Backblock Ballads and Other Verses

A Marching Song
Air - Onward Christian Soldiers

Fellers of Australier,
   Blokes an' coves an' coots,
Shift yer --- carcases,
   Move yer --- boots.
Gird yer --- loins up,
   Get yer --- gun,
Set the --- enermy
   An' watch the blighters run.
   Get a --- move on,
      Have some --- sense.
   Learn the --- art of
      Self de- --- -fence.
Have some --- brains be-
   Neath yer --- lids.
An' swing a --- sabre
   Fer the missus an' the kids.
Chuck supportin' --- posts,
   An' strikin' --- lights,
Support a ---- fam'ly an'
   Strike fer yer --- rights.
   Get a --- move on, etc.
Joy is --- fleetin',
   Life is --- short.
Wot's the use uv wastin' it
   All on --- sport?
Hitch yer --- tip-dray
   To a --- star.
Let yer --- watchword be
   "Australi- --- -ar!"
   Get a --- move on, etc.
'0w's the --- nation
   Goin' to ixpand
'Lest us --- blokes an' coves
   Lend a --- 'and?
'Eave yer --- apathy
   Down a --- chasm;
'Ump yer --- burden with
   Enthusi- --- -asm.
   Get a --- move on, etc.
W'en old mother Britain
   Calls yer native land
Take a --- rifle
   In yer --- 'and
Keep yer --- upper lip
   Stiff as stiff kin be,
An' speed a --- bullet for
   Post- --- -ity.
   Get a --- move on, etc.
W'en the --- bugle
   Sounds "Ad- --- -vance"
Don't be like a flock er sheep
   In a --- trance
Biff the --- Kaiser
   Where it don't agree
Spifler- --- -cate him
   To Eternity.
   Get a --- move on, etc.
Fellers of Australier,
   Cobbers, chaps an' mates,
Hear the --- German
   Kickin' at the gates!
Blow the --- bugle,
   Beat the --- drum,
Upper-cut an' out the cow
   To kingdom- --- -come!
   Get a --- move on,
      Have some --- sense.
   Learn the --- art of
      Self de- --- -fence.

(With some acknowledgements to W.T. Goodge.)

Footnote to 1915 reissue - Where a dash (---) replaces a missing word, the adjective "blessed" may be interpolated. In cases demanding great emphasis, the use of the word "blooming" is permissible. However, any other word may be used that suggests itself as suitable.

The Bulletin, 12 November 1908, Red page

Note: Dennis acknowledges W.T. Goodge at the end of this poem. The piece he was referring to was The Great Australian Adjective.

Note by R.H. Croll -
"Dennis amended his Australaise, as published in Sydney Bulletin, to make it topical for the First World War and J.G. Roberts and I paid for its publication in this form for distribution to the troops in camp."
From McLaren Collection (Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne) item 622/30

David Low, in his autobiography, made a reference to this poem, to which Alec Chisholm disagreed. Chisholm outlined his objections in the Bulletin, in January 1957, in an article titled "Low and Den". Early the next year Low had responded to Chisholm in a personal letter and Chisholm clarified the misunderstanding about this poem in "Low and Den", published, again in the Bulletin, in February 1958.

This poem was also published in:
Backblock Ballads and Later Verses,
Favourite Poems of C.J. Dennis,
Selected Verse of C.J. Dennis,
Selected Works of C.J. Dennis.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06