goldfields poetry

Poll the Grogseller

by Charles Thatcher c.1860
Big Poll the Grogseller gets up every day
And her small rowdy tent sweeps out;
She's turning in plenty of tin people say
For she knows what she's about.
Polly's good-looking, and Polly is young,
And Polly's possessed of a smooth oily tongue;
She's an innocent face and a good head of hair,
And a lot of young fellows will often go there;
And they keep dropping in handsome Polly to court,
And she smiles and supplies them with brandy and port
And the neighbours all say that the whole blessed day,
She is grog-selling late and early.
She is grog-selling late and early.

Two sly-grog detectives have come up from town,
And they both roam about in disguise;
And several retailers of grog are done brown,
And have reason to open their eyes.
And have reason to open their eyes.

Of her small rowdy crib they are soon on the scent;
But Polly's prepared when they enter her tent;
They call for some brandy - "We don't sell it here,
But", says Poll, "I can give you some nice ginger beer,"
And she adds, "do you see any green in my eye?
To your fine artful dodge and disguise I am fly;
For if Polly you'd nail, you'd have, without fail,
To get up in the morning early."

 Widely available - this online version also has a recording.

and one from now:

Country Pub

They're changing the style of the pubs in the land,
They're trying to make each one look like the Grand.
From Queenstown to Kyeburn it's modern décor,
With wall to wall carpet across the bar floor.

There's wining and dining and neon and chrome,
And the comforts are better than those back at home.
And oysters and cray are the counter lunch grub,
To a band or the TV in an old country pub.

The high country musterer now takes off his boots
And spurs, and refrains from language that pollutes.
While the tired greasy shearer must shower and scrub,
Before he can drink in the old country pub.

Old Jackie the rabbiter came for a drink,
His clothes - blood and guts - bore a terrible stink.
As an escort for blow flies he was the main hub
And a dog or two followed him into the pub.

But Freddie the publican dropped in a faint,
And a tourist from Sydney turned green with the taint.
So Jack jumped in his jeep and took off for the scrub-
Now he's making home brew in an old copper tub.

Mixed drinking means changes a man cannot flout
For swilling and swearing and fighting are out,
While spitting or throwing a cigarette stub,
On the floor is taboo in an old country pub.

The top dressing pilot, the plumber and "Chips"
The pensioner, in for a couple of nips,
Will soon need a reference like some high-toned club,
Before they can drink at the old country pub.

By Blue Jeans
found on the Ancient Briton pub of Naseby website


Heather said…

Thought you might like this interview from RNZ National this morning:

A history of barmaids in NZ, from a woman who's written a book on the subject - including stories of a few barmaids and the political history of restrictions of women in bars.
Sandra said…
Thank you Heather. About to play it now. Sandra

Popular posts from this blog

Heartburn & Paris Etc

Ancient remedies

Sewaholic Nicola in linen