After coming to Australia, the first colonists
usually bought some sheep, hired a few man, found a
place in the bush they liked (bush is wild,
uncultivated land), and built a house on "their" land.
If there were any Aborigines there, they were
frightened away, or shot.
These early farmers were called "squatters".
In the second half of the 19th century many of them
became rich and their farms were patrolled by
They employed migrant workers to work for them.
The following song, sometimes called and unofficial
Australian anthem, tells the story of a poor
swangman - a seasonal migrant worker.
The story is sad, but the melody is very lively.