Years ago out in the wilds of Australia
Out in the gold fields there once stood a camp
The miners were made up of all sorts of classes
With many a scape-grace and many a scamp
Into their midst came a young man from England
And with him he brought a small thrush in a cage
To hear the bird sing they would crowd round in dozens
The little sweet songster became quite a rage.

Chorus: There fell a deep hush, as the song of the thrush
Was heard by the motley throng
And many a rough fellow's eyes were moist
As the notes rang out clear and strong
Eyes lighted up with a bright yearning look
As the bird trilled it's beautiful lay
It brought to their minds dear old England and home
Thousands of miles away.

Rough were those miners, all fierce-looking fellows
Yet they were human, and worshipped that bird
When quarrels arose they would leave off and listen
If only the voice of their fav'rite they heard
All round for miles he at last got quite famous
On Sunday the miners would come from afar
And many declared they preferred the bird's singing
To cards and the dice at the rough liquor bar.


Often they thought of the cornfields and meadows
Many a shady and quiet little lane
And heart ached and yearned as they thought of some village
And some they had dearly loved, but all in vain
When the bird sang all those hard fellows listened
Perhaps they got tired of the bird? No such thing
As one rough expressed it, 'He came like an angel
And makes you feel 'Good like' to hear that bird sing'.

Written and composed by Walter Hastings & George Le Brunn - 1897
Performed by Jenny Hill (1849-1896)
Performed by Peggy Pryde (1869-1943) [daughter of Jenny Hill]
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