Song for the Eureka Stockade

From every corner of the world
They came from all around
When in 1851
They struck gold upon the ground
Every voyage was a long one
Months upon the stormy sea
Some to seek their fortune
Others escaping slavery
What they found on the goldfields
Was rule by brutish thugs
Discrimination and taxation
Mixed with swinging billy clubs
The gold was getting scarcer
And cops were getting worse
The diggers burned their licenses
And vowed to end this curse

They swore an oath
Beneath the Southern Cross
They’d stand together
And break the license laws
From twenty different nations
They gathered here as one
In Ballarat
Beneath the southern sun

The crown tried to divide them
Giving preference to some
The diggers wouldn’t have it
They said it’s all of us or none
They built a stockade
While the Redcoats massed nearby
And they heard the miners shouting
We are ready now to die
The rebel miners waited
For whatever lay in store
And on one December morning
In 1854
The Redcoats attacked the camp
Dozens there would fall
Among these brave gold diggers
Who had risen to the call


The Army thought that it was over
And things now would go their way
But when fifteen thousand miners rallied
A month later on the day
The Crown conceded everything
All of their demands
They’d won an end to license fees
The right to vote and land
So here’s to Joe and Charley
Lalor and the rest
They drew the battle lines
And put Crown rule to the test
The diggers may have lost the battle
But they quickly won the day
And those shots fired in Victoria
Were heard ten thousand miles away


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Sheet music:
Song for the Eureka Stockade

“Song for the Eureka Stockade” appears on the 2009 CD, Ten Thousand Miles Away.

This is more or less the title track to the CD it appears on.  I never heard of this rebellion by gold diggers in the Australian state of Victoria in 1852, until my first visit to Australia.  But I sure heard of it then, and I read up on it and wrote this song.  The song is regularly covered by bands in Australia, I’m happy to report.