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The First Hole

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

The discovery of gold in 1851 brought with it the construction of the first telegraph lines and the first railways.

More than one-third of the word's gold production in the 1850s came from the Australian state of Victoria.

The gold rush was certainly evident causing the state's population to explode from 77,000 to 540,000 in just two years.


Sons of Gwalia gold mine, WA in 1921

A few years ago, so I am told
A new chum came up, to dig for gold
He purchased a tub, a shovel and pick,
And swore he was a boy to do the trick.

Ri too raloo, ri too raloo, ri too ralee ay,
Ri too ri too ralee ay.

His tent was pitched on rising ground,
He was told there was plenty of gold around,
A chap showed him a spot, and said, with a smile,
'If you sink a hole there, you will make your pile.'

To sink it took him three days or nigh, sir,
And then he bottomed a beautiful shicer,
He told his friend, who cried 'Man Alive!
If you want to get gold, don't you know you must drive!'

So he opened a drive, and to work he went,
Until every shilling he had was spent;
So he sold his swag, and swore he'd drive on,
until the very last shirt on his back was gone.

At last a glittering speck foretold,
In a few minutes more he's be slap on the gold;
'Hurrah!' he cried 'I know where it's hid,'
When smack went his pick on a coffin lid.

He started with terror, and cursed the knave,
That sent him to dig at a second-hand grave;
The shovel and pick, he flung into the drive,
Glad to get out of the hold alive.

He ran from the flat with an awful shout,
Without waiting to fossick the coffin lid out,
It completely banished his golden dream,
And now the poor beggar is driving a team.

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