Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Banjo Bill

Words:  Vic Williams
Tune:  Ian Conochie

My mates all call me Banjo Bill
And sing this song as we throw and fill
Our backs are bent but our arms are strong
And swing in time to our drawling song

Banjo Bill, Banjo Bill
Shovelled for years and shovelling still
Where a railway runs or a building stands
The hard hills split in his driving hands

The Japs came South with cast-iron schemes
They thought we'd stoke their puffed-up dreams
That called for strong and willing slaves
But we blocked their road and dug their graves

Banjo Bill, Banjo Bill
Soldiered for years and shovelling still
Their armies cracked but our coast stands
Where he shovelled them back with work-strong hands

The bosses bang the drum for war
They make big dough and plan for more
We'll hammer our shovels like a gong
Call on our mates to sing this song

Banjo Bill, Banjo Bill
Changed the world and we'll change it still
Our spades will cut through the roots of war
And peace will blossom from shore to shore

Found in John Meredith's notebooks in the National Library of Australia.  John noted that there were two tunes to this one, with the tune used here included in his notes.

Any further information about the writers or the subject would be appreciated.

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