1931 (?) The Machine Man's Lament
c.f. Obituary of Clement Ladbury - references to Carrar, Richmond etc
Also: John Hamill, father of Dave's wife Aisla, was a "machine man" in Bourke, NSW!
THE MACHINE-MAN'S LAMENT
I'm working at Carrar Scour
For Ladbury & Co.,
The wages are Five two and six
With scant thrown in you know.
At a , the whistle blows
Then you rub your weary eyes,
And stagger to the galley
Whereat the tucker lies.
The cook he greets you warmly
With a grin upon his dial,
There's steak and sausages, curry & rice,
Why boys we live in style.
Then over to the works you roam
And grab your poking stick,
To keep those creepers from wool,
While the smell it turns you sick.
The shift boss opens the feeder up
'Till she's right out to her top,
He pushes through thirty odd a day
And curses if she stops.
The driver keeps the steam up
With a knack that's all his own,
And he's longing for the cut-out
When he'll be roaming home.
The yard gang have a merry time
Rolling the bales all day,
Or filling the hold with iron bark wood
With 'Blutcher' in the dray.
The presses earn their money
With their bandy legs so bare,
And when they do three hundred a week
I'll say that's pretty fair.
The shift boss strolls around all day
Smelling wool, and bringing soda,
To empty into number two
To make that nasty odour.
The feeder man has the softest job
Around that noisy place,
And he pushes away at the wool all day
With a smile on his beaded old face.
The cowboy never said swear words
He was all bally bitches,
And every night he rides to town
To the dance, or play, or pictures.
And so all day the machine we'd watch
Keep those belts and rollers turning,
Or knock the wallop off the rakes
While for we're yearning.
At night we read the daily mail
Or played a game of Chess,
Smoko, then retired to bed
For our well earned nightly rest.
Saturday comes, we'd draw our finn
Then motor into town,
To play at pool or billiards
Or keep a couple down.
We indulged in games of chances
Just to pass away the days,
So at either dice or pennies
Every week we done our pays.
And thus we passed the weekend
We'd return out home once more,
With no more money on us
Then we had the week before.
But the weeks soon slipped swiftly by
Until the cut-out came and then,
I slipped into the laughing side
And hit the breeze again.