To celebrate Australia day, we're releasing we released this song called The Flood
I'm trying to work out a d/l function for a celebratory giveaway deal type thing so we can give some copies away but the module I had went kerplooey. in the meanwhile you can have a listen to the song.
As I write this I realise I owe a great debt of gratitude to my 5th class teacher, Mr Maitland, who inspired in me a love of Bush Poetry.
Mr Maitland never tired of Henry Lawson, made us reenact choice scenes from a gold rush story and read to us, with passion and conviction, poems by bush balladeers such as Banjo Patterson and Dorothea McKellar.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!
For the rest visit the official Dorothea McKellar site cos they asked me not to post the whole thing : http://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/mycountry.htm
For my money, no one sets you more in the mind of the New South Welshman than Banjo.
There's something quintessentially Australian about his awe for the bush, something universal amongst us, even for those who view the 26th of January through a sadder frame.
Antipodeans, imports all, for none truly emerged from, but all came to, her fatal shores.
For those who have travelled in the darkness and the wonders of diamond studded skies, clawed red earth and mud from the cleats of your boots or wandered along an empty beach wondering if you were the only person on earth and made a little sadder to see a far figure, you are united in your awe of the far flung place in which you find yourself luckiest to be.
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'.
And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
`Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.'
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.
I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all
And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the 'buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.
And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.
And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal --
But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow'.
Thank you Mr Maitland.
She’s empty in the dry
Shying from the sky
Deep beneath her sands
does she keep hidden
The lone & single spark
The secrets of her heart
A piece of her to herself
But comes the time
her seasons change
The heavens open
cross her plains And rivers
She breaks her drought
with flooding rains
And riders,to a man
lift up their gaze.
So lay me down
In the press of the waters
No I won’t drown
Float like a reed in her creek
She’s not far now
Though I fail at her borders
If I wait until her rivers’ rise
the flood shall carry me.
Through all does she endure
The heat and dust so cruel
green and pleasant lands
so long forgotten
The sharpness of her gaze
her azure skies inveigh
a fearless binding will
that can not soften
But you who do not know her well
tremble ‘neath her tempest
and her fury
yet to her summons will I fly
grow much longer
than my days