The Cross of the South

T'was the month of December, the year '54 when the men of Eureka rebelled

And they swore that the flag that they made for themselves e'er proudly aloft would be held

The miners took arms in the stockade that day. The bold words passed from mouth to mouth

"We will stand by this flag and the stars that she bears, brave stars of the cross of the south

    

Though the hot blood of heroes ran fast through their veins, there was only one man they obeyed

And the hero of heroes they chose from their ranks, Peter Lalor their leader they made

Peter Lalor said, "Now, we must stand by our guns. Fear not the cannon's fierce mouth

For I see that the soldiers are gathering now to tear down the cross of the south.

    

Captain Thomas, he charged the Eureka Stockade with three hundred troops by his side

Fire and steel met him there and they fell back again but the first of the miners had died

And the smoke of the battle had scarce cleared away when the soldiers came charging once more

And the miners were killed as they stood round their flag or fell from the wounds that they bore

     

Bold Peter Lalor lay shot on the ground where the soldiers had left him for dead

And the flag that he loved lay there by hyis side, the white stars all stained with red

Peter Lalor he rose on his knees in the dust, these wild words poured from his mouth

You can murder us all in black tyrany's name but you can't kill the cross of the south

     

We learned this from Shirley Jacobs and for years believed it to be an old traditional song. It is not being of quite recent (by folk standards) origin.