Dennis O'Reilly

(With A Swag All On My Shoulder)


When first I left Old Ireland's shore, the yarns that we were told!

How folks in far-off Australia could pick up lumps of gold!

How gold dust lay in all the streets and a miner's right was free!

"Hurrah!" I told my loving friends, "that's just the place for me!"



With my swag all on my shoulder, and a blackthorn in my hand,

I'll travel the bushes of Australia like a trueborn Irishman.


And when we reached old Melbourne we were all prepared to slip,

And bar the mate and captain and all hands abandoned ship,

And all the girls of Melbourne Town threw up their hands with joy

Hurrooing and exclaiming, "Here comes my Irish boy"


We made our way down to Geelong then north to Ballarat.

Where some of us grew mighty thin and some grew sleek and fat.

Some tried their luck at Bendigo and some at Fiery Creek:

I made my fortune in a day and blued it in a week.


For many years I wandered around to each new field about

And made and spent full many a pound till alluvial petered out

And then for any job of work, I was prepared to try

But now I’ve found the “tucker track”, I’ll stay here till I die

Watch Cobbers performing this on Shirl's Neighbourhood at Sovereign Hill