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"One of the Mob" (1927)

"Me buy a poppy I Well, strike me pink,
By the look of me boots and me clothes, I think
Who search the city for work we need,
What's the good of a flower ? I want a feed !
Now don't say "Loafer," or "Serve you right,"
I wasn't too slow to go out and fight !
But them old days 'as been forgot--
"Your Country needs you," and all that rot ;
Still, t tell 'yer straight, it was better there
Than bein' back 'ome and livin' on air.
Yet, the sight of that crimson poppy brings
Old mem'ries of 'ar-forgotten things
That 'appened to me on the other side,
Of mates and cobbers who lived or or died.
In the trenches or out on the duck-board track,
When the shells were screamin' and things looked black,
Men stuck together and seen it through.
And talked of the things that they would do,
When 'apres le geurre' they sailed for 'ome,
To 'good old Aussie' accross the foam
And, we certainly did get a lot of praise,
For we was 'eroes in them dark days !
But now is different--folks get annoyed
And all is 'the blooming' unemployed !
And to-day, I'm a digger in search 'of a job."
"Perhaps I am bitter, and just 'one-eyed,'
But I've got to remember the coves who died ;
They fought for "Freedom"--the right to live.
They gave the best that a man can give.
When I think of me cobbers who all 'went west'
Me eyes grow dim, Pride swel's
And when the poppies to-day I see,
Well, that's what "Remembrance" means for me."


From the NSW newspaper The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser Nov 1927, p. 2.
Returned World War I soldiers often got sick of the jingoism that was fed to the press, especially when the wartime promise of a "land fit for heros" became such a cruel joke during the Great Depression.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory