Australian Folk Songs

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Song of The Politicians (1912)

[For The International Socialist.]


Six-hundred pounder politicians--
We're the Fed'ral Reps.--you bet !
Some will say our disquisitions
Allow we're wretched rhetoricians,
Not worth half of what we get.

We've tittered Pearceing yells about defence,
Hughsed each patriotic "gag"
To gain Capital's confidence,
And the hardly-earned recompense
Which from Commonwealth we drag.

On Australia's shores we "kid" the foe
That of course he must not land ;
But khakidets we train to go
And shoot at strikers straight and low,
Should some Joskins so demand.

Some people say the politician
And priest, who's God's a "God of War,"
Should in the ranks take position,
Fight with gun and ammunition
For the pay now gained by jaw.

That the lord who owns the earth and slum,
And by workers' sweat gains pelf,
Should do the training with the gun,
And that the worker's youthful son
Should while young enjoy himself.

But people's speech we can't curb yet--
We're Fishers for their votes, you see ;
Still, we've stopped comment in each Gazette,
And "pressed" the unpaid kharkidet,
And next we'll choke all speech that's free.


From the Sydney Newspaper the International Socialist 18 May 1912 p. 4.

In the lead up to the "Great War" Australian and New Zealand politicians passed laws to force school boys into military training. The International Socialist published many anti-war songs and poems.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory