Australian Folk Songs

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The Shovel Fireman's Lament (1937)
(With Apologies to "Scotty").

Those folk who loiter, 'round the works,
Wherever shovels dig--
Premiers, parsons, ribbon clerks,
Figures small and big.
Encourage shovel drivers on
To even more endeavor,
And murmur when the stone is gone,
"Gee, ain't that fellow clever?"
Some "Oh" and "Oh"--some really shout,
Some only grunt and sit ;
No one e'er cares a dena for
The fireman in the pit.

The driver smiles, takes all the praise
For loading up the truck;
He loads a pair , of ten-ton trays,
And never thinks of luck.
Then to the crowd he grins a grin,
And waves, and , takes a bow;
A pair of "empties"' coming in
Demands attention now.
He waves again', then swings about,
And spits himself a spit,
But he'd have no job to do without.
The fireman in the pit.

So when you watch a shovel crew,
Please wave a friendly "mitt,"
And shout a word of greeting to
The fireman in the pit.



From the Queensland newspaper the Daily Mercury Thursday 12 August 1937, p. 8.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory