The Bagman’s Farewell

Tune: A Stalwart Young Lancer

A strapping young bagman lay dying,
His bluey supporting his head,
Around him his mates were all crying,
For a handout of corn beef and bread.

This bagman had jumped many a rattler,
He’d bitten handouts by the score,
Been in the front ranks of the battlers,
But alas he would battle no more.

Wrap me up in my nosebag and blankets,
And bury me deep down below,
Where the demons and wallopers won’t worry me,
‘Cause I’m going where good bagmen go.

He’d ridden the rods through Australia,
Been kicked off every freight too,
He’d learned all the lurks when a “whaler”
He jumped his first freight from Pinaroo.

Now there was young Diver the kid from Brunswick,
And Time Table Scotty as well,
Box Car Bertie, Philadelphia and Lucky,
To bid that hobo a bagman’s farewell.

He hears the A2 pull out for Geraldton,
Or maybe some far northern track,
Be it Tallarook, Cairns or Babinda,
He knows he will never go back.

Now the Demons await him at Rockhampton,
Those coppers await at Yorall,
Those bludgers will wait there for ever
‘Cause he’s copping the fast freight for Hell.


From Ron Edwards AUSTRALIAN FOLK SONG Index p. 642.

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