Growing up in the country it was assumed life was ‘the way it was meant to be’.
A poem to that effect was written glorifying life in ‘the sticks’ this as a response.
Clancy Williams, GPO
I had written him an e-mail, which was lacking in some detail
Sent to where I’d met him in a shop in Bendigo.
But they said he’d left the district, and was working now in Burke St
I could reach him just by writing “Clancy Williams, GPO”.
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone to live in that great city where the life and rhythm flow
With his fingers never dirty, taking tea breaks at 10.30,
And at night he’d go to meetings or perhaps attend a show.
He’ll be off attending concerts, or hear buskers sing in Swanston
He’d go cruising down the freeway, or read papers on the train
And there’s always friends to greet him, or new folks who’d like to meet him
And a thousand shops to choose from where the prices don’t cause pain.
I am stuck up country farming where the labour’s quite alarming
It gets harder every season but returns are staying low
I now work machinery only, for the farming life is lonely
And the dwindling local township is the only place to go.
And in place of friendly next-doors, all I hear are distant chain saws
As the hungry forest workers fell another noble tree
And on weekends local football, ends in swearing and a pub brawl
And the young blokes screech their utes up Main Street on a drunken spree
[Optional extra verse:
Now God may have his reasons
But he’s buggered up the seasons
Just can’t get a rainfall when the crops need one to grow
When the stock leave, there’s no drovers
Just worn-out truckies popping No-Doze
If the drought keeps on it won’t be just the sheep that have to go]
We’ve more accidents and injury but our health provision’s stingy
For the government makes cutbacks that the townsfolk never know
And our children are so needy, and the homestead lawn gets weedy
But the farmer has no time to talk; he has no time to mow.
And I sometimes like to fancy I could do a swap with Clancy
Join the 9 to 5 commuters where excitements never slow
While he faced the lonely backbreak of the rural people’s heartache
But I doubt he’d fit the country, Clancy Williams, GPO.
Written by Geoff Leslie, April 1999