The Dying Sleeper Cutter


An old sleeper cutter lay dying,
His broad-axe supporting his head.
All around him the others were standing,
When he raised on his pillow and said

Wrap me up with my cant hook and wedges,
And bury me deep down below,
Down where the tall clogs can’t haunt me,
Where the five cut wavy grains grow.

There’s no teeth on the buckled old cross saw,
No stern in the splintered old bore,
And I bet my hobb-nails there isn’t
No rum in the billy at all.

It’s goodbye to the cutting, young Dennis,
Goodbye to Sunday Flat too,
Groodamans I cut out and finished,
And I’m saying sad farewell to you.


From Meredith, John (collection) (1968) Folk Songs of Australia Ure Smith

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