Union Songs

Cane Killed Abel

A song by Merv Lilley©Merv Lilley 1963
Music by Chris Kempster

Solo: I was a cane cutter, but now I'm at sea,
Chorus: Stool it, and top it, and load it up high.
Solo: Once cane killed Abel, but it won't kill me,
Chorus: Load it up wet and load it up dry.

There was an old seaman who sang this refrain,
He stood to the bar and he filled up again.

I rose every morning about half past three,
To cook me my breakfast, my dinner and tea.

I worked very hard until I went to sea,
Once cane killed Abel, and it almost killed me.


Many thanks to Merv Lilley for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection. It was published in What About The People a collection of poems by Dorothy Hewett and Merv Lilley published by the National Council of the Realist Writers in 1963. This is probably the best known of Merv's songs and was first published in the first of the Bush Music Club's magazine Singabout in 1956.

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