Posted By John
Wallabi Joe

traditional Australian song, composer unknown

Sung to the tune
The Mistletoe Bough.

What the words mean

  • schist ~ rock that splits easily into flakes or slabs

The saddle was hung on the stockyard rail,
And the poor old horse stood whisking his tail,
For there never was seen such a regular screw
As Wallabi Joe, of Bunnagaroo;
Whilst the shearers all said, as they say, of course,
That Wallabi Joe’s a fine lump of a horse;
But the stockmen said, as they laughed aside,
He’d barely do for a Sunday’s ride.

Oh! poor Wallabi Joe.
O—oh! poor Wallabi Joe.

“I’m weary of galloping now,” he cried,
“I wish I were killed for my hide, my hide;
For my eyes are dim, and my back is sore,
And I feel that my legs won’t stand much more.”
Now stockman Bill, who took care of his nag,
Put under the saddle a soojee bag,
And off he rode with a whip in his hand
To look for a mob of the R.J. brand.

Oh! poor Wallabi Joe.
O—oh! poor Wallabi Joe.

Now stockman Bill camped out that night,
And he hobbled his horse in a sheltered bight;
Next day of old Joe he found not a track,
So he had to trudge home with his swag on his back.
He searched up and down every gully he knew,
But he found not a hair of his poor old screw,
And the stockmen all said as they laughed at his woe,
“Would you sell us the chance of old Wallabi Joe.”

Oh! poor Wallabi Joe.
O—oh! poor Wallabi Joe.

Now as years sped by, and as Bill grew old,
It came into his head to go poking for gold;
So away he went with a spade in his fist,
To hunt for a nugget among the schist.
One day as a gully he chanced to cross,
He came on the bones of his poor old horse;
The hobbles being jammed in a root below
Had occasioned the death of poor Wallabi Joe.

Oh! poor Wallabi Joe.
O—oh! poor Wallabi Joe.