Additional verse

Printable version

MP3 Sample

The Outside Track

Words by Henry Lawson, 1896;
Original tune by Gerry Hallom 1982

Primarily from the singing of
Margaret Walters and John Warner,
Who Was Here?, Feathers & Wedge 1997

Words and tune modified by Charlie Ipcar, 2002

Back to the List of Songs

Back to the
Charlie Ipcar Home Page

There were ten of us there on that moonlit quay
And one on the for'ard hatch;
No straighter man to his mates than he,
No one could be his match;
"'Twill be long, old man, 'fore our glasses clink,
'Twill be long 'fore we grasp your hand!"
Then we dragged him ashore for a final drink,
Till the whole wide world seemed grand.

Chorus:
For they marry and go, as the world rolls back,
They marry and vanish and die;
But their spirit shall live on the outside track,
As long as the years go by.

The port-lights glowed in the morning mist
That rolled from the waters so green;
And over the railing we grasped his fist
As the dark tide came between;
We cheered the captain, we cheered the crew,
And our own mate, times out of mind;
We cheered the land he was going to,
And the land he'd left behind.

Chorus

We roared Lang Syne as a last farewell,
But me heart seemed out of joint;
I well remember the hush that fell
As the steamer cleared the point;
We drifted home through the public bars,
We were ten times less by one,
Who'd sailed out under the morning stars,
Into the rising sun.

Chorus

And one by one, and two by two,
They've sailed from the quay since then;
I've said good-bye to the last I knew,
The last of the careless men;
And I can't but think that the times we had
Were the best times after all,
As I turn aside, raise my glass,
And drink to this barroom wall.

Chorus

Back to the top


Original last verse
(not usually recorded)

But I'll try my luck for a cheque Out Back,
Then a last good-bye to the bush;
For my heart's away on the Outside Track,
On the track of the steerage push.
For they marry and go, as the world rolls back,
They marry and vanish and die;
But their spirit shall live on the outside track,
As long as the years go by.

Back to the top