The Stockmen Of Australia by Banjo Paterson

In Praise Of Stockmen

This cheerful folk ballad celebrates the spirit and lifestyle of Australian stockmen working as livestock tenders in the outback.

Adopting an admiring tone, Paterson depicts stockmen as rugged and daring riders, dashing about the wilderness mustering cattle. Details like polished boots and crimson shirts create romanticized personas.

The Old Bush Songs

by Banjo Patterson

Stockmen are portrayed as the embodiment of resilient masculinity on the frontier, equally at home in the wilderness or carousing in town. Their hospitality and irreverence give them rakish appeal.

The speaker implies stockmen hold a special place in the national character for taming the bush and providing food through tireless labor. Their importance is honored through the lyrical tribute.

While selectively idealistic, the poem insightfully mythologizes the stockman as a new national archetype – bold, capable and full of outback spirit. Paterson celebrates their role in settlement through rollicking rhyme and bush lore.

So “The Stockmen of Australia” affectionately crystallizes cultural attitudes glorifying frontier stock work and stockmen as icons of the nation in its wilderness phase. They emerge as folk heroes.


The stockmen of Australia, what rowdy boys are they,
They will curse and swear an hurricane if you come in their
They dash along the forest on black, bay, brown, or grey,
And the stockmen of Australia, hard-riding boys are they.

  Chorus: And the stockmen, &c.

By constant feats of horsemanship, they procure for us our
And supply us with the fattest beef by hard work in the
To muster up the cattle they cease not night nor day,
And the stockmen of Australia, hard-riding boys are they.

  Chorus: And the stockmen, &c.

Just mark him as he jogs along, his stockwhip on his knee,
His white mole pants and polished boots and jaunty cabbage-
His horsey-pattern Crimean shirt of colours bright and gay,
And the stockmen of Australia, what dressy boys are they.

  Chorus: And the stockmen, &c.

If you should chance to lose yourself and drop upon his camp,
He’s there reclining on the ground, be it dry or be it damp.
He’ll give you hearty welcome, and a stunning pot of tea,
For the stockmen of Australia, good-natured boys are they.

  Chorus: For the stockmen, &c.

If down to Sydney you should go, and there a stockman
Remark the sly looks cast on him as he roams through the
From the shade of lovely bonnets steal forth those glances
For the stockmen of Australia, the ladies’ pets are they.

  Chorus: For the stockmen, &c.

Whatever fun is going on, the stockman will be there,
Be it theatre or concert, or dance or fancy fair.
To join in the amusements be sure he won’t delay,
For the stockmen of Australia, light-hearted boys are they.

 Chorus: For the stockmen, &c.

Then here’s a health to every lass, and let the toast go round,
To as jolly a set of fellows as ever yet were found.
And all good luck be with them, for ever and to-day,
Here’s to the stockmen of Australia–hip, hip, hooray!

 Chorus: Here's to the stockmen, &c.

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