Australian Folk Songs

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Song of the Engineer (1907)

I love the feel of the throttle,
The glare of the raining fire,
The whirl and grip
When the drivers slip,
And the sand gets under the tire.

The purr of the thinned exhaust,
The lurch from side to side,
As I hook her back
To centre rack.
And open the throttle wide.

The long, swift glide on the grade,
With the wind of night in my hair ;
The power I feel
O'er the quivering steel
When she checks as I give her the "air:"

The rush under bridge, over stream,
The whirl past cottage and farm :
The anxious gaze
Through the headlight's blaze
For the gleam from a semaphore arm.

Then I let her drift through the yard.
And down from my seat I climb ;
A slave to my hand.
She, panting, stands
At her journey's end--on time.

--J. C. Sanderson.


From the South Australian Newspaper the Evening Journal February 1907 p. 2. Although I have no proof this song seems to me to be of U.S. origin, if only because of the spelling tire instead of tyre.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory