Bob Bolton is trying to track down a similar quote, used as a toast, that does include the line "stony broke and walking" (though in his the tucker bag is empty). It may be these are variations/corruptions of the same bit, or two verses of a longer poem. Does this ring a bell with anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 09:33 PM

G'day Celtaddict,

Whereabouts did your friend's family live ... and use this toast? I'm assuming the starting point is Australia - but it's a big place!

I also assume, that your friend remembers this from family gatherings ... up until what period?

Sorry I can't help with any more identification of the toast's origins, but it might yet jog someone's memories.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 12:55 AM

He will be thirty in January; he and his Uncle (late 50's? or 60's?) were using it as recently as this past weekend; definitely current in their family, judging by Auntie's "Don't get them started!" He grew up in Melbourne, still lives in suburb, and his uncle lives in one of the suburbs; his parents live nearby, and sister, so I have never asked but guess this vicinity has been his family home for some time. They quote his grandfather (Uncle's father) as using it, and a great uncle (not sure if he meant grandfather's uncle or grandfather's brother; my impression was the former). This was at his wedding reception, and I did not exactly research it, but was intrigued because it sounded vaguely familiar and also unfinished; they were joking in fact that "no one" knew the rest of it because it always stopped there. Evidently Grandfather used to start it out as if it were a full recitation, but not go back to it after the drink; they definitely thought there was a lot more of it somewhere, if only in grandfather's head. They speak of it (believe me, this seems to be a heavily ingrained family tradition) not as a toast but as "that poem Grandfather always used to recite but never get any farther than..." though it does function more as a toast now, or at least as an unsung "drinking song."
Actually, in the first post, I meant to type "no bastard is there," though the scansion when they recite it makes it evident this does not mean location or absence of the b. but poetic syntax for "there is no b."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 02:42 AM

G'day Celtaddict,

Thanks for that ... one more question: Did the family move to the city (from earlier 'bush' background ... or might one of those older relatives been "out on the track" at some point (such as the Great Depression era) ... ?

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 07:13 PM

I don't know but will ask, when he is home from his honeymoon. The relatives and ages seem to make 1930s-40s not unreasonable.
Did you ever find any more of the one you were looking for in 2002, with the line "and the tucker bag is empty and the fish refuse to bite" in it? (I seem to recall it started "What's the use of talking when you're stony broke and walking...")


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 07:50 PM

It does sound like the meter and vernacular of the bush poets of the period.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 02:04 PM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 09:14 AM

Transmissions, a newsletter of The Australian Folklore Network, from 2002, contains this quote, but no more:

"But what's the use of talking when you're stony broke and walking,
And the tucker bag is empty and the fish refuse to bite?".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 03:00 AM

G'day Jim,

I think I might have put that there ... or Prof. Graham Seal did - after I asked him about that enigmatic couplet on his Steamshuttle record of a few decades back!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 06:20 AM

AH! round and round in Acadmeic circles again....
Shades of Vangelding...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 06:46 AM

Sorry - meant Zangelding.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 04:50 PM

I wouldn't know how to geld a Zan (or a Van for that matter, though I used to date one...) but am still hopeful of tracking this down.
Bob Bolton, that fragment on the 2002 Folklore Network is the one I found when I googled the phrase.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 09:45 PM

So, it's been awhile: does this ring any bells to anyone yet?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jul 07 - 11:51 PM

Google Book Search found this quote:

ADVICE TO A YOUNG SWAGMAN

When you're stoney broke and walking
An' your tucker bag is flat,
It will never get you nowhere
If you start to whip the cat, ...

from
"Duke of the Outback: The Adventures of a Shearer Named Tritton"
by John Meredith
Ascot Vale : Red Rooster Press, 1983.

Unfortunately, since the book is still under copyright, only that brief "snippet" is viewable.

However, the author (or at least collector/performer) of the poem seems to be Harold Percy Croydon "Duke" Tritton (1886-1965).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 01:18 AM

"When you're stoney broke and walking"

THAT has got to be one of the best lines ever. Without doubt.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ADVICE TO A YOUNG SWAGMAN (Tritton)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 05:35 AM

Duke Tritton was one of the early members of the Bush Music Club.

============

page 56 of John Meredith's book.

(chapter name) Songs that he wrote.

("In this section 'song' is used in it's broader sense to include also the spoken ballad")

ADVICE TO A YOUNG SWAGMAN by Duke Tritton

When you're stoney broke and walking
An' your tucker bag is flat,
It will never get you nowhere
If you start to whip the cat,
For there ain't no time for weepin'
aWhen you're on a hungry track,
An' we have no use for squealers
On the roads that run outback.

You must keep your independence
An' if a squatter snarls at you,
You snarl back at him
what you think he ought to do;
You can query his ancestry
Which will mostly start a brawl,
Win or lose, it shows the squatter
That you're never one to crawl.

But when the grass is long and dry
You will find the all polite,
An' you'll get a good handout
If you work your noodle right.
You just flash a box of matches
An' speak of the 'Wild Red Steer',
He'll most likely call you 'mister',
He might even shout a beer.

An' if ever you are short of meat,
It really is not a sin
For to knock a jumbuck over,
But be sure you plant the skin.
For if they catch you with it,
You'll surely get it hot,
For the magistrate's a squatter
And he'll hand you out the lot.

You may be busted up and broke,
Well, you are not the first
To shove a cheque across the bar
To satisfy your thirst.
You'll have plenty other troubles,
But keep them under your hat;
One thing no dinkum swagman does
Is whip the flamin' cat.

=============


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Subject: Lyr Add: ADVICE TO A YOUNG SWAGMAN (Tritton)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 05:41 AM

G'day Jim Dixon,

The full item is reproduced below. Unfortunately, the rest of the poem (not a song - despite the chapter heading) goes on with more general advice for a young bloke on survivng as a 'swagman'. That is, an itinerant worker living on rations (sometimes grudgingly) provided by the property owners - who needed a good labour force for seasonal work such as sheep-shearing, stock mustering, harvesting, etcetera. The opening lines are obviously yet another partial quote from what must have been a popular piece of "folk poetry" back in the lat 19th century!

In the past, I have tended to be the copyright contact for 'Duke's copyright material - especially where it was first published in Bush Music Club journals ... as I am currently editor of our magazine and publications officer. For a while I was out of touch with Duke's descendants - but I've now made contact with the next generation, so I can refer anything that has a bit of money attached to his Grandson Don (Croydon) Tritton.

ADVICE TO A YOUNG SWAGMAN

Harold Percy Croydon ('Duke') Tritton

When you're stoney broke and walking
An' your tucker bag is flat,
It will never get you nowhere
If you start to whip the cat,
For there aint no time for weepin'
When you're on a hungry track,
An' we have no use for squealers
On the roads that run outback.

You must keep your independence
An' if a squatter snarls at you,
You snarl back an' tell him
What you think he ought to do;
You can query his ancestry
Which will mostly start a brawl,
Win or lose, it shows the squatter
That you're never one to crawl.

But when the grass is long and dry
You will find them all polite,
An' you'll get a good hand out
If you work your noddle right.
You just flash a box of matches
An' speak of the 'Wild Red Steer',
He'll most likely call you 'mister',
He might even shout a beer.

An' if ever you are short of meat,
It really is not a sin
For to knock a jumbuck over,
But be sure you plant the skin.
For if they catch you with it,
You'll surely get it hot,
For the magistrates a squatter
And he'll hand you out the lot.

You may be busted up and broke,
Well, you are not the first
To shove a cheque across the bar
To satisfy your thirst.
You'll have plenty other troubles,
But keep them under your hat;
One thing no dinkum swagman does
Is whip the flamin' cat.

Duke of the Outback , the stories, poems and songs of Duke Tritton, by John Meredith, Red Rooster Press, Ascot Vale, (Victoria, Australia) 1983, Studies in Australian Folklore, no. 5 Duke of the Outback,:
2. Songs That He Wrote      page 56

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 09:14 AM

and there we both were typing away ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 02:09 PM

Thread drift alert!
What does it mean, to 'whip the cat'?
It seems by context to involve whining about things one can't do anything about, but to me the phrase seems to suggest picking on someone weaker or possibly 'taking it out' on someone uninvolved with the problem.
I still think Bob's fragment and mine (and I think his sounds more accurate) are bits of a bush poem older than Mr. Tritton's work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Rowan
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 06:20 PM

You've understood perfectly, Celtaddict, with your " picking on someone weaker or possibly 'taking it out' on someone uninvolved with the problem." The more common expression (in my Oz experience) is "kicking the cat".

Your original explanatory post directed to Bob reminded me of another of those throwaway lines, common in Melbourne as I grew up, when things weren't going too well'
"Things are crook in Tallarook!" (Tallarook is a small town north of Melbourne on the Hume Highway but now bypassed) and the phrase was often followed by the the response
"And there's no work in Bourke!"

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 09:42 PM

Thanks, Rowan. I think I will try running 'crook in Tallarook' past my Melbourne friend.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 08:41 AM

G'day again Celtaddict (& evreyone else...),

I (vaguely) recollected that Don Brian, had collected something very like the lines quotes above (02 Sept, 2005) by Jim Dixon. I asked Don, at last Friday's Beer & Cheese Night ("themed singing session") and Don recited back exactly what was printed in "Transmissions" ... so it was probably Don that fielded that particular query.

I've pasted in the relevant texts fron Don's email replies to me. They don't directly help on your query - but they do indicate a body of related rhymes! The final 'poem' is a development of a "Farewell" piece that has been used to curse the hot north of Australia (Queensland and Northern Territory) as well as Tasmania's convict stations back in the 19th century

Regards,

Bob

Don Brian's emails:

Thanks Bob
The version I heard was:

"What's the use of talking when you're stony broke and walking
and the tucker bag is empty and the fish refuse to bite"

I recorded it from Clarrie Moon of Chiltern VIC in 1977

Also (recorded) from Rocky Dickerson in Broken Hill 11-8-77:

You ought to see bagmen today
They're jumping trains along the way
They never fear if p'lice are near
But if they're caught they must appear
The magistrate will not relent
and into some small gaol they'e sent
When they come out the p'lice they shout
This town's too hot, you must get out .
So once again with swag on back
the poor old bagman hits the track
The track is long and weary now
The bagman must get along some how.

And from Sam Byrne Broken Hill 1977:

I'm only a humble swagman
looking for work in vain
I'm out in all the weathers
sunshine, wind and rain
And when I get tired of walking
I try and jump a train
But what's the use of talking
I'm a bagman just the same.

Do you know any further the background to these
Perhaps a mudcatter might

Don

A second email from Don Brian

G'day Bob
Copied from the back of the door to a room in the Laggan Hall:

"A swagman committing suicide"
by Matt Allen Swaggie Oct 31 1930

Farewell land of kangaroos
native dogs and cockatoos
fleas and ticks and bulldog ants
I'm leaving you my pants.
Also shirts and other rags
billycan and tuckerbags
So fare ye well you good old tramps
never more shall I see your camps
on lonely roads or in green lanes
or on the hills or on the plains
Farewell, things might be much better
this ends the life of Kenny Ketter.

Matt Allen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 26 Aug 07 - 04:56 PM

Bob, thanks so much.
Do you have a suggestion for a good text of bush poetry? I gather it is a fragmented genre but has been collected at least here and there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 12:51 AM

G'day Celtaddict,

These days, there are vast numbers of specialised collections of new poetry ... and the 'traditional' favourites (Paterson, Lawson, Lindsay-Gordon ... &c, &c) have remained in print (even if often as facsimiles of earlier settings!).

I think that the best starting point for someone wanting to come in from the "folk tradition' end might be one of a few collections put together in the early flush of the "Australian Folk Revival" - the 1950s/'60s. I'll rat around my bookshelves, when I get home, to come up with a few good examples. I'll also run the same question past Eddie Sampson - a poetry reciter (far more than poetry writer) who comes along to my Monday Night Music Session ... to keep poetry in our minds as poems, not just source lyrics for songs!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Rowan
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 01:41 AM

Greetings Celtaddict,
While Bob's ratting around his bookshelves you'll find examples scattered through some of Mudcat's threads, the only one I can immediately recall has "Recitations" in the title but there are other threads on named items. I'm not sure of Mudcat's policy on archiving spoken (rather than sung or played) material in the DT and there's a bit of a backlog due to coping with a series of events but searching should reveal a few things of interest to you.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 09:50 AM

G'day again Celtaddict,

Our Monday Music Session was too eager (... or too clearly knew they needed ... ) to practise for a Bush Dance they are playing next Saturday - so I didn't get to discuss books with Eddie.

