I was born a
"Banana Bender", to a “Taswegian” Mum and Dad,
And I left our home in "Bundy” when I was just a lad;
I needed to "have a gander" along the ‘wallaby track,”
In search of work and freedom in the "Aussie great outback.”
I started on my “Pat Malone” until I met up with a “mate,”
He was “built like an old brick shithouse” and his “cobbership”
His “fungus face” was ginger. His hair was auburn red,
His hat was old and tattered perched high upon his head.
His name was “Bluey” Grimaldi, an older man than me,
And he became a “Swaggie” in nineteen seventy three;
We put the “Billy” on to boil, unrolled our trusty “swag,”
Bluey stoked the fire while I sucked on a fag.
Our camp was near a “Billabong”, where the “mozzies” were out in
We dined on “damper” and “bum nuts” splashed with a bit of “dead
Bluey then told me his story, about the life he was living
When things turned “crook in Muswellbrook” after the Vietnam
I had me a “missus” and two “billy lids” when I came home from
And a “few snags short of a barbie” … Well that was according to
I got “full as a boot” too often and “flaked” from drinking too
“Blew our dough” on “grog” and “nags” gambling, “footy” and
I was a “dingbat, a “drongo”. The “bush telegraph” passed the
But “fairdinkum mate”, I could see nothing wrong,’ til a “blow
in” arrived at our town;
A “sand groper” “fella” from Bunbury whose “clobber” was casual
Soon caught the eyes of my “missus” and she quickly gave him her
“Flat out like a lizard drinking” he left with my “sheila” and
And with them they took all my future, punished for things that
So here I am young “fella” I think I have “earbashed” enough,
My life has been “a dog's breakfast” and at times a little too
“I’m as dry as a dead dingos donger”, “ amber fluid” is all that
“Hoo roo cobber” I’m leaving and its been a pleasure indeed.
He packed his swag and departed, I watched as he faded from
I soon bedded down in the “humpy” and I prayed that he’d be
I dozed off to sleep by the firelight, to the drones of a
The "white cockatoos" in the treetops and the bounds of a "red
The next morning I pondered Blue's story with a quiver from my
A "digger" who fought for Australia , without a “fair crack of
The thought made me “mad as a cut snake,” I realized just what
war could do,
And to think there are many more veterans, exactly the same as
So now back on my “Pat Malone,” beyond the “back of Bourke,”
I hope and pray “just down the road” that I will find some work;
Stock up the empty “tucker bag” have me a “schooner” or two,
And drink a toast to Vietnam vets, especially my old mate
of Australian Slang words
... Someone from Queensland.
... Someone from Tasmania.
... Common name for Bundaberg Queensland and also
Have a Gander
... Have a look.
On The Wallaby Track
... Travel, looking for work.
... Remote Inland Australia.
... On your own.
... Friend, Pal, Buddy, Cobber. Also used in General
greeting -- "how ya going mate."
Built like a Brick Shithouse
... Strong (outdoor toilets in old days were usually
built of wood not as strong as the more modern brick
... Mate, friend -- cobbership = friendship.
... One with a beard.
... Nickname for a male with red hair.
... Someone who travels the countryside looking for
casual work and handouts, usually with only a billy,
clothes and a swag; as in the traditional song
... A container for boiling water on a campfire.
... Bedroll, usually made of canvas with a thin
... Cigarette, common slang word used in other parts
of the world.
... Waterhole, contributory of a river.
... Bush bread made from flour and water usually
baked in a camp oven.
... Sauce, can be tomato or hot sauce (
Worcestershire, PMU etc).
Things turned Crook In Muswellbrook
Turned wrong, sometimes used as "Things are crook in
A Few Snags Short of a Barbie
... Short of common sense.
Full as a Boot
Blew Our Dough
... Spent and wasted money.
... Alcohol -- beer, wine, spirits.
... Football, whatever code you allegiances are to.
... Town gossips.
... Really, honestly.
... A stranger, newcomer.
... A person from Western Australia.
... Man, person.
Flat Out Like A Lizard Drinking
... To do something fast.
... A woman.
... Talk for so long.
... Messy, mess.
Dry As A Dead Dingo's Donger
... Very dry, 'Dingo' being a wild Dog,,,,,
'Donger' being penis.
Hoo Roo Cobber
... Goodbye mate.
... Rough bush shelter.
... Australian Aboriginal musical instrument made of
... Large white parrot type bird.
... Australian Marsupial coloured reddish brown --
majority of kangaroos are coloured grey.
... Australian Soldier.
Fair Crack Of The Whip
... A fair chance.
Mad as a Cut Snake
... Upset, Angry, Go Crazy.
A glass that holds 15 ounces of fluid, Preferably
filled with "Amber Fluid" and favoured by many
Aussie beer drinkers.
Back of Bourke
... The far Outback, Bourke being a town in outback
New South Wales.
Just Down The Road
... Could be a very long way in the Australian
... Bag for carrying food usually made of Hessian or
canvas. Tucker box = Esky.