A uniquely Australian ballad of loyalty, bravery and spirit at the Eureka Stockade.

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The Pikeman's Dog

Long before the motorcar, or telegraphic wires

When England not just ruled the waves but ruled over our lives

California fever had spread around the globe

A rush to waiting sailing ships, ‘ye travellers all aboard!’

Destination, a southern nation, across the southern seas

A land where rivers gleamed with gold, a land of hope and dreams

Where poverty and bitterness could all be left behind

Foreign men with nothing but fortunes yet to find

Some day, some day, some day

 

Ballarat on early morn’ Eureka days of old

A story true and moving tells of courage I am told

When just a hint of dawn began to spread across the sky

A motley crew of miners took a stand – prepared to die

And swore under the Southern Cross to fight for liberty

To stand for justice one and all and set the nation free

Against all odds, against the laws, oppressive to extreme

The miners swore under the stars and paid in blood to dream

That day, that day, that day

 

 

Troopers slaughtered all who dared to claim democracy

They cut down every living soul who tried to even flee

Surprised and overrun by forces loyal to the Crown

To no avail the miners stood their ground - most everyone

Among the brave and bleeding soon to count among the dead

A nameless man with mortal wounds inflicted to his head

Had held his pike, had held against King’s horses and King’s men

Had held his pike defiantly right to the bitter end

That day, that day, that day

 

 

The Pikeman, let us call him John, he tried to hold the line

With other men of courage who now knew that it was time

As bullet, bayonet and sword all found their chosen mark

As forces loyal to royalty laid siege in morning dark

And as the nameless pikeman lay there dying on the ground

His only friend beside him, just a scruffy little hound

Who howled and growled at any who did dare to take away

His master and a hero, who took his final breath

That day, that day, that day

 

 

 

The tiny dog, a terrier, cried out so plaintively

A loyal friend right to the end, for God and all to see

Had sat upon his master’s chest, his howls were heard by all

Right on the spot where on that day, courageous men did fall

And soon after John’s body had been tossed upon a cart

Piled upon the many who’d been stabbed right through the heart

Man’s best friend then leapt aboard, for none could drag away

The dog right by his master’s side, a legend born that day

That day, that day, that day

 

No-one ever saw or heard the pikeman’s dog again

No-one ever named the graves of all the fallen men

Most likely put down in cold blood with graveyard digger’s spade

The bravest little Terrier beside his master’s grave

December three, lest we forget, in eighteen fifty four

Liberty and justice finally made it to our shores

Political decrees of greed, of power and of Kings

Had forced the miners to rebel - a stockade bunkered in

That day, that day, that day

 

 

On quiet nights when all the stars are spread across the sky

The Southern Cross still shines on all the souls of those who died

In unmarked graves, not far from where democracy was born

Not far from where they swore an oath of loyalty at dawn

For every little thing we have was fought for years ago

By those who dared to stand up for the freedoms that we know

What fragments of democracy we boldly call our rights

We owe a debt of gratitude to those who held the pikes

That day, that day, that day

 

 

What does it take, to take a stand, and march against the tide

Of apathy and ignorance, the mark of modern times

Some of us remember, shame on those who do forget

Shame on politicians who’ve not learned the lesson yet

Shame on all the people who don’t recognise the flag

Yet bask in all the glory and the benefits they have

Eureka is our history, don’t let it slip away

For once again we’re ruled by iron fist as on that day

That day, that day, that day

That day, that day, that day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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