Mudcat Café message #4079544 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4079544
Posted By: Stewie
13-Nov-20 - 08:29 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Another song of the diggers.

THE BLACK SWANS
(Anon/N.Colquhoun)

The restless shadows by me flit
And day will soon be o'er
As in the dying light I sit
Outside my whare door
Away across the east I see
The black swans homeward come
Through sunset skies that gleam on me
A digger scraping gum

Mid hills of grey and brown
I live here in the scrub
Full fifty miles from any town
And ten from any pub
Through winter's rain and summer's drought
This life maybe suits some
I grind a scanty living out
Digging and scraping gum

And if you want the way you've gone
Hid from the friends you've lost
As slow the years of life steal on
And turn the hair to frost
Then see across the eastern sky
The black swans homeward come
'Neath sunset skies that gleam on my
Hard scraping of gum

Youtube clip

The end of the earth is not far from here. With the growth of bush, it's getting darker year by year. The gum lumps are finding less - they are smaller and deeper down. It don't look like I'll be seeing a town ... If it were not for stealing shop samples, I would not be here, sitting at the door of a shack with a hole for a lum, scraping a hundred weight of gum up clean. A gum digger's letter about 1910.

--Stewie.