Posted By John
Wallaby Stew

Written by Cecil Poole

First published in the Bulletinin 1897.

Also known by the titles
Stir the Wallaby Stew and 
When Dad Comes Out of Gaol.

What the words mean

  • fluke ~ sheep liver fluke (fasciola hepatica) is a parasitic flatworm that infects the liver of mammals such as sheep and humans.
  • cove ~ slang for bloke, man
  • wallaby ~ marsupial smaller than a kangaroo. There are many kinds of wallabies such as the Rock Wallaby and the Swamp Wallaby.

The name “wallaby” comes from the Eora Aboriginal tribe who were the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.

Poor Dad he got five years or more as everybody knows,
And now he lives in Maitland Jail with broad arrows on his clothes,
He branded all of Brown’s clean-skins and never left a tail,
So I’ll relate the family’s woes since Dad got put in jail.

So stir the wallaby stew,
Make soup of the kangaroo tail,
I tell you things is pretty tough
Since Dad got put in jail

Our sheep were dead a month ago, not rot but blooming fluke,
Our cow was boozed last Christmas Day by my big brother Luke,
And Mother has a shearer cove for ever within hail,
The family will have grown a bit since Dad got put in jail.

Our Bess got shook upon a bloke, he’s gone we don’t know where,
He used to act about the shed, but he ain’t acted square;
I’ve sold the buggy on my own, the place is up for sale,
That won’t be all that isn’t junked when Dad comes out of jail.

They let Dad out before his time, to give us a surprise.
He came and slowly looked around, and gently blessed our eyes,
He shook hands with the shearer cove and said he thought things
So left him here to shepherd us and battle back to jail.

Swamp Wallaby