Sunny New South Wales by Banjo Paterson

An Olde to NSW

This lively patriotic ballad celebrates Australia, and specifically New South Wales, as a bountiful promised land blessed with natural riches.

Adopting a cheerful, boastful voice, Paterson extols the colony’s virtues ranging from fertile land to mineral wealth. Vivid rural images evoke abundance – endless trees, millions of livestock, quartz filled with gold.

The Old Bush Songs

by Banjo Patterson

References to surpassing even England’s livestock and California’s goldmines convey proud nationalism. Paterson portrays the fledgling colony as overflowing with prospects.

He acknowledges early critiques of Australia but dismisses them as ignorance, instead emphasizing ideals like dutiful women and wholesome living that define the ‘Australian character’.

While exaggeratedly exuberant, the song captures late 19th century optimism about Australia’s future. New South Wales is glorified as a paragon of peace and plenty through rollicking rhyme.

So despite imperial overtones, “Sunny New South Wales” insightfully expresses the buoyant, chest-thumping spirit of colonial Australia. Paterson sings a confident vision of a thriving land rich in resources and national potential.


We often hear men boast about the land which gave them
And each one thinks his native land the fairest spot on
In beauty, riches, power, no land can his surpass;
To his, all other lands on earth cannot even hold a glass.
Now, if other people have their boasts, then, say, why should
not we,
For we can drink our jovial toast and sing with three times
For there’s not a country in the world where all that’s fair
As here it does in this our land, our sunny New South


Then toast with me our happy land,
Where all that’s fair prevails,
Our colour’s blue and our hearts are true,
In sunny New South Wales.

Now let us take a passing glance at all that we possess.
That ours is such a wealthy land no stranger e’er would guess.
Why, we’ve land in store, indeed far more than ever we shall
And trees grow thick on every side in spite of axe and fire.
Our sheep and cattle millions count, our wool is classed A1;
In beef and mutton our fair land is not to be outdone.
Why, we’ve lately seen old England, who boasts her stock
ne’er fails,
Has had to send for wholsome meat preserved in New South

Chorus: Then toast with me, &c.

In childhood California was to us a land of gold,
And people said its riches were so vast, immense, untold.
But time has proved that mineral wealth exists not there
For New South Wales possesses gold in many, many a stone.
And when the gold is taken from out its quartzy veins
A heap of silver, copper, tin, as a residue remains.
In fact we are a mass of wealth in all our hills and dales.
There’s not a country half as rich as sunny New South

Chorus: Then toast with me, &c.

Our climate’s good, that all admit, our flowers are sweet and
And scenes abound on every hand so marvellously fair.
Shame on the men who went away and of us wrote such
Why, when Anthony Trollope came out here he nearly lost
his eyes.
Our native girls are fair and good, their hearts are pure and
And to their colour stick like bricks, the bright Australian
Some never loved a roving life, nor blest the ocean’s gales;
But they bless the breeze that blew them to a life in New
South Wales.

Chorus: Then toast with me, &c.

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