CLASSIC BUSH VERSE – HARD YAKKA
Warren Fahey recites ‘Jones’ Selection’
G H GIBSON ‘IRONBARK’
Is this a poignant warning to ‘Collin’s’ and ‘Pitt Street’ city farmers who wear moleskins and R. M. William’s clobber, drive 4WD and work as stockbrokers and lawyers? I think so.
You hear a lot of new-chum talk
Of goin’ on the land.
An raisin’ record crops of wheat
On rocks and flamin’ sand.
I ‘ates exaggerated skite,
But if yer likes I can
Authenticate a case in which
The land went on the man.
Bill Jones ‘e ‘ad a mountain block
Up Kosciusko way,
He farmed it pretty night to death,
The neighbours used to say.
He scarified its surface
With his double-furrow ploughs,
An’ ate its blinded hearted right out
With sheep and milkin’ cows.
He filled its blamed intestines up
With agricultural pipes,
An’ lime an’ superphosphates – fit
To give the land the gripes
Until at length the tortured soil,
Worn out with Jones’s thrift,
Decided as the time was come
To up an’ make a shift.
One day the mountain shook itself
An’ give a sort of groan,
The neighbours they was a lot more scared
Than they was game to own.
Their jaws they dropped upon their chests,
Their eyes they opened wide,
They saw the whole of Jones’s farm
Upend itself and slide.
It slithered down the mountain spur,
Majestic-like an’ slow,
An’ landed in the river bed,
A thousand feet below.
Bill Jones was on the lower slopes
Of ‘is long-suffering farm,
a-testin’ some new-fangled plough
which acted like a charm.
He’d just been screwin’ up a nut
When somethin’ seemed to crack,
An’ fifty acres, more or less,
Come down on Jones’s back.
Twas sudden-like, a shake, a crack,
A slitherin’ slide, an’ Bill
Was buried fifty feet below
The soil he used to till.
One moment Bill was standin’ up
A-owning all that land,
The next ‘e’s in eternity –
A spanner in ‘is ‘and.
They never dug up no remains
Nor scraps of William Jones –
The superphosphates ate the lot,
Hide, buttons, boots and bones.
For this ‘ere land wot Jones abused
And harassed in the past
‘Ad turned an’ wiped ‘im out, an’ things
Got evened up at last.
From this untimely end o’ Bill
It would perhaps appear
That goin’ free-selectin’ ain’t
All skittles, no, nor beer.
So all you cocky city coves
Wot’s savin’ up yer screws
To get upon the land, look out
The land don’t get on youse.
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