Mudcat Café message #4070275 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4070275
Posted By: Stewie
31-Aug-20 - 07:29 PM
Thread Name: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Gerry Hallom put a tune to Paterson's 'Song of the wheat'. Once again, he makes omissions and minor changes to the poem. Here is what he sings:


We have sung the song of the droving days
Of the march of the travelling sheep
How in silent stages and lonely ways
The drovers’ herds did creep
But the man who now by the land would thrive
Must keep to a plough-share beat
And the singer changing his tune may strive
To sing the song of the wheat

Silver gum and box and pine
’Twas axe and fire for all
We scarce could tarry to blaze the line
Or wait for the trees to fall
But the land was cleared both far and wide
As the dust from the horses feet
Rose up like a pillar of smoke to guide
The wonderful march of wheat

Furrow by furrow, and fold by fold
The soil is turned on the plain
It’s better than silver, it’s better than gold
The precious mine of the grain
Better than cattle and better than sheep
In the fight with drought and heat
For a stubborn streak both wide and deep
Lies hid in a grain of wheat

Green and amber and gold it grows
As the sun sinks late in the west
And the breeze sweeps over the rippling rows
Where the quail and the skylark nest
Mountain or river or shining star
There’s never a sight can beat
Away to the skyline stretching far
A sea of the ripening wheat

When the burning harvest sun sinks low
And the shadows stretch on the plain
The roaring harvesters come and go
Like ships on a sea of grain
And the lurching, groaning wagons bear
Their tale of the load complete
Of the world’s great work he has done his share
The man who has gathered wheat

Princes, kings and queens and czars
Travel in royal states
But old King Wheat has a thousand cars
For his trip to the water-gate;
And his thousand steamships breast the tide
And sail through the winds and sleet
To the lands where the teeming millions lie
And say, ‘Thank God for wheat!’

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