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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

The Freehold
On The Plain

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

Sung to the tune The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.

What the words mean

  • Squatter ~ a grazier or station (ranch) owner especially with a large landholding. Today squatter means a person illegally occupying a property.
  • Freehold ~ property owned by someone (freeholder).

I’m a broken-down old squatter, my cash it is all gone,
Of troubles and bad seasons I complain;
My cattle are all mortgaged, of horses I have none,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

The stockyard’s broken down, and the woolshed’s
    tumbling in;
I’ve written to the mortgagees in vain;
My wool it is all damaged and it is not worth a pin,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

I commenced life as a squatter some twenty years ago,
When fortune followed in my train;
But I speculated heavy and I’d have you all to know
That I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

The stockyard’s broken down, and the woolshed’s
    tumbling in;
I’ve written to the mortgagees in vain;
My wool it is all damaged and it is not worth a pin,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

I built myself a mansion, and chose myself a wife;
Of her I have no reason to complain;
For I thought I had sufficient to last me all my life,
But I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

The stockyard’s broken down, and the woolshed’s
    tumbling in;
I’ve written to the mortgagees in vain;
My wool it is all damaged and it is not worth a pin,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

And now I am compelled to take a drover’s life,
To drive cattle through the sunshine and the rain,
And to leave her behind me, my own dear loving wife —
We were happy on that freehold on the plain.

The stockyard’s broken down, and the woolshed’s
    tumbling in;
I’ve written to the mortgagees in vain;
My wool it is all damaged and it is not worth a pin,
And I’ve lost that little freehold on the plain.

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