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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Stewie Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia (966* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 26 Oct 20


THE TEAMS
(H.Lawson/C.O’Sullivan)

A cloud of dust on the long white road
And the teams go creeping on
Inch by inch with the weary load
And by the power of the green-hide goad
The distant goal is won

With eyes half-shut to the blinding dust
And necks to the yoke bent low
The beasts are pulling as bullocks must
And the shining tyres might almost rust
While the spokes are turning slow

With face half-hid 'neath a broad-brimmed hat
That shades from the heat's white waves
And shouldered whip with its green-hide plait
The driver plods with a gait like that
Of his weary, patient slaves

He wipes his brow, for the day is hot
And spits to the left with spite
He shouts at Bally and flicks at Scot
And raises dust from the back of Spot
And spits to the dusty right

He'll sometimes pause as a thing of form
In front of a settler's door
And ask for a drink, and remark `It's warm’
Or say `There's signs of a thunderstorm'
But he seldom utters more

For rains are heavy on roads like these
And fronting his lonely home
For days together the settler sees
The wagon bogged down to the axle trees
Or ploughing the sodden loam

And then when the roads are at their worst
The bushman's children hear
The cruel blows of the whips reversed
While bullocks pull as their hearts would burst
And bellow with pain and fear

And thus with glimpses of home and rest
Are the long, long journeys done
And thus -- 'tis a thankless task at best —
Is distance fought in the mighty west
And the lonely battles won

Cathie O'Sullivan put a tune to this Lawson poem.

Youtube clip

Loaded Dog also recorded it on 'Hair of the Dog':

Listen

--Stewie.


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