The Scab Train

I'll tell to you a story, put it crudely into rhyme
Of the longest strongest scab train to ever grace the line.
It was early in the New Year and a bastard of a time,
She was loaded up with Jackies she pulled out from number nine.
Stopping short of Strathfield like a tiger in her tracks,
And there took in 100 of those gutter-persia Jacks
(‘They're Victorians of course’).

By Gympie and Rockhampton she puffed and steamed and curled,
The longest strongest scab train throughout the world.
You must have some excuse for scabbing,
And they are only the tools, and the bloody fools
Of Jim Yates and the big fat Queensland squatters.

Now you have finished all your shearing and gone back to New South Wales
And muster up your relatives and relate to them your tales,
Of how you scabbed in Queensland you dirty rotten whore
May they kick you out into the street and speak to you no more.

For you've disgraced your parents, your children and your wife
And by your dirty scabbing action you are branded black for life
They will hear of you where ere they go and hang their heads in shame
They will disown you as a father and regret to bear your name,
And friends you won’t have any, and everyone will shun the off spring-
Of a bastard who scabbed in '31.

And when you die of cancer I'll act the dirty knave,
I'll stroll across the border and shit upon your grave.

‘That's the way you want to do it! ... that come from Moree.
I learnt it off a bloke called Urial J. Jurd. .. Jack Jurd, they
used. to have racehorses, show ponies, cattle and sheep. Jurdy had
a pub, I didn't know him down there, I knew him down the coast.
The Scab Trains' not all there either, there's a little bit in the guts somewhere.’


Collected and recorded by folklorist Chris Sullivan, from Cyril Duncan in Brisbane.

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