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Slim - Sweeney lyrics

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Sweeney by Slim

It was somewhere in September and the sun was goin' down
When I came in search of copy, to a Darling River town
Come-And-Have-A-Drink we'll call it, 'tis a fitting name I think
And 'twas raining, for a wonder, up at Come-And-Have-A-Drink
Underneath the pub verandah I was resting on a bunk
When a stranger rose before me, and he said that he was drunk
He apologised for speaking, there was no offence he swore
But he somehow seemed to fancy that he'd seen my face before
He agreed you can't remember all the chaps you chance to meet
And he said his name was Sweeney, people lived in Sussex Street
He was camping in a stable, that he swore that he was right
Only for the blanky horses walkin' over him all night
He'd apparently been fighting, for his face was black and blue
And it looked as though the horses had been treading on him too
But an honest genial twinkle in the eye that wasn't hurt
Seemed to hint of something better, spite of drink and rags and dirt
He was born in Parramatta and he said with humour grim
That he'd like to see the city, 'ere the liquor finished him
But he couldn't raise the money, he was damned if he could think
What the Government was doing here, he offered me a drink
I declined, 'twas self-denial and I lectured him on booze
Using all the hackneyed arguments that preachers mostly use
Things I'd heard in temperance lectures, I was young and rather green
And I ended by referring to the man he might have been
But he couldn't stay to argue, for his beer was nearly gone
He was glad, he said, to meet me, and he'd see me later on
But he guessed he'd have to go and get his bottle filled again
And he gave a lurch and vanished in the darkness and the rain
Now of afternoons in cities, when the rain is on the land
Visions come to me of Sweeney, with his bottle in his hand.

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