Ingham Daily Press

Keeping People Connected

Dan Sheahan poetry: ‘The breaking of the drought’

There’s some who like to listen

To a musical machine

Chanting Annie Laurie

Or the wearin’ o’ the Green.

To many in the dry time

The sweetest tune of all

Is heard upon the housetops

When the rain begins to fall.

Every thud makes merry music

When “Hughie” sends it down –

To sink into the good earth

That is burnt, bare and brown.

We know that on the morrow

Every beast will get a bite

That the bush will change its colour

Become green overnight.

We can liquidate the mortgage

And get cheeky with the Banks –

We needn’t dip our lids

To the Pommies or the Yanks.

The Chinese and the Russians

Will come to buy our wheat

That hobos and commos

May have enough to eat.

Our ships by the quayside

With sugar will be full –

And wagons will be creaking

Bringing in the wool.

The cows with their tails up

Will tear around the flats

While ringers try to yard’em

In their twenty gallon hats.

The wild life of the bushland

The bandy and the ‘roo –

And all their near relations

Will be feeling good as new.

The ibis and the brolga

Will strut around the plain –

And wild ducks in their thousands 

Will visit us again.

Sobs, coves and coots

That didn’t treat us well –

We can look them in the eye

And say “go to Inverell!”

The bloke that runs the boozer

When customers come in

Will have smiles on him all over

When told “Fill ‘em up agen!”

We’ll see cents on the counter

And dollars lying about –

And we’ll all let our heads go 

At the breaking of the drought.

By Dan Sheahan (1882-1977).

Taken from ‘Songs from the Canefields’ (1972); printed with the permission of the Sheahan family.

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