“Sign On Day”


"It's sign-on day at the Dance Palais And we're down to a quid or two...." The singer describes the hard work of (sugar) cane cutting. "Our hands are raw, but two bob more Will make them seem like new. If we get enough pay we'll cut all day...."


Cane-cutting was seasonal work, so cutters and farmers gathered for a "sign on day" at some local venue (such as the "Dance Palais" mentioned here). Cane-cutters were paid by how much they cut, so they would often work exhaustingly long hours, then crash once the season was done. - RBW


  1. Fahey-Eureka, pp. 198-199, "Sign On Day" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, FaE198


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1960
Keywords: work Australia harvest
Found in: Australia