Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am proud to be an Aussie….

Today I thought I would share with you a poem that was written about my home town of Narromine by

Banjo Patterson….

The City of Dreadful Thirst..

THE stranger came from Narromine and made his little joke —
‘They say we folks in Narromine are narrow-minded folk.
‘But all the smartest men down here are puzzled to define
‘A kind of new phenomenon that came to Narromine.

‘Last summer up in Narromine 'twas gettin' rather warm —
‘Two hundred in the water-bag, and lookin' like a storm —
‘We all were in the private bar, the coolest place in town,
‘When out across the stretch of plain a cloud came rollin' down,

‘We don't respect the clouds up there, they fill us with disgust,
‘They mostly bring a Bogan shower — three rain-drops and some dust;
‘But each man, simultaneous-like, to each man said, "I think
‘That cloud suggests it's up to us to have another drink!"

‘There's clouds of rain and clouds of dust — we'd heard of them before,
‘And sometimes in the daily press we read of "clouds of war":
‘But — if this ain't the Gospel truth I hope that I may burst —
‘That cloud that came to Narromine was just a cloud of thirst.

‘It wasn't like a common cloud, 'twas more a sort of haze;
‘It settled down about the streets, and stopped for days and days,
‘And not a drop of dew could fall and not a sunbeam shine
‘To pierce that dismal sort of mist that hung on Narromine.

‘Oh, Lord! we had a dreadful time beneath that cloud of thirst!
‘We all chucked-up our daily work and went upon the burst.
‘The very blacks about the town that used to cadge for grub,
‘They made an organised attack and tried to loot the pub.

‘We couldn't leave the private bar no matter how we tried;
‘Shearers and squatters, union-men and blacklegs side by side
‘Were drinkin' there and dursn't move, for each was sure, he said,
‘Before he'd get a half-a-mile the thirst would strike him dead!

‘We drank until the drink gave out, we searched from room to room,
‘And round the pub, like drunken ghosts, went howling through the gloom.
‘The shearers found some kerosene and settled down again,
‘But all the squatter chaps and I, we staggered to the train.

‘And, once outside the cloud of thirst, we felt as right as pie,
‘But while we stopped about the town we had to drink or die.
‘But now I hear it's safe enough, I'm going back to work
‘Because they say the cloud of thirst has shifted on to Bourke.

‘But when you see those clouds about — like this one over here —
‘All white and frothy at the top, just like a pint of beer,
‘It's time to go and have a drink, for if that cloud should burst
‘You'd find the drink would all be gone, for that's a cloud of thirst!’

*****

We stood the man from Narromine a pint of half-and-half;
He drank it off without a gasp in one tremendous quaff;
‘I joined some friends last night,’ he said, ‘in what they called a spree;
‘But after Narromine 'twas just a holiday to me.’

And now beyond the Western Range, where sunset skies are red,
And clouds of dust, and clouds of thirst, go drifting overhead,
The railway-train is taking back, along the Western Line,
That narrow-minded person on his road to Narromine.

Happy Australia Day

Take Care Keep Safe….

Peg

17 comments:

Too many eggs said...

love it Peg....great poem

Fiona said...

Happy Australia Day... can't get much better than Banjo....
Hugz

shez said...

great poem Peg,i have never heard of it before,happy Australia day.xx

De said...

Happy Austalia Day Peg - enjoy your day

aubirdwoman said...

Happy Australia Day Peg.
Love the poem

Quiltbiene said...

Dear Peg, I wish you Hypy Australia Day.
Greetings and Hugs from Germany from Sabine

rosie said...

Happy Australia Day Peg.. we are so lucky to have been born here..xx

jodie said...

and to you too Peg, have a great day.

jodie said...

and to you too Peg, have a great day.

Anita said...

Happy Australia Day Peg,
Thanks for sharing that great poem with us, I hadn't read that one before.
Regards, Anita.

Maria said...

Have a great Aussie Day Peg.
Nice peom. I also have never heard it before.

DAWNIE said...

Happy Australia day and great poem ps the iPad let's me leave a comment o yipee

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Gotta love Banjo Patterson!!! Peg could you send the instructions again for the link of the OPAM badge..Thanks so much...Dzintra

Farm Girl said...

Fantastic poem, love it! I hope you had a great Australia Day yesterday. I saw the fireworks during the tennis last night, beautiful!

Christine M said...

Happy Australia Day Peg. I haven't heard that poem before. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Kathy said...

What a beaut! I hadn't heard that one before - so Australian :)

Gypsy Quilter said...

Did you know that Banjo Patterson is mentioned in Bill Bryson's book, "A Sunburned Country." He must have been quite a famous character.