Australian Folk Songs
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Which Way Out
(By the Man from Jugiong).
There was starvation In 1930, and depression in thirty one,
As cannot be remembered, since this curious world begun ;
Big business thought the wages high, and they would reduce by half.
The toilers will submit, or we will let the beggars starve.
The coal mine owners up north all decided to close down,
From tbe Cessnock boundary up to North Maitland town ;
Baron Brown, tbe wealthy one, I ought to let him rest,
He fought on to the last ditch, now he's gone out west.
Premier Bavin played his part, and with Weaver gave a sigh,
They sent scabs down the Rothbury, to hew some coal or die
A powerful police force paraded up and down,
Which ended up by shooting that well-known Norman Brown.
Bruce joined in with Bavin, the Federal Guvimint took a hand
To lower all production costs, you all well understand ;
The owners wanted more profit, the wages they must halve,
If the workers will not accept it, their wives and kids must starve.
The Federal elections came due, ruination went around,
Bankruptcy stared us in the face, our finances were not worth a £.
Bruce went spruiking everywhere, saw the writing on the wall,
Said arbitration must be stopped, on that he'd stand or fall.
Rainsford gave him help, and assistance on the route,
They put their heads together, to discuss the best way out ;
Poor old Holloway stept in, kept his back against the wall,
With tbe tenacity of a bull-dog, gave Bruce his greatest fall.
A new word "Fiduciary" was introduced, were inflation used to fill,
And the rationing of work, which is more newer still ;
Wool and primary products, were offered up for sale,
As there was over production, they could not sell a bale.
Cattle were selling cheap, tho' the price of meat kept high,
While the unemployed were starving, the hungry thought to die;
Lang would not pay the interest due, Scullin would not appease
He raised the splosh, however, and paid the bondsmen overseas.
Some people think the Lang plan to be the best way out,
Scullin likes "Fiduciary," he explains along tbe route ;
Theodore gets no support, on him bangs a perverse cloud,
Latham abor's repudiation, he has spoken so aloud.
Lang will spring a referendum, to abolish the Upper House,
Book up the cost to Scullin, he'll pay and will not rouse ;
With Theodore and Scullin's help, he'll balance his budget quick,
And later become Prime Minister, now watch him do the trick.
One more I'd like to mention is statesman Doctor Page,
The Country Party leader, his name is all the rage ;
He has just explored Australia, and found a real new Slate,
And he might have found another, only he started out too late.
He's been much in the public eye, electors don't be rash,
As he has found territory, he might also find some cash ;
A hundred years ago, he'd made a mate for Captain Cook,
That he cannot find a way out, will be recorded in a book.
From the NSW newspaper the Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser of Friday 17 April 1931, p. 2.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory