Shanties By the Way
[trad. arr. Alf Edwards]
According to Ian Kirk in the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Req: Pub at the Crossroads? / Drink It Up Men, Shanties By the Way is a New Zealand song written in the 1930's by a man called Thatcher. Trevor Lucas sang it in 1966 on his second Australian solo album, Overlander.
It's in the first straight business section
Where four bush roads cross and meet;
It stands in a quiet and neat location
To rest the weary travellers feet.
Kerosene lamps are burning brightly,
Cards, and lo, the billiard balls.
Men and maids are dancing sprightly
To the music in the halls.
Oh rows of bottles standing upright
Labelled with bright blue and gold
Beer so cold it needs no ice in
From the cellars' dear dark hold
There's quoits and games and bagatelle
All to suit your fancy-o;
But better far behind the bar
Stands smiling darling Nancy-o.
Well Nancy's smiles are quite bewitching,
To have some fun she's willing-o.
You give a wrap, she turns the tap
And thanks you for your shilling-o.
Oh the landlord shouting is uncommon,
He's kidding you to dance and play.
Oh how de devil can a man keep sober
In those shanties by the way.