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Song of the Planes (1919)

We've sung the song of the swinging pick,
We've sung of the waving cane,
And now we will sing you another lay--
A simple song of the plane.
Of the good old piane of the true red beech,
That will keep its shape for aye.
With the cutter of tempered Sheffield steel.
That will hold its edge all day.

The rebate plane, the jack plane,
The smoothing, or the try,
The hollow plane, the round plane
That makes the shavings fly.
The fillister, the moulding,
The marching and the bead,
The circular and round sole
That patternmakers need.

For they bring to our mind the days of yore,
Of tradesmen of care and skill.
And who swung the plane with a steady hand,
In the factory shop or mill.
And good craftsmen, too, of a splendid type
We hear them in our mind
At shooting a joint, so true and straight
Or levelling cut of wind.

The chamfer plane, the trenching plane,
The compass and the plough,
The sash plane. the toothing plane,
We seldom see them now.
The Geonan jack, the jointer,
The panel and the block,
The bullnose and reeding plane.
Were in the Joiner's stock.

There are Yankee jacks and the Stanley try.
All iron, and planed so true,
Or a Chinese jack, that is made of teak,
With a handle that goes right through.
Ah! but give us the good old solid beech.
Of a Scotch or English brand.
Which will plane the wood, whether hard or soft,
When used by a master hand.

The chariot plane the fiddle plane,
The planes both short and long,
The lamb's tongue, the thumb plane
And hands both sure and strong.
For ages past the plane's been used.
Since days of Tubal Cain,
So here's success to the men who work
And shove the useful plane.

Maryborough, . 26/7/'19.


From the Queensland Newspaper the Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser Sat 2 Aug 1919 p. 5.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory