Hay and Hell in Booligal

Andrew 'Banjo' Paterson

 'You come and see me, boys,' he said;
  'You'll find a welcome and a bed
   And whisky any time you call;
  Although our township hasn't got
  The name of quite a lively spot —
   You see, I live in Booligal.

  'And people have an awful down
  Upon the district and the town —
   Which worse than hell itself they call;
  In fact, the saying far and wide
  Along the Riverina side
   Is "Hay and Hell and Booligal".

  'No doubt it suits 'em very well
  To say it's worse than Hay or Hell,
   But don't you heed their talk at all;
  Of course, there's heat — no one denies —
  And sand and dust and stacks of flies,
   And rabbits, too, at Booligal.

  'But such a pleasant, quiet place,
  You never see a stranger's face —
   They hardly ever care to call;
  The drovers mostly pass it by;
  They reckon that they'd rather die
   Than spend a night in Booligal.

  'The big mosquitoes frighten some —
  You'll lie awake to hear 'em hum —
   And snakes about the township crawl;
  But shearers, when they get their cheque,
  They never come along and wreck
   The blessed town of Booligal.

  'But down in Hay the shearers come
  And fill themselves with fighting-rum,
   And chase blue devils up the wall,
  And fight the snaggers every day,
  Until there is the deuce to pay —
   There's none of that in Booligal.

  'Of course, there isn't much to see —
  The billiard-table used to be
   The great attraction for us all,
  Until some careless, drunken curs
  Got sleeping on it in their spurs,
   And ruined it, in Booligal.

  'Just now there is a howling drought
  That pretty near has starved us out —
   It never seems to rain at all;
  But, if there SHOULD come any rain,
  You couldn't cross the black-soil plain —
   You'd have to stop in Booligal.'

       .    .    .    .    .

  'WE'D HAVE TO STOP!'  With bated breath
  We prayed that both in life and death
   Our fate in other lines might fall:
  'Oh, send us to our just reward
  In Hay or Hell, but, gracious Lord,
   Deliver us from Booligal!'