A bard from the bush

There is a tradition in Australia of story tellers from the bush, a tradition of” aussie battlers” tough hard working men with families who don’t whine, they don’t wimp out they have a wife and kids and responsibilities. So if they have to go walkabout “waltzing matilda” and work in the bush, thousands of miles from home sending what they earn back to family that’s what they do.

Whether they Go walkabout and sit around a fire at night telling stories of the great rides,the great men, or it’s in the lunch room at some dark dangerous factory somewhere this legend of hard men Is what our great country is built on.
These men aren’t restricted to an ethnicity, or a skin color or religion they’re just part of what makes Australia great. Rail road’s built by afghans, gold mined by the Chinese, wine made by the Germans and sheep farmed by the scots and English not to mention hydroelectric schemes built by Italians Greeks Yugoslavs and they all drove Holden’s built by ten pound poms.
Were a great nation of fighters “diggers” every time the British went to war the Aussie rode the horses and charged the foxholes and fought through the jungles and the deserts, from the heroes of Kokoda to the rats of tobruk to the diggers landing on Dunkirk you want a tough never say die fighter beside you in war you want a digger.
We have great writers “the bards of the bush” Albert “banjo” Patterson, CJ Dennis , henry Lawson, and in the tradition of these great story tellers aussie are known for spinning a yarn Bullshitting like a pro. When ten aussie get together with a beer the young sit quietly and they listen, as grandpa talks about mustering in Queensland or shearing on the overflow or jackarooing in outback new south wales these are the gentlemen of the bush, they can hold a beer with one hand and roll a cigarette with the other always log cabin.
My grandpa could weave a bullwhip, make a saddle and break a horse right up till his eighties. I lost grampy in 1986 and his bride a few later. My uncle Kevin is famous, he was called the king of the kimberlies by a famous Australian and he runs cattle stations the size of small countries where sheep are as big as Volkswagens and the cows are as big as Chevrolets!
Hard men work from sunrise to sun down, they work hard, drink hard,and fight hard and love hard, it’s just how they are or were.
They sent their kids to boarding school to the city “the big smoke” to learn how to be modern, the idea is they would come back to the property and take it over one day but sadly most are staying in the city and being weekend farmers or just running away.
I come from the bush, from a family that became broken so we went to the big smoke we became city folk, but our hearts were always in our sunburnt country.
I came from a pretty fucked up group of siblings, I had no one to turn to amongst the siblings so I clung to my grandparents and a few of my uncles. The cool one, the really cool one died today.
My uncle bill,He used to invent, he always had something wonderful in the works. To my mom he was the big brother, he didn’t have to love her ways but he loved her.
He instilled in me that you could be fighting like bitches with your siblings, but god help the fool that got in the middle or attacked one of you, you take on one you get the whole litter.
My earliest memory of uncle bill was him building a hovercraft in his back yard, he was a welder in a ship yard during the day and he made garden ornaments out of scrap metal in his spare time what little he had.
He had so many kids it was more like a mob but that was normal in our clan.
Anyway the sad thing is the generation that rode horses and worked the land and slept under the stars is dying out, these are the men who landed at Dunkirk and invaded Germany and beat general Rommel in north Africa in world war 2.
Tough as nails but family was everything, I have about a dozen uncles and aunts, well had I have lost my own mum and two uncles in under a year and another a few years before. Were losing that generation day by day, all I have left is the stories my grandpa told and the poems of banjo Patterson he made me learn. My most cherished memory om grampy is the sight of him on Anama station, walking across the paddock with his work hat on and a collarless shirt with his sleeves rolled up and braces holding his pants up as I stood there yelling all 4 years old of me “grampy, Granma says it tea time” he smiled yelled “right o” and his dog ran by his feet.
On a good day I can remember grandpas voice, that’s hard because he was a man of few words. I remember grandmas dresses and starched aprons, and I remember uncle bills wicked smile and when he wanted to show you an idea he had he squatted and drew it in the dirt.
One day I won’t remember their voices but by then I will be as old as they were when they passed.
If someone can remember me with as much reverence and respect as I remember them, then all the bullshit has been worth it.
So anyway uncle bill by now you’ve made a hydroponic system to grow herbs out of a an old washing machine motor and left over pvc pipe and your making home brew somewhere using old bottles, I miss your home brew and your smile. Any way I’ll just say ooroo I hope you know how much you were loved.

Waltzing Matilda (Carrying a Swag)

OH! there once was a swagman camped in a Billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree;
And he sang as he looked at his old billy boiling,
‘Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?’
Chorus:
Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, my darling,
Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
Waltzing Matilda and leading a water-bag —
Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
Down came a jumbuck to drink at the water-hole,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee;
And he sang as he stowed him away in his tucker-bag,
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.’
Down came the Squatter a-riding his thoroughbred;
Down came Policemen — one, two and three;
‘Whose is the jumbuck you’ve got in the tucker-bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.’
But the swagman, he up and he jumped in the water-hole,
Drowning himself by the Coolabah tree;
And his ghost may be heard as it sings in the Billabong
‘Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?’
Andew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

Author: disabledaccessdenied

I am a disabled woman who through no fault of my own has wheels under my ass. I rely on the decency and common sense of local, state and federal goverments, as well as the retail community to abide by the disabled access laws and provide adequate ramps, disabled toilets, and not use them as store rooms or broom closets. This blog exists to find the offenders and out them, inform them, and report them if necessary and shame them into doing the right thing when all else fails.

1 thought on “A bard from the bush”

  1. I’m grateful that you had such wonderful people in your life to balance out the more challenging individuals. Australia is built off the backs of incredible people like these.

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