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Stewie Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (992* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 27 Dec 20

A little late, but a poem with a christmas reference. Wongawilli put a sprightly tune to this favourite from John O'Brien.

(John O'Brien)

The bishop sat in lordly state and purple cap sublime
And galvanized the old bush church at confirmation time
And all the kids were mustered up from fifty miles around
With Sunday clothes, and staring eyes, and ignorance profound
Now was it fate, or was it grace, whereby they yarded too
An overgrown two-storey lad from Tangmalangaloo?

A hefty son of virgin soil where nature has her fling
And grows the trefoil three feet high and mats it in the spring
Where mighty hills uplift their heads to pierce the welkin's rim
And trees sprout up a hundred feet before they shoot a limb
There everything is big and grand, and men are giants too
But christian knowledge wilts, alas, at Tangmalangaloo

The bishop summed the youngsters up, as bishops only can
He cast a searching glance around, then fixed upon his man
But glum and dumb and undismayed through every bout he sat
He seemed to think that he was there, but wasn't sure of that
The bishop gave a scornful look, as bishops sometimes do
And glared right through the pagan in from Tangmalangaloo

"Come, tell me, boy," his lordship said in crushing tones severe
"Come, tell me why is christmas day the greatest of the year?
"How is it that around the world we celebrate that day
"And send a name upon a card to those who're far away?
"Why is it wandering ones return with smiles and greetings too?"
A squall of knowledge hit the lad from Tangmalangaloo

He gave a lurch which set a-shake the vases on the shelf
He knocked the benches all askew, up-ending of himself
And so, how pleased his lordship was, and how he smiled to say
"That's good, my boy. Come, tell me now; and what is christmas day?"
The ready answer bared a fact no bishop ever knew -
"It's the day before the races out at Tangmalangaloo"

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