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Stewie Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (993* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 04 Nov 20


The boy cleared out to the city from his home at harvest time
They were Scots of the Riverina and to run from home was a crime
The old man burned his letters, the first and last he burned
And he scratched his name from the bible when the old wife’s back was turned

A year went past and another - there were calls from the firing-line
They heard the boy had enlisted, but the old man made no sign
His name must never be mentioned on the farm by Gundagai
They were Scots of the Riverina with ever the kirk hard by

The boy came home on his final, and the township’s bonfire burned
His mother’s arms were about him, but the old man’s back was turned
The daughters begged for pardon till the old man raised his hand
A Scot of the Riverina who was hard to understand.

The boy was killed in Flanders where the best and bravest die.
There were tears at the Graham homestead and grief in Gundagai
But the old man ploughed at daybreak and the old man ploughed till the mirk
There were furrows of pain in the orchard while his house-folk went to the kirk

The hurricane lamp in the rafters dimly and dimly burned
And the old man died at the table when the old wife’s back was turned
Face down on his bare arms folded, he sank with his wild grey hair
Outspread o’er the open bible and a name rewritten there

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