Digger's Farewell Just as you say sir - I'm off once more The Palmer River, that's my way I landed here in sixty-four That's ten years' struggle along the Grey Ten long years since I landed here In a trackless land of wet and cold Some of our lives were pretty severe But who lacks hardship looking for gold? The whistle. A drink before I start A step to the corner I heard you say? My last on the Coast. With all my heart A brandy straight and then I'm away Here's a long farewell to the old West Coast And a heart prepared for whatever I find Success to the Palmer - is that your toast? Mine's - Here's to the land I leave behind! Latterly gold has been hard to find I've enough to carry - none to spend I'm going away and leaving behind Not one deserving the name of friend Now the gold was pretty near tuckered out When Phil - that's me mate - he says to me There's gold on the Palmer beyond all doubt So here's for sailing out over the sea These words appeared in the "Grey River Argus" (still the local newspaper on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island) in 1874 or 75. Gold workings on the West coast were tailing out, and diggers were leaving for the Palmer River in Australia. The "whistle" was the boarding call. Most NZ singers of this song tend to leave the last two verses off. MG oct99
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!