Union Songs

The Wharfie's Song

All my life I've wanted to be a wharfie,
A wharfie that's all I've wanted to be.
I wheels me barrow, I wheels it with pride,
Paddy Murphy, Jimmy Woodster staggering by me side.
I thumbs me nose at all the pannos,
Down where the Cairns Inlet flows,
They'll sell you for a shilling
That's how they get their living,
They should have been in the police force years ago,
Gord Blimey! they should have been in the police force years ago.


Looking for material about wharfies I found this song on the web (May 2000).

The song was originally published in Ron Edwards "Big Book of Australian Folk Songs" and Ron writes: "The Wharfies Song was once popular with waterside workers up and down the east coast of Australia, and is based on the old music hall ditty about the barrow boy. This version was collected from Cairns identity 'Tiger' O'Shane, who learnt it while working on the wharf. The names, and the locations would be changed by each singer to suit his companions and the area in which he was working. A panno is a pannikin boss, or more correctly a foreman stevedore"

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