Friday, January 28, 2011

The Conservationists Song

Learnt from the singing of Alan Bannister (Banno) at the New Exchange Hotel sessions in Brisbane in the early 1980s.

The Conservationists Song (Mick Flanagan)

In the year of 64, Morgan found the nickel ore
And the miners headed Westward with a will
Rum Jungle, Broken Hill, Lee Creek and Collinville
The Western plains they soon began to fill

First the Dirkin Shaft went down, and up sprang Cambalda town
With employment for a thousand mining men
Be you Aussie, Scot or Turk
You were well-paid for your work
Whether underground or working in the mill

Next Poseidon made a find, the stock market it went wild
As the trading reached a fever on the floor
Soon the brokers' knees grew weak as Poseidon hit its peak
The like of it they'd never seen before

The shafts are sinking fast and they're heading through the West
And the beasts of nature don't know what to do
Soon the emu and the roo, there will be no room for you
Your extinction seems to be so close at hand

Conservationists they say if we carry on this way
There's no doubt that we are heading for our doom
For the big companies don't mind if the minerals they find
The dollar god, it rules them every day

So stand up while you can think of your fellow man
And the children that will follow after you
For I'm sure they'd like to see all the animals that we
Are killing every day throughout the land.


  1. The writer is Mick Flanagan, currently in Tassie.

  2. Interesting song. I'm not sure it's travelled so well since 64. Kangaroo numbers have probably increased since then, not decreased. Not so sure about emus. Certainly mining hasn't decreased since then, has it. Are there any species more at risk as a direct result of mining? Probably, but I don't know which ones they are. I'd be interested to learn, though.

  3. Thanks for identifying Mick as the writer. He's written some great stuff.