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."