JOHN WOLFF


JOHN WOLFF

Tumbarumba, NSW

COLLECTED MATERIAL

I found some poems written by John and made contact. Eventually I set his poem to a tune that seemed to fit like a glove.

Tumbarumba

(Tune: Jack of All Trades)

He asked for work at muster-time,
We tried him as a rider,
We tried him out as the rousteabout,
And as the cook’s offsider,
He had sailed the seven seas,
He’d been up in Alaska,
He’d been in every western state
From Texas to Nebraska.

CHORUS:
He said he’d shorn a sheep or two,
And cut a bit of lumber,
And waged war on the kangaroo,
At Tumba-bloody-rumba.

We had him in the shearing shed,
We put him on the stacker,
We tried him digging rabbits out,
He wasn’t worth a cracker,
He had a shop in Singapore,
He owned a pearling lugger,
He was a champ at baccarat,
Australian rules and rugger.

He never showed his aptitude,
On work he was allotted,
But showed his skill upon the drinks,
And cigarettes he botted,
He said he’d climbed the Matterhorn,
He’d been a union leader,
And years ago in Adelaide
He was a pigeon breeder.


We tried him cutting fencing posts,
We tried to find his caper,
Until that happy pay-day when
He got his piece of paper.
I wonder what he’s doing now,
Perhaps back on the lumber,
Or shooting kanga-bloody-roos,
At Tumba-bloody-rumba.

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