Australian Folk Songs
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Election Time (1898)
The elections have come round again,
And the men are getting ready,
To cop out on that pretty job,
With wages sure and steady.
Amusing 'tis to hear their views,
And watch their pretty capers ;
To note how well they are backed up
By the little local papers.
Says one " Our member is a fool,
Without a single plank.
Who has the district most to heart
Will vote for Mr. Blank.
Then the opposition rag chips in—
Why vote for Mr. Blank ?
Who is nothing but a blatherskite
A big beer swilling tank.
Of course we're willing to admit
Our M.P. is a dullard,
And all right thinking citizens
Will vote for Mr. Blowhard.
The ' would-be' members gather up
All smiles and great pretence,
They've hardly got sufficient wit
To make a dog-leg fence.
They're on the pub verandah now,
Let's listen to their blowing,
The squatter's man has got the flute,
Their hardships he is showing.
" My friends, the squatters they have got
Many troubles to endure,
There is no doubt that they should have
Good fixity of tenure.
The rents they pay are far too much,
'Tis shown on every hand,
The Government I think should charge
Them—nothing for the land.
With rabbits, strikes, and noxious weeds,
Their trials are immense ;
The Ministry should their runs enclose ;
With a wire-netting fence."
Then Mr. Hayseed takes his stand,
With a long and wild tirade :
" I'll vote," says he, "for what you like—
Protection or Free Trade.
The Government should the farmers find,
Bulls, rams, and milking cows ;
When grass is short, should buy them feed,
And keep them all in ploughs."
The labour member starts his pitch—
" Friends, workers, put me in,
I'm anxious to appropriate
That little hit of tin.
I'll see that all the wealthy men
Shall not their taxes shirk,
And Government good food provide
For those who don't like work.
For the reason of our being here
You have not far to seek,
'Tis the interests of good government,
The bills are out, the speeches made,
In voices loud and clear,
And the citizens have voted for,
The one who gave most beer.
— MARS J.
From the NSW newspaper the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser Saturday 30 April 1898 p. 3.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory