Ballad of Eureka (In 1854)
A Song by Martin McKenna©Martin McKenna 2006
In eighteen fifty four the miners were all digging for gold
And paying the licence fee.
But no say did they have. No , no say did they have.
Now in Ballarat the gold was deep down in the mines
So with every licence hunt the miners had to climb
Just to show the joes they'd paid the fee whenever they might call
But no say did they have. No bloody say at all.
To pay the tax and have no say they claimed was tyranny
So the rebels raised their starry flag in their struggle to be free
And upon the Southern Cross they swore by each other they'd stand true
And have the say for every man, not just the high born few
The squatters made the laws, for the squatters held the land
To give the vote to miners was never in their plan
The Governor agreed and sent his troops to put them down
For no say would he have against the tyrant crown.
On December third, pre sunday dawn as they slept in their stockade
The diggers were cut down by musket ball and blade
And though they lost the battle there, their just cause did prevail
For the miners won the Miners' Right. Now the miners had a say.
So here's to those Eureka men who stood to right a wrong.
We'll keep alive their memories with stories and in song.
And when the challenge comes to us, in the spirit of their day,
We must rise just like those miners did; rise up and have our say.
Yes we must rise just like those miners did, rise up and have our say.
Many thanks to Martin McKenna for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.
"I wrote the song sometime around June last year; I had been reading Raffaello Carboni's account of the Stockade and it's aftermath. It wasn't a planned project, but who knows where these things come from. I certainly had the current IR laws in mind when it came to the final verse."
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union songs..........a selection by mark gregory