Friday, January 13, 2012

The Song Of The Thrush

Words:  Walter Hastings
Music:  George Le Brunn

Years ago out in the wilds of Australia
Out in the minefields there once stood a camp
The miners were made up of all sorts of classes
many a scapegrace and many a scamp.
When into their midst came a young man from England
and with him he brought a small thrush in a cage,
to hear the bird sing they would flock 'round in dozens.
That dear little songster became quite the rage.

There fell a deep hush. As the song of the thrush,
Was heard by that motley throng.
Many a rough fellows eyes grew moist
As the notes rang out clearly and strong.
Eyes lighted up with a bright yearning look
As the bird trilled his beautiful lay
For it brought to their minds dear old England and home
Thousands of miles away.

The miners though rough and fierce looking fellows
were human and idolised, worshipped that bird
in the midst of a quarrel they'd leave off and listen
when the voice of their charmer, their favourite they heard.
That bird from Old England at last got quite famous
To hear it the miners would come from afar
and many declared they preferred the bird's singing
To the card and the dice at the round liquor bar.

It made them all think of the corn fields and meadows
Of many a shady and quiet little lane
And hearts ached and yearned as they thought of some village
And some they had dearly loved, but all in vain.
The bird still sang on and the miners still listend
P'r'aps they got tired of the bird?  no such thing:
As one rough expressed it, "He came like and angel
And make you feel good like to hear that bird sing.

From the National Library of Australia collection:

Recorded unaccompanied by Dave De Hugard on the 1974 Larrikin LP, Man of the Earth.


  1. Amazingly, this song was a hit and a heartbreaker for us lads in the Switchgear shop at our Power Station. We all felt the loneliness of being away from home, even on an extended 24 hour shift on a breakdown. But, we had a cockney warbler and he could make us think we were in the Outback, living the solitude of the miners!

  2. My dad used to sing this song,now I've found it at last,he would be 109 now