Australian Folk Songs
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The Song Of The Trowel (1900)
The Way of the Wage-Earner
Oh, who'll sing the song of the trowel ?
Come, bards, 'tis a chance for a lay ;
The man who builds on the high slim walls
Must needs have a verse to-day.
So here's to the man with the trowel
Who builds while the farmer sows ;
Who builds and plans in his own sure way
While the soldier to battle goes.
Oh, who'll sing the song of the trowel,
Of a city of mortar and stone,
Of the man on the wall who has toiled and moiled
While the fruits of his work have grown ?
So here's to the man with the trowel,
He's forgot in the thick of the fray,
And the soldier who fights and the farmer who sows
Seem first in our hearts to-day.
But who'll sing the song of the trowel ;
Its work's ne'er to slaughter nor reap ;
Though time fleets on, the city of stone
Will stand when its builders sleep.
So here's to the man with the trowel ;
Come, bards, 'tis a chance for a lay--
The man who builds on the high slim wall
Has need of a verse to-day.
-- Bricklayers' Journal.
From the Wagga NSW newspaper the Worker Saturday 8 December 1900, p. 6.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory