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I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: kellie (
Date: February 11, 2001 01:20PM

Can anybody please help my mother who can only remember this first line of a poem she used to like as a child - we don't know the author. Many thanks.

Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: Soma (202.67.93.---)
Date: February 11, 2001 02:55PM

I haven't seen this little poem since school days in the early 40's. Memory ain't what it useta be, but maybe my half-remembered scraps can be "all arranged in order" by some pedlar-person.

I wish I lived in a caravan with a horse to drive like the pedlar-man.
Where he comes from nobody knows; or where he goes to, but on he goes.

Pans to mend and pots to sell, he clashes together like a bell.
Tea-trays all arranged in order. Plates with alphabets round the border.

He also has a baby brown and they go riding from town to town.

Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: Tanya (
Date: February 11, 2001 08:26PM

Robert Louis Stevenson - The Peddler man

Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: Soma (202.67.92.---)
Date: February 16, 2001 01:36AM

Amazing that after not having heard this poem for 60 years, within 48 hours of posting to this thread I heard it broadcast by a local radio station. I have contacted them, and they have promised to give me a copy of the poem. I will post it here ASAP.

The Peddler-man was written by William Brighty Rands (1823-1880)

i got it!
Posted by: Rima (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 16, 2006 02:32AM

i finally found d poem! in my quest 2 search 4 it myself (i read it wen i was in grade 2)... thnxx 4 building up d drive in me 2 search 4 it!!! njoy.. hope ur mom is reminded of her childhood days!


I wish I lived in a caravan,
With a horse to drive, like a peddler-man!
Where he comes from nobody knows,
Or where he goes to, but on he goes!

His caravan has windows two,
And a chimney of tin, that the smoke comes through;
He has a wife, with a baby brown,
And they go riding from town to town.

Chairs to mend, and delf to sell!
He clashes the basins like a bell;
Tea-trays, baskets ranged in order,
Plates, with alphabets round the border!

The roads are brown, and the sea is green,
But his house is like a bathing-machine;
The world is round, and he can ride,
Rumble and slash, to the other side!

With the peddler-man I should like to roam,
And write a book when I came home;
All the people would read my book,
Just like the Travels of Captain Cook!

William Brighty Rands [1823-1882]

Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 16, 2006 04:23AM

Interesting - both title and death date of author seem to vary - in a book I have (Come Follow Me - originally printed in 1956) the title is given as The Pedlar's Caravan, and I have Rands dates as 1823-82 - though not from that book.

Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: Talia (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 17, 2006 12:04AM

Sounds like your memory is pretty good to me, Soma! Poetry is good exercise for the brain.

Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: gus (192.168.128.---)
Date: September 09, 2006 06:04AM

There is now a site up completed by members of his family.

There is also lots of information provided by his family on


Re: I wish I lived in a caravan...
Posted by: the grey (192.168.128.---)
Date: December 01, 2006 06:47PM

We enjoy caravanning too but it can have its drawbacks.


We’re as Aussie as a barbecue, fair dinkum as they come,
and we’re crazy ‘bout our footy and we love a Bundy rum.
We’re as true blue as Don Bradman and I’ll wager both our pays
we’re as ridgy didge as vegemite. No! Mightymight leastways.

We get green and gold malaria at least twice every week
and the truth be known ... we’ve got it now ... right as we flamin’ speak.
When we see our nation’s coat of arms we feel a sense of pride.
Well ... that was until we went outback. These days we cringe and hide.

We had bought a brand new four-wheel drive and caravan to boot
and we thought we’d tour Australia. It was bound to be a hoot.
Well we drove through Bourke and Charleville and that old mate is where ...
both those critters on our coat of arms ... attacked us then and there.

We had crossed the bridge at Yo Yo Creek when right there in full view
was a whopping great big kangaroo and old man emu too.
Well they raised our Aussie pride on high ... that’s till they split those chaps
and the emu hit the windscreen and was dumped upon our laps.

It was panic that now overtook this oversized galah,
as he started kicking madly to escape from out the car.
His big beak was pecking firmly at the middle of my groin,
while my manhood stood protected by a pocket full of coin.

The sharp claws were madly thrashing and my wife was not amused
‘cause he lashed out at her torso that was bloodied, cut and bruised
and whatever emus tend to eat and forage through the day
was now spread throughout the vehicle as we fought that deadly fray.

The old emu found the window and with freedom now in sight
that bird shredded the upholstery as he kicked with all his might.
We were covered with its feathers and in one almighty push
he then squeezed on out the window and he headed for the bush.

We were bloodied, bruised and beaten and bewildered and amazed
as we scrambled from our four-wheel drive and still a little dazed.
We were now in need of first aid, so we opened our van door
and we climbed inside to find the kit, both bleeding on the floor.

In the meantime unbeknown to us the big ‘roo in despair,
he had clipped our brand new four-wheel drive and hurtled through the air.
When the flying frame of that large beast, which stood near six feet tall,
it had landed in the caravan, through awning, glass and all.

On the table there before us stood this stunned ‘roo, not quite dead,
when the scream from my old lady triggered something in its head.
In an instant he had grabbed me and had lunged out with his feet
and he shredded my new Levis and then made a quick retreat.

He had landed on the double bed and turned to strike again,
but instead his big tail hit me with excruciating pain.
He then latched onto the missus and they grabbed each other’s necks,
then they jumped around together till they both looked flamin’ wrecks.

In that instant I then managed to make for the van’s front door
while the missus she kept screaming, “I can’t take this any more!”
Now the ‘roo he sensed his freedom and both he and my poor wife
spilled outside onto the roadway, where it bolted for its life.

For the moment we just stood there both bewildered by our plight
and I must confess our torsos they were not a pretty sight.
We then sat and drank the rum we had, we needed a stiff drink.
And we headed back for Melbourne where we both sought out a shrink.

We have sold the four wheel-drive and van to pay our flamin’ quack
and we watch the good old tele when we want to go outback.
We have both now turned religious and we daily read the psalms,
but we cringe when we’re confronted by our nation’s coat of arms.

©Bush Poet
Merv Webster

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