Steam's Up!

(A new Negro Melody, composed for and sung by J. S. Brice, Negro Melodist.)

Oh, listen to me gemmen all, I’ve come to sing dis song,
De subject isn’t berry short, and isn’t berry long;
It’s ob a rater curous ting, and curous it may seem,
That all de world is going round by means ob gas and steam.

Steam’s up, niggers! steam’s up, I say?

Coaches won’t be any use, when steamers comes dis way.
No longer will you need a dray to take a heavy load,
For you can find an empty train at ebbry muddy road;
From Queensland to Victoria, however strange it seem,
We shall be able to depart in tings dat goes by steam.

De lawyers will all close dere shops, for want ob certain fees,
De parsons at no college den will need to take degrees;
De doctors who have always got from patients quite de cream,
Will cut off legs and broken arms in future all by steam.

De bush will be a bush no more where kangaroos abound,
But in its place a terminus or railway will be found;
And when you want your breakfast, you can get all de cream,
In future dey will milk de cows by things dat work by steam.


From the Sydney Songster 10 1865-1869, with a note “A new Negro Melody, composed for and sung
by J. S. Brice, Negro Melodist”; reprinted in George Loyau 1991, p.33. The composer, who used the
pen-name George Chanson, is considered to be George Loyau.

No comments: