The Foreign Drunk
Henry Lawson, 1910
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."