The Federal Bus Conductor and the Old Lady

Now 'urry, Mrs New South Wales, and come along of us,
We're all a-goin' ridin' in the Federation 'bus.
A fam'ly party, don't you know -- yes, Queenslans's comin', too,
You can't afford it! Go along! We've kep' box seat for you.
The very one of all the lot that can afford it best,
You'll only have to pay your share the same as all the rest.

You say your sons is workin' men, and can't afford to ride!
Well, all our sons is workin' men, a-smokin' up outside.
You think you might be drove to smash by some unskilful bloke!
Well, ain't we all got necks ourselves? And we don't want 'em broke.
You bet your lofe we're not such fools but what we'll do our best
To keep from harm -- for harm to one is harm to all the rest.

Now, don't go trudgin' on alone, but get aboard the trap;
That basket, labelled "Capital",[1] you take it in your lap!
It's nearly time we made a start, so let's 'ave no more talk:
You 'urry up and get aboard, or else stop out and walk.
We've got a flag; we've got a band; out 'orses travels fast;
Ho! Right away, Bill! Let 'em go! The old 'un's come at last![2]

  1. The two major cities, Sydney in New south Wales, and Melbourne in Victoria, were rivals to be the new Capital. Finally, it was enshrined in the constitution that the capital was not to be within 100 miles of either. Ultimately, the terrirory for the capital, Canberra, was to be carved out of the uplands of southern New South Wales.
  2. "The old 'un", New South Wales, finally agreed to join in the Federation.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).

This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)