Looking at my own shelves, I would suggest a few established books ... although that might mean chasing them at secondhand book shops (and that depends on just where you are).

A few that come to hand are:

The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads, Ed. Russell Ward, Penguin Books Ltd, first published 1964.

The Penguin Book of Humorous Australian Verse, Compiled by Bill Scott, Penguin Books Australia Ltd, first published 1984.

The Old Bulletin Book of Verse The best verses from The Bulletin 1880 - 1901. First published 1901 as The Bulletin Reciter .. Published (in facsimile) 1975, by Lansdowne Press, Melbourne.

Australian Bush Ballads, ed. Douglas Stewart & Nancy Keesing. First published 1955, Angus & Robertson. My copy published 1971 by Lloyd O'Neil Pty. Ltd, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia. This book is the "verse" companion to Old Bush Songs, ed. Douglas Stewart & Nancy Keesing. First published 1957, Angus & Robertson. My copy published 1976 by Angus & Robertson, Australia - in their "Australian Classics" reprint series.

These give a good range of material - mostly from the late "Colonial era" (up to 1900) and the early "Federation" period (from 1901). The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads has selection from the earliest collected material up to modern authors; divided up into eight sections, by period and "authorship".

Good luck looking for these ... or equivalents!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 04:57 PM

Thank you so much! I do have the Penguin Ballads and look forward to accumulating more. An online search without any prior information is sometimes not useful as I have nothing on which to base assessments; online is not like browsing at my used booksellers' places, as they tend to give information on the state of the book itself and virtually nothing on its content, so starting with some recommendations from someone knowledgeable is a great help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: Celtaddict
Date: 04 Sep 07 - 04:40 PM

This bush poetry is really addictive!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'stony broke and walking' (AU)
From: GUEST,Ben
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 01:16 AM

My Father used to say "I'm stony broke and busted and I'm walking up the track" Then he'd tail off and forget the rest. He's dead now but was a very knowledgeable fellow on all things outback as he was a shearer in the 60's and 70's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: GUEST,jamie macqueen
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 12:58 PM

My Grandad has a different version he recites snatches of when drinking... " Whats the point in talking/when you're stony broke and walking/when your tucker bag is empty/and your water bag is dry......he swung an axe at the mighty blacks/what more could a bastard do/he'd been in every brothel from Bendigo to Cue..." It seems that there may be several different regional differences in this ballad. I imagine it came through an oral tradition and changed along the way. : )


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 05:08 PM

whats the use of talking when your stoney broke and walking and your blewcher boots are leaking and your nose bags hanging low
Whats the use of staying when you have no hope of paying and the publican is calling for the law????????????????????????????????????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 12:56 PM

typo corrected in last post


whats the use of talking when your stoney broke and walking and your BLUCHER boots are leaking and your nose bag's hanging low
Whats the use of staying when you have no hope of paying and the publican is calling for the law????????????????????????????????????

Blucher boots - alternate name for Wellington boots


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: GUEST,Sharon Radliffe Fowler in Sydney
Date: 09 May 12 - 05:57 PM

My father also recites a similar poem when a few sheets to the wind, he is nearly 70 and says an old bloke from taken point told it to him
" what's the use in talkin when your Stoney broke and walkin
And what's the use in wishin for a feed to come from fishin
And the tucker bag is empty and the fish refuse to bite"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 07:15 AM

what's the use of talking
when you're stony broke and walking
and your tucker box is empty
and your horse is going lame

Heard it in the Wickham (W.A.)hotel bar 1973
old bloke wouldn't tell me the rest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Apr 17 - 09:30 AM

very interesting thread!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Advice to a Young Swagman (Duke Tritton)
From: GUEST,mac3
Date: 24 Nov 17 - 08:29 AM

I made two more verses for this one.

What's the use of talking
When you're stony broke and walking
And your tucker box is empty
And your horse is going lame

And what's the use of saying
That you really can't be staying
But the bloody dog is dying
And I have to put him deep

And what's the use of asking
Then, Him for a favour
That when I dig to give a hand
Or turn the bloody rock to sand
And to point the bloody way
And I have to bloody say
It's been a bloody lousy day


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