Wallaby Track, The
DESCRIPTION: "Roll up your bundle and make a neat swag, Collar onto your billycan and the old tuckerbag. It's no disgrace to be seen with your swag on your back, While searching for work on the wallaby track."
EARLIEST DATE: 1968
KEYWORDS: Australia work rambling
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, p. 186, "The Wallaby Track" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [150 words]: Not to be confused with "The Springtime It Brings on the Shearing (On the Wallaby Track)."
According to Davey/Seal, p. 264, "To 'go on the wallaby' or 'on the wallaby track' was a colonial phrase for taking to the road in the manner of a swagman, usually in search of work."
Morris, p. 496, says, "Wallaby track, On the, or On the Wallaby, or Out on the Wallaby, or simply Wallaby, as adj. [slang]. Tramping the country on foot, looking for work. Often in the bush the only perceptible tracks, and sometimes the only tracks by which the scrub can be penetrated, are the tracks worn down by the Wallaby, as a hare tramples its 'form.' These tracks may lead to water or they may be aimless and rambling. Thus the man 'on the wallaby' may be looking for food or for work, or aimlessly wandering by day and getting food and shelter as a Sundowner... at night." Morris's earliest citation is from 1869. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.2
- Davey/Seal: Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, A Guide to Australian Folklore, Kangaroo Press, 2003
- David: Saul David
- Morris: Edward E. Morris, A Dictionary of Austral English, 1898 (I use the 1972 Sydney University Press with a new foreword but no new content)
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