Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Diggers Farewell

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Digger's Farewell

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
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