Henry Lawson

The Foreign Drunk

When you get tight in foreign lands You never need go slinking, No female neighbours lift their hands And say The brute! he’s drinking! No mischief-maker runs with smiles To give your wife a notion, For she may be ten thousand miles Across the bounding ocean. Oh! I’ve been Scottish fu all night, (O’er ills o’ life victorious), And I’ve been Dutch and German tight, And French and Dago glorious. We saw no boa-constrictors then, In every lady’s boa, Though we got drunk with Antwerp men, And woke up in Genoa! When you get tight in foreign lands, All foreigners are brothers You drink their drink and grasp their hands And never wish for others. Their foreign ways and foreign songs And girls you take delight in: The war-whoop that you raise belongs To the country you get tight in. When you get tight in a foreign port (Or rather bacchanalian), You need no tongue for love or sport Save your own good Australian. (A girl in Naples kept me square Or helped me to recover For mortal knoweth everywhere The language of the lover). When you get tight in foreign parts, With tongue and legs unstable, They do their best, with all their hearts And help you all they’re able. Ah me! It was a happy year, Though all the rest were blanky, When I got drunk on lager beer, And sobered up on Swankey.

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