Australian Folk Songs

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Through the Stomach and the Back (1891)

"If you tax land values you tax wealth ... so the fairest and only legitimate
means of raising revenue is by taxation through the stomach and the back."
(Premier Dibbs at Wagga).

There's a true and timewom saying, that men are mostly fools,
'Twill apply until old Gabriel's horn shall crack,
So we Of New South Wales, cheer a Premier who rules,
By protection through the stomach and the back.

He objects to raising rhino for the Governmental screw,
From the absentees, the landlords or the quacks,
And informs the workers straight that the many for the few,
Must tax their hungry stomachs and their backs.

A pound a ton on onions, a ditto sum on spuds,
Is Dibbs' way to find the golden track ;
He'd tax all sorts of tucker and pile it on the duds,
He's a terror on the stomach and the back.

On landlord he'll not levy, nor the multi-millionaire,
Whose interest, rent, and profits ne'er gets slack ;
But from the struggling worker, who's a fool and doesn't care,
Raise taxation through the stomach and the back.

All nations have for ages hunted for the golden rule,
Which would joy and blessing on our people stack,
But Dibbs has solved the problem, so we'll feed our national mule
On taxation through the stomach and the back.

We will wipe off all deficits and everything will hum,
Those foreign goods from off our coasts we'll pack ;
We will obviate the need for unemployed to bum,
By taxation through the stomach and the back.


[The above may not be up to much as poetry, nor is it of very great interest,
but it is just, as persistent as Abbott, and a lot more truthful. -- Ed.]


From the Wagga NSW newspaper the Hummer Saturday 19 December 1891, p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory