Merv Webster:     thegrey@tpg.com.au

                                                           Phone:                07 4159 1868

                                                           The songs below are registered with APRA.

                                                    If you are looking for songs then please contact me.        

COPIES OF THIS PUBLICATION ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST FOR $15.00  [CONTACTS ABOVE]

OR CAN BE VIEWED AT THE FOLLOWING LINK https://app.box.com/s/grph5h96kvv7sh273phj

 

Memory is a wonderful gift and as I reflect back to my childhood days in Bowen, Queensland, when I was around eleven years of age, I recall knocking up a guitar of wood and fishing line strings and putting the top of a mop on my head and doing my best to imitate the Beatles.  These were my earliest musical memories. 

     Then when I was around sixteen years of age, my family had moved out to Roma in Western Queensland and I befriended some boys who had a band.  They called themselves the “Peace Ov Mind” and the bass player, Ian Mulgrew, taught me a few basic chords.  It was around this time that I bought my first acoustic guitar and the first song I learnt to play was Van Morrison’s, Gloria.

     Those teenage years were associated with mainly Pop music and Televison shows such as “Happening 70” and the magazine Go-Set, long hair and flared jeans.  Overseas bands like Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin to name just a few were the rage.  Australian bands such as The Zoot, The Valentines, The Sect, The Master Apprentices, Max Merit and the Meteors, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, and individuals such as Doug Parkinson, Russell Morris and Ronnie Burns, John Blanchefield, Wendy Saddington, again to mention a few, were the home grown favourites.

     Then in the seventies, I was living in Toowoomba, Queensland, and bought my first electric guitar.  I tried my hand at writing my first song and if I recall rightly it was called, “Why Must People Die.”  As teenagers, we had looked up to so many artists as mentors and sadly a number of them had died as a result of depression, drugs and drink.  We thought they had it all and couldn’t understand why they died so young.

    A couple of years later I was married and along came four children and a busy life of raising the family.  My wife’s dad was an old Drover and we went back to live in Roma and he began to take me under his wing and taught me how to break in horses and bush work.  I guess after some years in the bush, the stories of Slim Dusty began to have an influence on me and I loved the Australiana influence in his songs.

     In the late eighties I began to have an interest in Genealogy and set about researching my mother’s fathers family and came across so many good stories that I thought there had to be a way to preserve them.  My guitar playing was pretty limited and my vocals weren’t that crash hot so my new mentor around that period was Keith Garvey who was a great Yarn Spinner and Rhyming Poet and it seemed to me that, rhyming verse could be the way to keep these stories alive.

     I began writing poems about my experiences in the bush and penned my first poem, “The Beneficial Duffing.”  Soon there was a whole swag of poems and I published them in my first book of verse called, “Tales of Uncle Jim.” in 1996.  I then became associated with the Australian Bush Poet’s Association and began performing my poems at competitions around the countryside. 

     Chris joined me after a while and between us we did very well over the years and began performing our own show of Bush Poetry and Yarns.  I eventually published eight books of verse and yarns and between Chris and I we were seven time finalists in the Australian Bush Laureate Awards in Tamworth.  We also recorded four bush poetry albums together.

       My first trip to the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which incorporated Bush Poetry, was in 1996 and I began to meet many of the Australian Bush Balladeers and they started an Association themselves.  In 2005 Chris and I were invited to the Katherine Country Music Festival to perform Poet’s Breakfasts and I decided to enter the lyrics to a song that I had written in the Lyrics Only Section of their written competition and to my surprise I won it.  The next year I entered some more lyrics in the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Competition and picked up three out of the five finalist nominations in the lyrics only and won.  The following year 2006, I won the lyrics only again at the Katherine’s Northern Territory Song Writing Competition.

      Since my debut at the T.S.A. awards in Tamworth and entering the lyrics only section in 2006 I have picked up seventeen out of the forty-seven finalist spots available in 2006/7/8/9/10/11 /12 and 13 and won the section in 2006/7/9/10/11.  I have recorded six albums since 2004, which feature my bush ballads and bush verse and we enjoy performing them in our Bush Poetry, Ballads and Yarns shows at various Festivals.  In 2012 my song ‘I Never Cried for Elvis but I Shed a Tear for Slim’ was included in the Not So Dusty 2 album released by Nulla Nulla Records. 

         The following are a collection of the songs that I have written over the years and to date I have had some of them recorded by Denise Brooks and Bobby Magee, Meagan Webster, Alan Luscombe and John Battle, John Smith and Lynne Bennett.  Throughout my life and travels I have found that there are some wonderful stories out there to be told and it has given me great pleasure to put them to lyrics and to find a melody, for others to enjoy.

  Bush Poet and Songwriter/Balladeer

 Mervyn John Webster

CHORDS AND LYRICS AVAILABLE IN THE ABOVE PUBLICATION

I NEVER CRIED FOR ELVIS BUT I SHED A TEAR FOR SLIM 

 R.M. WILLIAMS – A MAN WHO HAD TRIED

CHASING BUTTONS

SON PLAY ANOTHER COSTER SONG

GRANDDAD’S CRUSTY DAMPER

THE MAINTOP BALLADEER

THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE

BOONDOOMA’S BALLADEER

SO MANY ROADSIDE EPITAPHS

THE BALLAD OF FAYLENE ANDERSON

BLUEY’S REFLECTIONS

FLOWERS ON A FRIDAY

KEEPING THE CULTURE

THAT MOTEL WHISKEY DREAM

THE LADY IN THE LOCKETT

IT’S TIME TO STOP THE RUMOURS LADS

IT’S NOTHING SHORT OF MAGIC

A TRUE BLUE HOME GROWN LOVE SONG 

HOW TWO BOYS LIVED THEIR DREAM

IF THE MEMORIES LAST

DOWN ON DOGS AND DUCKS

WHERE’S THE WATER GONE

MIDST THE MULGA

SOMETIMES I FORGET

THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED SO QUICKLY

I WISH I WERE A CROCODILE

MY POCKET FULL OF DREAMS  

AUSTRALIA’S BECKONING CALL

HARD HAT HEROES

THE ROSE FROM THE GARDEN  

THE SAILOR AND THE BALLADEER

I UNDERSTAND MATILDA

THE RANKIN RUSH DEBATE  

THE DEBUT DEBACLE

IT’S TIME WE WENT TO TOWN

IT’S SECOND BEST TO HEAVEN MATE

HOW THE ALICE CAME TO US

WHEN YOU OUTLIVE YOUR DREAMS

MY MOTHER’S NAME WAS FRY

WHEN THE QUEENSLAND RIVERS RUN

THE PUB WE ALL CALL SHINDY’S INN

MY WHITE ROSE OF HOPE

MCINTYRE MELODIES

PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG

DO YOU HAVE A DADDY MR?

WILL BUSH BALLADS EVER DIE?

HEY BANJO

HEY BANJO [REVISED]

THAT WHISTLE SO MELLOW AND BRIGHT  

A LOVE TO OWN THE LAND

THE DINGO SCALPERS DAUGHTER

TODAY IT ISN’T SO 

THAT STATUETTE OF GOLD

LET'S SAY ADIEU INSTEAD

DOING THE WEDGIE WALK

CAMPFIRES ON THE COOPER

SWEET VIOLET DARE

CHIPS AND YELLOWBELLY

PINK ON BROWN

THE CHASE AT OMA HOLE

GIBBERS MATE AND GIDYEA

THE OLD J.C.

THE STOP AT JERICHO

REMINISCING WITH HENRY

WHEN THE WATTLE TREES BLOOM

THE TALE OF HORROCK'S PASSING

THERE'S GOTTA BE A USE FOR GIBBERS

HERE FISHY FISHY

OH WHY DOLLIR MARTYR

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON ICON ABOVE TO LISTEN TO VARIOUS SONGS ABOVE

THE FOLLOWING SONGS HAVE BEEN RECORDED ON THE CDS ABOVE

I NEVER CRIED FOR ELVIS BUT I SHED A TEAR FOR SLIM

Perhaps I'd heard it wrong somehow that quiet September day,
But no, the words rang in my head. Slim Dusty's passed away.
I knew the old bloke had been crook and not that well of late.
Still, legends live forever … though … it seems I'm wrong old mate.

Like Lawson you could tell a tale about the average bloke,
Though sung them in the ballad style backed by a guitar stroke.
Your songs portrayed an image which aroused our Aussie pride
 And most of us we shed a tear when poor old Trumby died.

  So rest in peace for now old friend until the trumpet calls;
 The spirit of your ballads, mate, ring through life's memories halls.
 A lifetimes dedication proves you were no passing whim;
 I never cried for Elvis, but I shed a tear for Slim.

 You walked a mile or two we know, through muddy tracks and dry
 And entertained a lot of folk and made them laugh or cry.
 You pioneered an industry and did the real hard yards
 And kept alive the sentiments of yesterday's bush bards.

A myriad of campfires echoed tunes that bore your brand.
The Pub With No Beer, Duncan; just two that come to hand.
You made us feel Australian with a sense of wrong and right.
 The city bloke, the bushy, whether brindle, black or white.

  So rest in peace for now old friend until the trumpet calls;
 The spirit of your ballads, mate, ring through life's memories halls.
 A lifetimes dedication proves you were no passing whim;
 I never cried for Elvis, but I shed a tear for Slim. 


They said goodbye in style that day and gathered in their throngs 
 And old St Andrews echoed to a melody of songs.
Your passing's left us empty mate, we've lost a true blue friend
 And no one lives forever, but the memories will not end.

I know we lost an icon, but his family lost much more,
A father, grandad, soul mate, of that I am quite sure. 
We stand and we salute you Slim despite the fact we know
 The final curtain's fallen on the last Slim Dusty show. 

  So rest in peace for now old friend until the trumpet calls;
 The spirit of your ballads, mate, ring through life's memories halls.
 A lifetimes dedication proves you were no passing whim;
  I never cried for Elvis, but I shed a tear for Slim.

© Merv Webster

     These lyrics were written just after Slim Died on the 19th September 2003.  I had been watching Geraldine Doogue do the commentary during his funeral and she received an email from an elderly lady who commented, I never cried for Elvis but I shed a tear for Slim. 

     I first saw Slim at the Bowen Show and he had a whip cracker with him.  Kids from the audience helped him with his tricks and then he asked who wanted to earn threepence and I eagerly volunteered.  I remember it sitting on my tongue and my standing there with my eyes closed and then the loud crack of the whip.  I had to go home and change my undies. But I did get the threepence.

      Years later I met Slim at the Tooloombilla Rodeo and went to his show in Roma, then in the 90’s when I began going to the Tamworth Country Music Festival.  I recorded it on my first EP, “The Bushman and the Balladeer’ and released it Lake Cooroibah Music Jamboree in November 2004 and in 2006 on  ‘From Bard to Balladeer’. Due to it’s popularity we included it on an the ‘Bush Ballads and Verse’ album in 2010.

Not So Dusty I - the search is over... the final tracks have been found

     The Nulla Records search for the final track for inclusion on the long awaited sequel to the gold selling 1998 Not So Dusty album is over… and yesterday the album was sent off for mastering.

     Nulla recently had invited Slim fans to submit their Slim Dusty tributes in a search to hopefully find a suitable track to fill the final spot on the new Slim tribute album Not So Dusty II (The Bushies Tribute to Slim Dusty).

     It turned out to be a really tough decision for the Nulla Records judging panel (Joy McKean very cleverly abstained from being a part of this brave group!) as the label was totally overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the entries that turned up.

     It was a diverse mix of covers of Slim's classics and song tributes to Slim that fans had written and recorded over the years since Slim's passing in 2003.

     A representative from Nulla said, "We were all a bit taken aback to be honest, we sort of expected to receive 10 or 20 tracks max.… not 50 or 60!!. It was a really nice surprise to receive so many but the large number of entries and the high standard of so many of them made it impossible for us to pick just one track.

     "In fact, we could have easily picked another 20 of them… we even discussed the possibility of doing a fan tribute album next… that is still a possibility sometime in the future."

     Consequently, it was decided that TWO fan tracks could be squeezed on to the album rather than just the one track originally intended. One of the tracks selected would be a cover version and the second an original Slim tribute song.

     Nulla Records are thrilled to now officially announce that the two artists/songs selected to be the special bonus inclusions on the Not So Dusty II album are :

Merv Webster - I never cried for Elvis but I shed a tear for Slim

Brade - When the Rain Tumbles Down in July

     Congratulations to both artists... Merv what a song title and what a special tribute song for Slim! Merv has spent quite a few hot days over the years busking on Peel Street as a part of the Tamworth Festival but of late has been building quite a profile touring his bush poetry show. Congratulations also go to the young Queensland duo Brade.  Bre and Jade have combined to create a truly fresh version of the very first song Slim ever wrote.

     Nulla wish to thank all the artists that sent in their wonderful tributes to Slim... we wish we could have included all of them.

NOT SO DUSTY II (The Bushie's Tribute To Slim Dusty)

     To be released on CD & Digital Download January 13, 2012

     There will also be a special Not So Dusty II Show (A Bushies Tribute to Slim) happening on Friday, January 27 (starting at 7pm) at the Bush Balladeers Homestead as as a part of the 2012 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

.........................................

     Many of the guest artists who are featured on the new album performed on the night.  I had the privilege to sing I Never Cried for Elvis But I Shed a Tear for Slim and How Two Boys Lived Their Dream on the Concert.

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R.M. WILLIAMS - A MAN WHO HAD TRIED

I stared at the brown leather boot in my hand 
And applied elbow grease for a shine
When there right before me an image appeared
And I can't say the face it was mine.
But yes that old hat, which you wore with great pride,
And the short grey moustache 'neath your nose;
Revealed straightaway you were Aussie and proud
And most bush folk admired you God knows.

We'll miss you old mate, as you were a proud son
For you taught us the value of pride.
Your Epitaph reads, as you wanted it to
R.M Williams ... A Man Who Had Tried.


In fact it was you who designed these old boots
That have lasted me all through these years
And news of your passing on November fifth,
Was a blow, which brought home a few tears.
From swagman to millionaire was your claim
And your trade mark the boots you designed.
You strode for perfection and here is the proof
As no better a boot could you find.

We'll miss you old mate, as you were a proud son
For you taught us the value of pride.
Your Epitaph reads, as you wanted it to
R.M Williams ... A Man Who Had Tried.


Yes that was your legacy to all of us
And we've taken your wise ways to heart.
You showed us how hard work it has its rewards
If one has the desire from the start.
You loved the bush ballads and rhyming bush verse,
You yourself played the role of bush bard.
And surely old friend you will visit again
If I polish these boots really hard. 

We'll miss you old mate, as you were a proud son
For you taught us the value of pride.
Your Epitaph reads, as you wanted it to
R.M Williams ... A Man Who Had Tried. 

© Merv Webster

     Not long after the passing of Slim we would lose another great Australian in R.M. Williams on the 5th November 2003.  Chris and I had the opportunity to met Reg one night whilst performing at the Barcladine Heritage Centre.  We had a chat after the show about bush poetry and his involvement over the years and the one thing that he mentioned was that he would like to be remembered as a man who had tried.

    This though then inspired me to write the above lyrics to a man who had tried and achieved so much in his lifetime.  The song was released on “The Bushman & The Balladeer EP/CD in 2004 and also on the “Bard to Balladeer” album in 2006.  It was also included in the “Bush Verse and Ballads” album in 2010.

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CHASING BUTTONS

From his home-made wooden rocker my dad beckoned with his hand,
as his wasting frame would not allow the dying man to stand
and he handed me two buttons, that were worn and on a chain, 
then he whispered of their origins while grimacing with pain.
"These two buttons were my father's lad and from a prison shirt
that dad wore because he'd beat a man who'd treated him like dirt
He was placed in solitary and that added to his shame
so to stay sane in that darkness … well he played this little game.

"He would throw those two white buttons in the black void of that room
and he'd search until he found them in his quest to beat the gloom.
Yes he'd throw those two white buttons and they kept the poor man sane,
till they finally released him and my dad came home again.


"When I met your darling mother son I felt right from the start
that this girl was something special and I knew deep in my heart
that we'd marry and have family and son the dream came true,
but it broke me when I lost her, after she gave birth to you.
"Though I had you to remember her, I nearly lost my mind
and I'd ask God in my darkened room why was life so unkind.
But my dad came to the rescue and placed in my hand one day
two white buttons and revealed to me a game he used to play.

"Yes I'd throw those two white buttons in the black void of that room
and I'd search until I found them in my quest to beat the gloom.
Yes I'd throw those two white buttons and they somehow kept me sane
till I found a little peace of mind and was your dad again.


"Still we've shared a lot of years since then and son you're now a man
and I know you love your family and do the best you can.
I do not have much to leave you just these worn out buttons lad
and the knowledge that I loved you and was proud to be your dad."
Then his hand slumped off the rocker and dad's spirit left that night
and him lying there and free of pain was such a peaceful sight.
Though at night I'd sit there in the dark, depressed and feeling blue,
till I took to throwing buttons, just like my dad used to do. 

Yes I'd throw those two white buttons in the black void of that room
and I'd search until I found them in my quest to beat the gloom.
Yes I'd throw those two white buttons and they somehow kept me sane
and I thanked my dad and grandpa for those buttons on that chain.

© Merv Webster

     Whilst visiting the Dubbo Jail some years back, I listened to a recorded message coming from an isolation cell of a supposed inmate.  He told how the Traps purposely goaded inmates into misdemeanours and then placed them in solitary.  He said many went mad in the dark, but he’d pull the buttons off his shirt and throw them in the cell and look for them to maintain his sanity.  This inspired the above song.  It was a Finalist and Winner of the Lyrics Only section of the 2005 Northern Territory Country Music Songwriting Awards.   Also a finalist in the Tamworth T.S.A. Lyrics Only in 2006.

Finalist and winner of  Lyrics Only  at 2005 Katherine Country Music Muster Northern Territory Country Music Awards & Finalist  2006 TSA Song Writing Awards Tamworth.

RECORDED BY JOHN BATTLE

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SON PLAY ANOTHER COSTER SONG

The old man clutched his walker as he slowly shuffled by, 
Then paused and turned towards me with a glint in his old eye 
I sensed he liked the Coster song that I was knocking out
And something 'bout the way he smiled sure left me in no doubt. 

Then as I strummed the final chord he winked and smiled some more
And something told me this old man loved ballads that's for sure.
He threw three gold coins in my case and wished me all the best,
Then with a frail and feeble voice he whispered this request.

"Son play another Coster song and make an old man's day.
I haven't many up my sleeve or so the Doctor's say. 
You sing and paint the pictures lad of words Stan put to pen 
And let me share the memories of a life I lived back then.

I said old man I'd feel real proud to sing this one for you,
'cause surely it's my fav'rite song and mate perhaps yours too. 
He closed his eyes and drifted off and it was plain to see 
that this old man was warming to a gidyea memory.

The years spent out on stock routes with a creaking wagonette,
a pair of dusty moleskins and those mates you don't forget.
Black tea and camp made damper and a swag wrap for a bed
and all the while the old man's words were ringing in my head. 

"Son play another Coster song and make an old man's day.
I haven't many up my sleeve or so the Doctor's say.
You sing and paint the pictures lad of words Stan put to pen 
And let me share the memories of a life I lived back then.

He tipped his old Akubra back and reached out with his hand
And though the years had sapped his strength his grip was mighty grand.
"Son Coster had a gift you see to tell things how they were,
His ballads reached the hearts of folk, to this I can concur.

We miss the old mate and his wife; god bless their mortal souls,
So keep the mem'ries burning like a fire of gidyea coals.
Then as I watched him shuffle off, I treasured what he said,
'Cause that wise man was my old dad. God bless his old grey head. 

"Son play another Coster song and make an old man's day.
I haven't many up my sleeve or so the Doctor's say.
You sing and paint the pictures lad of words Stan put to pen 
And let me share the memories of a life I lived back then.

© Merv Webster

     Tracy Coster and her dad Stan [in photo]

I never personally got to meet Stan Coster, as he had passed away by the time I began to have an interest in the Bush Balladeers scene, but I had an appreciation for his songs.  I wanted to write a tribute to the old mate and the above was the result. 

     It received a finalist nomination in the Lyrics Only of the S. E. Qld. Branch of the T. S. A. Songwriting Awards in 2006 and was placed 3rd.  Picture below:  John and Eleanor Briskey Sundown Music.

     This song was also included on the “From Bard to Balladeer” album in 2006 and the “Bush Verse and Ballads” album in 2010.

 

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GRANDAD'S CRUSTY DAMPER

I squatted 'neath the willow tree and memories came back
of childhood days with grandpa and the way he had the knack
of knowing how to pick a spot to cast your fishing rod
and luring out his fav'rite catch the good old murray cod.
He taught me how to clean my catch and how to bake it too
inside an old camp oven like his dad taught him to do.
We'd bake spuds in their jackets, but the thing that got to me'
was grandads crusty damper, cockey's joy and billy tea.

Yes golden crusty damper with some cocky's joy's a treat 
and washed down with some billy tea is really hard to beat.
He had a knack with most things, but the thing that got to me'
was grandads crusty damper, cockey's joy and billy tea.

This round-yard brings back memories I vividly recall,
my first ride on that young bay colt and how I took a fall.
Gramps taught me how to get back up, to take it in my stride,
despite my tattered ego and my bruised and battered pride.
I shared the dusty musterings, the branding in the yards
and how to cook bush oysters by the fire was on the cards.
I reckon they were chewy, but the thing that got to me'
was grandads crusty damper, cockey's joy and billy tea. 

Yes golden crusty damper with some cocky's joy's a treat 
and washed down with some billy tea is really hard to beat.
He had a knack with most things, but the thing that got to me'
was grandads crusty damper, cockey's joy and billy tea.


Returning to old 'Corkdale' now that grandad's passed away
has mustered many mem'ries of a bygone yesterday.
He was my friend and mentor and he taught me all I knew,
and the last word's that he whispered were, "I've left 'Corkdale' to you."
We had the wake just yesterday and Cat'rers made the spread
with lots of tasty sandwiches all made on shop baked bread.
I really liked the fillings, but the thing I missed you see
was grandads crusty damper, cockey's joy and billy tea.

Yes golden crusty damper with some cocky's joy's a treat 
and washed down with some billy tea is really hard to beat.
He had a knack with most things, but the thing I missed you see
was grandads crusty damper, cockey's joy and billy tea.

© Merv Webster

     I recall having had some great times fishing with my grandfather Jim Martyn in the McIntyre River at Goondiwindi and thought about how many others would have learnt things from their granfather’s as well.  These thoughts inspired me to write the above song.  The lyrics were entered in the Northern Territory Country Music Songwriting Awards and picked up a finalist spot and won in 2006. 

     This song was also included on the “From Bard to Balladeer” album in 2006 and the “Bush Verse and Ballads album in 2010.

 

Finalist and Winner of the Lyrics Only at the 2006 Northern Territory Songwriting Awards at the Katherine Country Music Muster.

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THE MAINTOP BALLADEER

There's a bloke I'd like you all to know whose Aussie through and through,
From his felt hat to his R.M. boots, he ridgy didge, true blue.
He was born in Roma, Queensland, back in nineteen thirty-three
And his parents were from sturdy stock, a pioneer family.
Station life was in this young man's blood and one can understand
Why he took to writing lyrics based on things he knew first hand;
Those loved tales of some lad's 'Silver Spurs', the 'Rutland Rodeo'
And 'A Time When I Was Mustering' he penned so long ago.

Yes, his heart is in his lyrics this tall man from Injune way
And he's had his songs recorded by top artists in his day.
Yes, Wave Jackson loves his ballads and mate let me make this clear
He's admired in music circles as the Maintop Balladeer.


Old Mac Cormack and Joe Daley both wrote lyrics by the score
And along with Wave and Coster … hell they made an awesome four.
They all had their songs recorded by Slim Dusty through the years
And these men are all respected to this day by all their peers.
Wave continues this tradition and he still writes to this day
And now picks and strums a Maton in the true bush ballad way.
You will find him at most Musters and he's happy as can be
As today he shares his talents on his very own CD. 

Yes, his heart is in his lyrics this tall man from Injune way 
And he's had his songs recorded by top artists in his day. 
Yes, Wave Jackson loves his ballads and mate let me make this clear 
He's admired in music circles as the Maintop Balladeer.


Wave has travelled 'round Australia and he'll tell you that he's sold
On the fact there lots of songs out there just waiting to be told.
He then proved this down in Tamworth when he won a gold guitar
And of all his fine achievements it's the best he says so far.
It has been a wondrous innings for this gentleman of song
And I hope things will continue and his journey will be long.
He's a real true blue Australian and they are but far and few
And I'm proud to have him as a mate and share his song with you.

Yes, his heart is in his lyrics this tall man from Injune way 
And he's had his songs recorded by top artists in his day. 
Yes, Wave Jackson loves his ballads and mate let me make this clear 
He's admired in music circles as the Maintop Balladeer.



©Merv Webster

     Back in the eighties I was working as an Electrical Linesman and one Sunday night we were called out to a property called Maintop west of Injune that had lost power.  The owner Waverly Jackson was away and had just killed some beef so we were able to help restore power.  Some years later while Emcee at the Surat Battered Bugle I actually got to meet him.  Wave was a ballad writer and had written a number of songs that had been recorded by Slim Dusty.

     As I began to go to various Bush Balladeer Festivals we became good friends and in 2005 Wave and Jeff Brown picked up a gold guitar for Wave’s song “Where the Yellow Kapocks Bloom”.  Wave then recorded his own album “A Snapshot of Queensland.”  In a lot of cases songwriters often write a tribute after the person dies so I thought I’d write a tribute for Wave while he was still with us. 

     “The Maintop Balladeer” was a finalist and winner in the 2005 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Songwriting Awards and recorded on the “Bard to Balladeer” album in 2006 and the “Bush Ballads and Verse” album in 2010.

          Wave Jackson           

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THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE

 All those years of droving cattle 
hell they surely were a battle 
as my back hurts something woeful 
and I’m up near half the night. 
And I carry scars from busters                 
earnt in wild and wooly musters 
in the back blocks of this country 
where mad scrubbers take to flight.
       
And the years of bare back riding 
where my frame took a real hiding
and I gained the limp I live with
all those many years ago.
But my aches and pains all faded 
and I sat there kind of jaded 
when I heard our darling Sophie 
had been dealt another blow. 

You’re too young to have to suffer 
and your pain is so much rougher, 
but we see you as our hero
and the bravest of the brave. 
So dear Sophie keep your spirit 
and sweet angel please believe it 
When we tell you little darling 
you’re the bravest of the brave.

 
I recall how I was shattered
when I first saw how your battered
body fought to overcome the scars
of burns and loss of limbs.
In the outback I have ridden
with tough men I’ve known who’ve hidden
any sign of pain as weakness
and despite things looking grim.
 
But you’re tough as old boot leather
and I can’t say I have ever
seen such courage in a youngster
like you showed through that ordeal.
There are millions in this Nation
who hearts live in expectation
and we know your fighting spirit
will win out and help you heal.
 
You’re too young to have to suffer
and your pain is so much rougher,
but we see you as our hero
and the bravest of the brave.
So dear Sophie keep your spirit
and sweet angel please believe it
when we tell you little darling
you’re the bravest of the brave.

© Merv Webster

     On December 15 2003 Sophie first came to the attention of the public when she and Molly Wood, both two years old at the time, were badly injured when they were trapped under a burning car which had crashed through a gate into the Roundhouse Childcare Centre at Fairlight in Sydney, Australia. Sophie suffered burns to 85% of her body and lost feet, some fingers, and her right ear.

     Then on May 5, 2006 Sophie made national headlines a second time when she was again badly injured in a road accident. While being pushed across a pedestrian crossing in a wheelchair (by her nanny with her service dog Tara by her side) near her home in Sydney's northern beaches, she was hit by a car and thrown 18 metres. Sophie suffered a heart attack, a broken jaw and shoulder bone, bruising to her head, numerous rib fractures and a tear to her left lung.  Despite all this Sophie survived and continues to get on with her life.  Pictures below.

     I was inspired to write the tribute above to a very brave little girl.  The song was recorded on the “Bard to Balladeer” album in 2006 and also the “Bush Ballads and Vers” album in 2010.

SOPHIE DELIZIO

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THE FOLLOWING SONGS HAVE BEEN RECORDED ON THE CD ABOVE

BOONDOOMA'S BALLADEER

In the back blocks of the Burnett there’s a Homestead by the road, 
where for one old white haired balladeer it once was his abode. 
Too today its restoration is a yoke he’s proud to wear 
and its pioneering mem’ries are a thing he loves to share.

You will often find him with an adze or broadaxe in his hand 
as he forms a piece of timber to the shape that’s in demand. 
His old clothes are soiled and tardy and his hat is battered too, 
but it shows where this man’s heart is and you sense that he’s true blue.

He’s the spirit of Boondooma, he’s its heart and soul as well 
while his ballads share its hist’ry and as far as I can tell; 
Buddy Thomson you’re its heartbeat and we’ll raise a glass and say 
that Boondooma’s Pioneer fam’lies would be proud of you today.

You’ve rekindled all those mem’ries through your sweat and toil old son
and the Homestead takes us back in time to when it all begun.
All your lyrics share the stories of those folk of long ago,
like the Lawsons, old Ted Potter, dear Jane Ann and George Munro.

Every picture tells a story and each room it has a tale
And the shop has many souvenirs available for sale.
While each building shares an era from our pioneering past
And Boondooma’s singing balladeer has made the mem’ries last.

He’s the spirit of Boondooma, he’s its heart and soul as well
while his ballads share its hist’ry and as far as I can tell;
Buddy Thomson you’re its heartbeat and we’ll raise a glass and say
that Boondooma’s Pioneer fam’lies would be proud of you today.


Now in April folk all muster and they go there in their throngs
keen to share the bush experience and listen to the songs
of the balladeers who join him and the poets too as well
and it’s one all mighty shindig and the crowds all think it’s swell. 

If you’re ever in the back blocks then please knock upon the door
and go share their hospitality, you’ll love it that’s for sure.
Take a tour back into history and reminisce a while
and perchance you meet old Buddy say g’day and crack a smile.

He’s the spirit of Boondooma, he’s its heart and soul as well
while his ballads share its hist’ry and as far as I can tell;
Buddy Thomson you’re its heartbeat and we’ll raise a glass and say
that Boondooma’s Pioneer fam’lies would be proud of you today.

© Merv Webster

 Buddy Thomson

    Boondooma Homestead was the centre of the original Boondooma Station, which was settled in 1846 by three young Scotsmen. It was originally bounded by the hill east of Proston, Brovinia Creek to the north, Darr Creek to the south, and the Dividing Range to the west – a total of nearly 1,000 square miles. The homestead is one of the few remaining examples of an elegant wooden home built 1854-55. Visitors can walk through several buildings constructed in the 1850s, and spend time in the gardens, enjoying trees and vines also dating from the 1850s.  Many/some people find connections with family members who lived or worked on Boondooma Station in years gone by.   South-east Queensland's premier balladeers' event is held every year to coincide with Heritage Weekend. It is held over five days, and always includes the fourth Saturday of April.      

     The first ‘Spirit of the Bush Balladeers' Muster’ was held in 2001. Work had started to restore the Stone Store and the Homestead. So, Buddy Thomson and his partner Lynne Bennett, being Bush Balladeers, organised this event as a fund-raiser for Boondooma Homestead. Six caravans arrived. Additional visitors stayed for the whole day and were entertained by balladeers who donated their time, free of charge. It was such a success, that it grew to a five day event. There is bush camping for 700-800 vans. The Poets' Breakfast begins each day, followed by invited artists and walk-up performers. There is only one stage, so most artists give only two items at a time and return later.  There are various stalls and displays. Volunteers prepare and cook a variety of food which are available for sale all day. We also operate a bar for a faithful few.  In the old homestead we display entries for our competitions for Art, Poetry, and Photography. (There is always a section for photos taken at the Boondooma Homestead complex.) Another popular event is the walk-up poetry and balladeers contest held on the front verandah of the homestead. This muster is always held on the week that includes Anzac Day. We have a good turn-out with a marching line that is long, and speeches that are short. On the Sunday we have an old-time church service at the homestead, with old hymns.   My tribute to Buddy was recorded on the Storyteller album.

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SO MANY ROADSIDE EPITAPHS

Have you ever felt the freedom that just goes down hand in hand,
when you venture long the hi-ways and the bi-ways of this land?
There's the beauty of our coastlines and the vastness of the plains;
all the magic of the outback and those rugged mountain chains.

But I sense for some this freedom mate; it comes at such a cost, 
as the easements of our roadways show that many souls are lost.
All the endless names of loved ones etched in black bear witness to
all the heartache and the trauma that some families go through. 

How so many roadside epitaphs cry out to you and me,
that the freedom we all yearn for can exact a gruesome fee.
Don't ignore the chant, just listen, so that no soul died in vain 
and their constant plea may save you and your loved ones all the pain. 


All the names that flash before me on the backgrounds painted white,
stay like snapshots in an album and are such a haunting sight.
Then I'm constantly reminded that they all had played a role
and were precious sons or daughters and each one a loving soul.

Too perhaps some grieving fam'ly they have lost their mum and dad
or their grandma or grandfather and I find that kind of sad.
So when passing by these sentinels I'm forced now to reflect 
on the gift of life God gave us and to treat it with respect. 

How so many roadside epitaphs cry out to you and me,
that the freedom we all yearn for can exact a gruesome fee.
Don't ignore the chant, just listen, so that no soul died in vain 
and their constant plea may save you and your loved ones all the pain.

© Merv Webster

     My daughter Amanda and her husband were living and working on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays and had purchased a boat down south and I gave her a hand to tow it from Brisbane to Airlie Beach.  Over the years I had been accustomed to seeing white crosses on the side of the road, where sadly folk had lost their lives, but it was seeing the names written in black that really brought home that they had been loved ones of various families.  There were so many roadsides epitaphs and it inspired me to write the song.

     It was a finalist in the 2007 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association Song Writing Awards and recorded on the “Storyteller” album in 2008.

 

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THE BALLAD OF FAYLENE ANDERSON

In one corner of a women’s cell in Wentworth’s squalid jail 
stands a frightened Faylene Andersen so pale and rather frail. 
She weeps tears amid the prayer she says and cannot understand 
why one singing Christian praises on a corner could be banned.

She was sentenced to a prison term of eight days by the judge 
and despite her lawyers pleadings the old codger wouldn’t budge.
The Salvation Army uniform revealed the young girl’s creed 
and her singing in the streets was deemed a blatant, lawless deed.

How the sight of that girl touched me as she stood there in that cell 
and the slim and prayerful figure was so frightened I could tell. 
Oh Faylene it seems unjust my dear that you should bear the shame 
for the act of singing publicly and praising the Lord’s name.


It would seem that other leaders of the Christian faiths ‘round town 
had seen fit to seek an ordinance that all good folk should frown 
on displays of public preaching and accept their righteous view, 
but I sense your faith just showed them up for what they couldn’t do.

You would suffer for their jealousy and face indignity
and you served not just one sentence, as I think they totalled three. 
Still I sensed your Master warned you of the trials that you might face 
and you carried your own torture stake with elegance and grace.

How the sight of that girl touched me as she stood there in that cell 
and the slim and prayerful figure was so frightened I could tell. 
Oh Faylene it seems unjust my dear that you should bear the shame 
for the act of singing publicly and praising the Lord’s name.

© Merv Webster

 

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BLUEY'S REFLECTIONS

Blue was feeling melancholy and was far from feeling jolly 
by the window of his quarters on that moonlight night in May.
The old mate was broken hearted since young Jess and he had parted; 
that's the Jillaroo from Bancroft who had jilted him that day.

And old Blue would really miss her, as she was a bonzer kisser,
and he told this to a large green frog perched on the window ledge.
This poor Ringer felt quite horrid, as his hand held up his forehead,
and he gave the frog the run down like it was some privilege.

"Do you have a girlfriend froggy that just leaves your mind all foggy
When she puckers up to kiss you and she makes you feel on high?
As a kisser Jess was real hot and I reckon by a long shot, 
she was up their with the best of them … except perhaps for Di.

"She's the blonde girl that's a Nanny, on the place where my mate Danny
breaks in horses every summer, and a looker that's for sure. 
Mate this Di she was a goer and I'm glad I got to know her,
as that girl could suck your lips off and she'd leave you wanting more.

"But we broke up in the summer, which I thought was a real bummer,
so I hitched up with her cousin who'd come out to stay a while.
This gal was a city floozie and her name I think was Suzie
and her tongue it darned near choked me, but she certainly had style.

"Then she went back to the city, which I thought was a real pity,
still I met young Katie Swenson at the rodeo that night.
Sucking face was that girl's passion, but I soon went out of fashion,
as I found she kissed near anything that came within her sight.

"So it's hard mate just to pick one that I fancied as the best fun,
as they all bring back fond mem'ries, but they all slipped through my grip."
He just sat there quite dejected and it came quite unexpected
when a moth alighted on the top of poor old Bluey's lip.

The frog's tongue flew into action, but his aim was down a fraction
and it rattled the old tonsils in the back of Bluey's throat.
The old Ringer's eyes went teary and his sight went kind of bleary
and the words that bushman uttered I'm afraid I cannot quote.

To this day it's told by bush folk and believe me this is no joke,
It is ritual when Bluey goes to town and hits the grog;
That he tells the same sick story, how no girls can much the glory
of that moonlight night in May when he was tongue kissed by a frog.

© Merv Webster

     I was watching a frog on the kitchen window sill one night and saw how he went about catching a moth on the window.  Kind of blew me away how long his tongue was and then the imagination started running riot and penned these lyrics.  I recorded the song on the “Storyteller” album in 2008.

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FLOWERS ON A FRIDAY

It was bucking bulls and cowboy busting broncos
And the challenge that accompanied each ride
That consumed the heart and mind of my young cowboy
And this fact my Buddy never tried to hide. 
I recall the time we met in Kelly's diner
He was busted up and feeling rather sore
But the cheque that paid the tab that I presented
Seemed to him to somehow even up the score.

He had eaten there that week and got acquainted,
And I somehow got to know this cowboy's mind
while the flowers that he gave me on that Friday
Surely showed beside his toughness, he was kind.
We were married in the summer six months later,
On a Friday I recall so very well,
Because Fridays he would always buy me flowers
And then go and ride those bulls and broncs from hell.

Buddy always bought me flowers on a Friday
As he knew I feared the rides that lay ahead
But my man his heart and soul was in his riding 
And my heart felt for this cowboy that I'd wed. 
Yes he always bought me flowers on a Friday
And I loved this cowboy that I planned to wed.


All our friends had shared that special evening with us
And we raged and partied well into the night,
Then we slipped away to share the morning hours, 
Til the dawn rose and revealed its splendid light.
We both showered and had breakfast at the roadhouse
Laughed and shared the joy that comes with wedded bliss, 
But I sensed a certain tiredness in my Buddy
And I prayed he'd give the ride that day a miss.

Buddy drew the brindle bombshell riders hated
And that beast exploded when it left the chute,
Twisting left then right and suddenly it stumbled
And my Buddy he was crushed by that great brute.
When it came to say goodbye to my sweet lover
There was one thing that I vowed I'd always do 
I would always bring him flowers on a Friday
And I'd tell his child about his father too.

Bud I'll always bring you flowers on a Friday
That's the one thing that I vow I'll always do.
Cause you always brought me flowers on a Friday
And your child will always bring you flowers too. 
Yes I'll always bring you flowers on a Friday
And your child will always bring you flowers too.

© Merv Webster

     For many years young men have put their skills against some of the meanest bulls there are to offer and sadly some of them have lost their lives doing it.  With that thought in mind and seeing a roadside sign that said “Flowers every Friday’ I was inspired to write the song.  It was a finalist in the 2006 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards and also the Lyrics Only section S. E. Qld. Branch of the Tamworth Song Writers' Assoc.  It was recorded by my daughter Meagan on the “Storyteller” album in 2008.

 

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KEEPING THE CULTURE

Since the founding of this nation all those many years ago
it's tradition to share stories 'round a campfire's warming glow.
From the ancient times of dreaming, right down to our very day, 
folk have shared our Aussie culture and each one in their own way.

But my heart yearns for the ballads that the rhyming poets pen 
and their skills in keeping mem'ries that they bring to life again.
Too the balladeers who play them in a good old pick and strum,
that I never find gets boring or just down right wearisome.

So then roll your swag and join us there'll be lots of fun for sure,
Out at Widgee and Boondooma or down South at Bungendore.
There'll be Balladeers and Poets sharing tales and singing songs
And you're welcome mates to join us and to be among the throngs.


There were those who went before us and they pioneered the way.
Men like Henry and The Banjo, who penned ballads in their day.
Too the likes of our mate Coster and the legendary Slim.
They all left a fine tradition that proved no mere passing whim.

'Cause that legacy still lingers with the young and not so old, 
and it's shared among the genders; they're a rather special mould.
They will keep the campfires burning so the dream can stay alive
as I sense they'll keep the culture and bush ballads will survive. 

So then roll your swag and join us there'll be lots of fun for sure
Out at Widgee and Boondooma or down South at Bungendore.
There'll be Balladeers and Poets sharing tales and singing songs
And you're welcome mates to join us and to be among the throngs


© Merv Webster

     Over the years I have enjoyed the association of many of Australia’s Bush Balladeers and joined many of them at the many festivals held throughout Australia.  One always wonders if this particular style of music will carry on in future generations, though I’m happy to say it has been great to see many youngsters taking it to heart and keeping the campfires burning.  Thought I’d write a few lyrics about it.

     In 2007 it was a finalist in the T.S.A.  Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Song Writers Association’s Song Writing Awards and recorded on the “Storyteller” album in 2008.


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THAT MOTEL WHISKY DREAM

I was lying in the motel feeling down and kind of blue,
though the whiskey kind of numbed the pain that I was going through.
Hell just one more second longer and I'd had that outlaw beat
But that bay from hell knew diff'rent and he'd thrown me from my seat. 

I was feeling pretty hazy as I lay there on that bed
when this white horse and a rider, who'd a gold crown on his head,
came a riding with a bow in hand and it appeared to me
that his heavenly war was righteous and he gained a victory. 

Hell I think I'm going crazy, I've got horses on the brain
And rough riding's got me rattled and a bloke has gone insane.
Lord I pray I haven't lost my mind or worse my self-esteem. 
Hey, perhaps the whiskey's playing tricks and this is just a dream.


But another fiery red horse it appeared upon the scene
And the rider seated on him held a sword that looked right mean.
He was granted to take peace away and wage war here on earth,
But unrighteous man made slaughter and had little or no worth.

Then I saw and look a black horse and the rider he held scales
And he spreads a sick'ning message while he rides and loudly wails.
"It is famine! it is famine! that I bring to all the land;
So be sparing with the wine and oil and keep a stock on hand!" 

Hell I think I'm going crazy, I've got horses on the brain
And rough riding's got me rattled and a bloke has gone insane.
Lord I pray I haven't lost my mind or worse my self-esteem. 
Hey, perhaps the whiskey's playing tricks and this is just a dream.


But the pale horse that came following it took away my breath,
'Cause the rider looked quite gruesome and his name was simply Death.
Hades followed close behind him and he played his ghastly role,
As he gathered every victim who had forfeited his soul.

Then I woke from mid the visions that had played upon my mind
And I saw the empty bottle and a black book of some kind.
It was open at Apocalypse and something deep inside
Said, son do a little research on the horseman you saw ride. 

Hell I think I'm going crazy, I've got horses on the brain
And rough riding's got me rattled and a bloke has gone insane.
Lord I pray I haven't lost my mind or worse my self-esteem 
And I'm giving up the whiskey and I'll check out that there dream.

© Merv Webster

    Thought I’d take on the challenge to pen the story of the Apocalyptic Horsemen in the bible and incorporate it in a Rodeo Rider’s life.

     In 2007 it was a finalist in the T.S.A.  Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Song Writers Association’s Song Writing Awards and recorded on the “Storyteller” album in 2008.

 

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THE LADY IN THE LOCKET

From the cool of my verandah, on that morning in July 
how the scream of hubby's chainsaw brought a tear to my old eye. 
One by one the branches toppled from the Pepperina tree 
where the lady in the locket 'round my neck would play with me.

Oh her smile was so infectious and her laughter filled the air;
she would push me on the old rope swing that daddy had put there.
I would hide beneath it's branches when we both played hide and seek; 
yes the lady in the locket who was gentle, kind and meek.

How I cherished all those precious years we shared both you and I
and the magic of those moments they still tend to make me cry. 
You were always there to guide me through the good times and the strife.
My sweet lady in the locket. Yes the mother in my life.

Through my teenage years you nurtured me and gave me sound advice
on the values of relationships and that was rather nice. 
When I married you were there for me and for my children too
and their love for that dear lady in the locket how it grew.

You're house was always home to us and filled with warmth and love
and we know you're in the book of life and known by God above.
But I miss you darling mother and you'll always be to me
that sweet lady in the locket and a treasured memory.

How I cherished all those precious years we shared both you and I
and the magic of those moments they still tend to make me cry. 
You were always there to guide me through the good times and the strife.
My sweet lady in the locket. Yes the mother in my life.

© Merv Webster

     I believe the inspiration for this song came from my grandmother as I thought about what a wonderful mum she had been bringing up eight children and being blind for a good part of her life.  I guess it became a song to all mothers and it was a finalist in the 2007 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards.  My daughter Meagan sang the song and we recorded it on the Storyteller album in 2008.

 

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THE FOLLOWING SONGS HAVE BEEN RECORDED ON THE CD ABOVE

IT'S TIME TO STOP THE RUMOURS LADS

My name is Father Gibney and I am a Catholic Priest 
who can’t abide false rumours and that’s to say the least.
It’s time I spoke about the facts and how I played a part
in finding Daniel Kelly and his side kick Steven Hart.

To all and sundry who proclaim those two boys lived and fled
you’re ill informed because that day I found the two lads dead. 
I saw them lying side by side and looking quite composed
and sensed the final chapter of these two lad’s lives now closed.

It’s time to stop the rumours lads and let the truth be heard. 
I know folk love conspiracies but these tales are absurd.
It’s time to let those two boys be and let them rest in peace 
and all this laying claim to fame in their names has to cease.


They lay there fully stretched out with their armour off one side,
some bags served them as pillows and that’s gospel how they died. 
The Constable James Dwyer said he saw the boys as well
and recognized Dan’s wounded knee, that’s how that he could tell.

He swore at the Commission that he recognized young Dan.
His black hair and complexion sure identified the man. 
So all of you pretenders, and there has been more than one,
leave Dan and Steve to rest in peace you’ve had your bit of fun. 

It’s time to stop the rumours lads and let the truth be heard. 
I know folk love conspiracies but these tales are absurd. 
It’s time to let those two boys be and let them rest in peace 
and all this laying claim to fame in their names has to cease.


There’s more to these boys’ story than the outlawry they played.
It’s more about life’s Battlers and how they were betrayed. 
I don’t condone the methods they were pressured to play out
and God himself will judge those folk of that I have no doubt. 

I sense that all the families have suffered long enough
and having their names used in vain is really pretty tough.
It might be good for tourism to stir the billy mate,
but I prefer to tell the truth and set this matter straight. 

It’s time to stop the rumours lads and let the truth be heard.
I know folk love conspiracies but these tales are absurd.
It’s time to let those two boys be and let them rest in peace
and all this laying claim to fame in their names has to cease.

© Merv Webster

     Throughout the years I’ve heard quite a few claims that Dan Kelly and Steve Hart had survived the fire at Glenrowan and escaped to Queensland.  You could understand one person laying claim to either of these identities but there have been a few over the years and logic says they can’t all be right.  After doing some research I found that a Catholic Priest by the name of Mr Gibney was present at Glenrowan and claims to have seen Dan and Steve in the building and they were both deceased.  A constable James Dwyer also laid claim to have seen them as well.  It inspired me to put my thoughts to pen and the rest is up to you.  This song was recorded on the It’s Tough To Be a Kelly album released in 2010.

 

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IT'S NOTHING SHORT OF MAGIC

That big old moon is smiling’
on the Homestead down below
where a southern breeze is blowing
all the buffel to and fro.
The dams are full of water 
that reflect the old moon’s light
while the herd of fattened cattle
they sure make a pretty site.

It’s hard now to imagine
all those years of endless drought
and some had the impression
that this land was plumb worn out.
The chance of good rains falling, 
well, one’s hopes were rather dim
and seeing new grass growing
too was looking mighty slim.

But the heavens fin’ly opened
and the Monsoons dropped their rain,
bringing changes to the landscape
that induced a loud refrain.
“Mate it’s nothing short of magic!”
and it brought the biggest smile.
“Yes it’s nothing short of magic!”
‘cause we’ve waited quite a while.


It’s warms the heart immensely
and a grin comes to one’s face
to see young calves all playing
as you drive around your place.
The sight of wild fowl numbers
lifts the old soul that’s for sure 
and grass that just looks greener
than it ever did before.

It truly is a contrast
to when things were looking bad;
where starving stock would linger
seeking handouts to be had.
The sleepless nights tormented
by the thought of shooting stock
and all those moments worrying
if you might lose your block.

But the heavens fin’ly opened
and the Monsoons dropped their rain,
bringing changes to the landscape
that induced a loud refrain.
“Mate it’s nothing short of magic!”
and it brought the biggest smile.
“Yes it’s nothing short of magic!”
‘cause we’ve waited quite a while.


© Merv Webster

     Each year after performing at Roma’s Easter in the Country we head north to Injune and then west out to my old mate Wave Jackson’s place at “Maintop” to spend a few days with him and his wife Elaine.  For a number of years Wave had been experiencing one of the worst droughts they’d had for many years and even his son Roo was said to say, “I don’t think this ground will ever grow grass again dad.”  Then then rains finally come and while we were there the grass was stirrup high and Wave was driving me about the place and couldn’t help but exclaim, “It’s Nothing Short of Magic mate, nothing short of magic.”   I tossed it over while out there and one night while the old moon was shining down on us one night I wrote the lyrics.  I recorded this on the “It’s Tough To Be a Kelly” album released in 2010.

RECORDED BY  JOHN SMITH

 

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A TRUE BLUE HOME GROWN LOVE SONG

I remember old Bill Shakespeare wrote a story years ago 
about a girl called Juliet who loved this Romeo.
It would seem their getting married was opposed by one and all
and ended rather tragically I somehow do recall.

But Downunder we’ve a legend that I’d like to share with you
a tender lover’s story and what’s more folk it is true.
It was ‘round the nineteen thirties when two sweethearts took a stand
against the tribal customs of the people of their land.

Yes this tale is one of courage and survival at its best
where love wins out against all odds, survives each stringent test.
It’s a true blue homegrown love tale that will surely touch your sole,
about these two young people who lives get to play this role.

In the Gibson Desert Country of the Mandildjara tribe
dwelt Warri and Yatungka and these two you would describe
as truly star-crossed lovers, though by law their skin was wrong.
But these two tribal youngsters found their love was far too strong.

They would flee into the Desert to escape from tribal law
and live in isolation for some forty years or more.
And despite the harsh survival they raised children in that place,
But let them wander back in time to folk of their own race.

Yes this tale is one of courage and survival at its best
where love wins out against all odds, survives each stringent test.
It’s a true blue homegrown love tale that will surely touch your sole,
about these two young people who lives get to play this role.

But for Warri and Yatungka they could not go back again
for fear of being punished; so they stayed in that domain.
But the drought back in the seventies caused others now to send
a search party to seek them out; led by a childhood friend.

They would fin’lly find the couple, just in time too so they say,
and after reassuring them no harm would come their way.
They’d go back ‘mongst their people, where they both lived out their lives
and now within our Nation this amazing story thrives.

Yes this tale is one of courage and survival at its best
where love wins out against all odds, survives each stringent test.
It’s a true blue homegrown love tale that will surely touch your sole,
about these two young people who lives get to play this role.

© Merv Webster

     After watching the documentary “The Last of the Nomads”, the story of Warri and Yatungka, I was inspired to pen these lyrics. “A True Blue Home Grown Love Tale” was a finalist and winner in the 2009 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards and recorded on the “It’s Tough To Be a Kelly” album in 2010. Picture below: Yatungka and Warri       

 

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HOW TWO BOYS LIVED THEIR DREAM

In those hills north-west of Kempsey town, ‘round Nulla Nulla Creek,
two lads began a friendship there that truly was unique.
They had been good friends through school boy days and shared a common dream
that wasn’t milking dairy cows or separating cream.

They would play them old Hillbilly tunes and knew right there and then;
their futures were in music and for them their dream began.
Now a showman needs a fancy name that tends to flatter him,
so Edwin took on Shorty while young Gordon took on Slim.

In their teens they busked at rodeos and any local Show,
then pestered every radio to give them both a go.
They would tour with Hayden’s Circus crew, Magician Dante too
and played the Mayfair Theatre down in Kemspey, what a doo.

How the pages of our history bears testimony too
the accolades those two boys won and shared with me and you.
And today a Nation stands in awe and folk hold in esteem
those boys from Nulla Nulla Creek who got to live their dream. 


With the gift of writing their own tunes they proudly sang their songs;
And each would share their endless tales of both life’s rights and wrongs.
Though in time they went their sep’rate ways with gifts they were endowed;
their legacy of country songs they sure do both men proud.

They would marry two fine Aussie girls and both have families
though still pursued their love of song in varying degrees.
Hosts of artists would record the songs that Shorty put to pen
while Slim would tour the countryside and time and time again.

They are honoured in the hands of fame that’s down in Tamworth town
and now they stand immortalised as icons of renoun.
But despite their crowning glories and their truly gifted traits
to most true blue Australians, Slim and Shorty were our mates.

How the pages of our history bears testimony too
the accolades those two boys won and shared with me and you.
And today a Nation stands in awe and folk hold in esteem
those boys from Nulla Nulla Creek who got to live their dream. 

© Merv Webster

     The reality of these lad’s boyhood dreams coming to fruition has proven to be an inspiration for many singer-songwriters.  I had the opportunity to meet both in their lifetime and was inspired to write this tribute.

     In 2008 it was a finalist in the T.S.A. Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s Song Writing Awards and a finalist in the Lyrics Only section of the 2008 Northern Territory Country Music Song Writing Awards and recorded on the “It’s tough To Be a Kelly” album in 2010.

 

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IF THE MEMORIES LAST

I recall that I’d met him some years ago now
in this pub called the Wellshot out Ilfracombe way.
He had spent all his life in a saddle, he claimed,
pushing cattle down routes for a pittance of pay.

The old bar there before him was rather unique;
it was made from wool presses, old timers for sure.
And his seat was a saddle, with stirrups to boot,
that was mounted on pipe and secured to the floor.

You could tell by the look in the old timer’s eyes
he was back on a stock route reliving the past.
For his frame in that saddle sure touched me that day
and you sense life goes on if the memories last.


Then the Barmaid she tapped the old man on the back
and he looked up in fright for a moment or two
to recall where he was and just where he had been,
then she poured him a rum and a beer chaser too.

“It’s a shout for you Sam from that bloke over there,”
and she pointed to me as I walked from the scene.
He then dipped his old hat and he smiled with a grin,
but then drifted on back to the place he had been.

You could tell by the look in the old timer’s eyes
he was back on a stock route reliving the past.
For his frame in that saddle sure touched me that day
and you sense life goes on if the memories last.


It had been near ten years since I’d been through this town
and one lesson I’ve learnt as the years slip away
is the fact that the images fresh in your mind
can become like Sam’s memories of yesterday.

I just stood there a moment surveying the scene
as I’d hoped to at least shared that saddle a while.
But like Sam it was gone and the best I could do
was to treasure the mem’ry and savour a smile.

You could tell by the look in the old timer’s eyes
he was back on a stock route reliving the past.
For his frame in that saddle sure touched me that day
and you sense life goes on if the memories last.

©Bush Poet and Balladeer
Merv Webster

     Some years back while touring with a mate and doing shows along the Matilda Highway on our way to the Cammoowe4al Drover’s Festival we performed a show at the Ilfracombe pub and just loved the old bar out the back made out of old wool presses and the stools were saddles mounted on pipe.  Sadly we ducked back out that way recently to do some workshops at various schools in the district and found that the saddles were gone.  I figured, that just like an old Drover, whose life was now just memories, those saddle seats had gone the same way.  The only record being, if the memories last.  I recorded it on the “It’s Tough To Be a Kelly” album.

 

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DOWN ON DOGS AND DUCKS

You ask me why I’m playing here in Tamworth town today;
well simply put some best-laid plans can sadly go astray.
The box guitar I’d played for years was looking rather beat,
so thought I’d earn a dollar mate by singing in the street.

That’s when I saw beside me this Lion’s raffle being run;
a duck race worth a thousand bucks; a truly tidy sum.
Of course I bought a ticket, ‘cause I had in mind a scheme
to win that race so I could buy my long awaited dream.

My plan was using a pet carp that I’d bought for a steal
and figured when those plastic ducks were let loose on the Peel
I’d give that fish the drum you see what number to seek out
and he would guide my floating friend to victory no doubt.

I had it in the bag for sure I simply couldn’t lose,
so ducked down to the music store and then began to choose.
I’d have to max my credit card, but what the heck I thought,
tomorrow’s win will soon pay off this Taky that I bought.

The crowds were gathered long the Peel that balmy summers day
and then the starters gun went off; those ducks were on their way.
That’s when I clued my pet carp up and let the old mate go
and prayed like mad he’d find my duck and take him undertow.

He found him straight away of course and took him to the lead
and ducked around the floating sticks and lots of slimy weed.
But then he hit a submerged log and things were looking grim
as ducks now in their hundreds were all closing in on him.

Then as they drew beside him he then nudged him free at last
and once again he took the lead and swam near twice as fast.
The crowds were cheering wildly now, but not as loud as me;
just three more metres left to go and we had victory.

But from amidst the cheering crowd emerged this ball of fur,
that jumped into the flowing stream and then that mongrel curr,
he grabbed my little yellow duck and disappeared from sight
and suddenly I kissed my dream and win that day goodnight.

So that is why I’m playing in the street from morn to dark,
as paying off that credit card is looking rather stark.
Don’t ask me though to sing a song about a dog or duck
‘cause you’ve got Buckleys chance old son you’re simply out of luck.

© Merv Webster

     “Down On Dogs and Ducks” was a finalist and winner in the 2010 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards and recorded on the “It’s Tough To Be a Kelly” album in 2010.

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WHERE'S THE WATER GONE

There's a rather sad phenomenon that's plaguing our great land 
And just like the wary gambler it's about to play it's hand. 
All the signs have been quite evident and 'round now for a spell 
But we've fobbed them off, ignored them all, as far as I can tell.

From the times of early childhood when my fam'ly drove around 
All the creeks were full of water and the bores were rather sound, 
Sure enough the droughts they came and went but mate, I have to say
that our Nations running kind of dry, hard times are on the way.

Hey I think we've done our dash old son 'cause what is going on. 
All our dams and bores are getting low and where's the water gone.
We will have to make some changes and mate make them pretty fast,
as the water's disappearing and it sure as hell won't last. 


Though we've held bad hands in years gone by we've always lived in hope,
that the rains were some where in the deck and til then we would cope.
But the evidence is ominous and looking rather bleak
and we'd do well to consider all the havoc it could wreak.

We need each and every one of us to play a vital role,
as we're playing for high stakes here and there's need for self-control.
All will have to change the lifestyles that they've been accustomed to
And we'll have to play our hands right and seek out an Ace or two.

Hey I think we've done our dash old son 'cause what is going on.
All our dams are bores are getting low and where's the water gone.
We will have to make some changes and mate make them pretty fast,
As the water's disappearing and it sure as hell won't last.


© Merv Webster

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MIDST THE MULGA

We were westward bound past Quilpie town and touring with our show
when we stopped to boil the billy mate and strike me don't you know;
there was nothing much but mulga on a drought strewn gibber plain,
when I wondered how folk lived out here and managed to stay sane.

Then I spied this Ringer mending fence, who waved and said, "G'day"
and I couldn't help but quiz the man,"What keeps you out this way?"
He just paused and tipped his soil, stained hat and yarded in his mind
pens of memories he'd mustered and he answered in a kind. 

Once you've lived out midst the Mulga mate and drunk from the Bulloo,
folk say something gets into your blood, there's little you can do.
No one knows what causes it old son, it's just a mystery,
so it's my guess you'll be back this way and that I'll guarantee. 


What that Ringer told me years ago proved pretty right you know.
We just keep on coming back this way and touring with our show.
They're a special breed of folk out here beyond the old Buloo,
as they make you feel real welcome and the country's magic too.

There's timelessness about the land, no need for push and shove
and the countless stars amidst the sky shine brilliantly above.
So then head out midst the mulga and experience the wealth
of this little piece of Queensland, hear the Ringer's words yourself.

Once you've lived out midst the Mulga mate and drunk from the Bulloo,
folk say something gets into your blood, there's little you can do.
No one knows what causes it old son, it's just a mystery,
so it's my guess you'll be back this way and that I'll guarantee. 

©Bush Poet and Ballad Writer
Merv Webster

     Over the years we have often travelled west of Charelville and out though Quilpie and Windorah and up to Longreach performing our show Bush Poetry, Ballads and Yarns.  On one occasion we enjoyed joining the folk of Windorah as they celebrated 50 years of having their bridge over Coopers Creek.  They had built it themselves.  We also spent a month at Quilpie one year in the winter months performing to tourists at the local Caravan Park.

     One of the locals mentioned that once you drunk from the Bulloo you would always come back.  These words rung around in the grey matter for a while until I finally put them down and we have gone back.

     I recorded this song on the “It’s Tough To Be a Kelly” album in 2010.

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SOMETIMES I FORGET

As I peer into the gidyea coals before me
there are memories that drift back into mind.
Yes I see your laughing blue eyes oh so clearly
and your sweet smile surely was one of a kind.

I still feel my arms around you as we danced dear
too the time I kissed you out behind the hall.
But the time we both walked down the aisle together
is the memory I treasure most of all.

But then Annie when I turn to share those moments
how your absence leaves me sitting here upset.
As the fact you fell to cancer still slips by me. 
and some times dear Annie … some times … I forget


Still the fire’s dancing sparks that rise before me
tend to bring to mind the children that we reared.
How you taught them right from wrong throughout their childhood
whilst your tender nurturing showed me you cared.

And the vision of you standing in the kitchen
with your fav’rite apron strapped around your waist.
Brings a tear as I recall the cakes and biscuits
that our family just couldn’t wait to taste. 

But then Annie when I turn to share those moments
how your absence leaves me sitting here upset.
As the fact you fell to cancer still slips by me. 
and some times dear Annie … some times … I forget

As my hands reach out to feel the glowing embers 
it reminds me of the home we made our own. 
Yes I know you found it hard when all the children
had to leave our nest as they were now full grown.

But together we would travel this great country
and would share the beauty of this bounteous land.
We would often share a fire like this together;
share a cuppa and would hold each other’s hand.

But then Annie when I turn to share those moments
how your absence leaves me sitting here upset.
As the fact you fell to cancer still slips by me. 
and some times dear Annie … some times … I forget

© Merv Webster

     Over the years I have met many folk who lost a love one and years later recalled doing something they had loved doing together and went to tell them only to realize they were gone.  I personally had this experience as my dad had enjoyed his later years travelling with us to various festivals and after he died there were times when I would turn to my wife Chris and say I must tell dad about this and she would remind me, “Dad’s not here Merv.”  These lyrics are not meant to be a dirge or overwhelm folk with sadness but I wanted them to appreciate what wonderful things memories are.  I recorded this on my Ït’s Tough To Be a Kelly”” album.

 

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THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED SO QUICKLY

There’s a gentle breeze that’s blowing midst the pine trees here tonight
as I watch the shadows dancing to the campfire’s flick’ring light.
Parked beside me are the comforts of a brand new four-wheel drive
and a modern pop-top caravan to help us folk survive.

Then my thoughts they slowly drifted back to days of long ago;
to the creak of drays and wagons and the cry of Cobb & Co.
Though your battling pioneer spirit is a thing I do admire,
sadly all we share in common is a cosy roadside fire.

How the times have changed so quickly as the cent’ries slip away
but in awe we trace your footsteps with the mod cons of today. 
And I sense beside the campfire there’s still something else we share.
Yes the pride in this great Nation that advanced Australia Fair.

With your bullocks and your horses you trudged down the long red road
always heading further westward searching out a new abode.
And you bore the searing summers heat the chill of winter too
till you found a piece of country where you made your dreams come true.

But just like the wand’ring turtle our home follows close behind,
With our fridge and gas stove with us and a beer or wine in mind.
We enjoy the air conditioning or the heater in our van
Though like you I share a campfire by the roadside if I can.

How the times have changed so quickly as the cent’ries slip away
but in awe we trace your footsteps with the mod cons of today.
And I sense beside the campfire there’s still something else we share.
Yes the pride in this great Nation that advanced Australia Fair.

© Merv Webster

     The inspiration for these lyrics came to me while returning from the Mildura Country Music Festival.  We decided to head up the Kidman Way and one night camped on the southern side of Cobar.  After setting up camp and lighting a fire, the thought came to me of the old Pioneers who would have travelled this way in early years and after considering how they travelled and the conditions they would have faced it became apparent to me that the only thing we had in common was the campfire. 

      In 2009 it was a finalist in the T.S.A.  Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s Songwriting Awards and recorded on the “It’s tough To Be a Kelly” album in 2010.

 

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RECORDED BY BROOKS & MAGEE

AUSTRALIA'S BECKONING CALL

Can you hear the distant echo of the haunting didgeridoo 
as it pulses through the airwaves … yes my friend it's calling you. 
To this land beneath the Southern Cross … it welcomes one and all 
and its drone spells out a message … can you hear its beckoning call?

So come share our hospitality and shake an Aussie hand.
Mate, enjoy a trip down under … share the culture of our land.
It abounds with natural beauty from its coasts to Uluru 
and you'll share our nation's freedom just like we have learnt to do.

You're invited friends to join us … on a wondrous holiday 
where the sun, our surf and golden sands are yours in which to play. 
We've the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, The Reef and Kakadu 
and experience the magic of a Darwin sunset too.

Can you hear the distant echo of the haunting didgeridoo 
as it pulses through the airwaves … yes my friend it's calling you. 
To this land beneath the Southern Cross … it welcomes one and all
and its drone spells out a message … can you hear its beckoning call?


Come and cuddle a Koala, feed our unique kangaroo
see our Emu and our wombat and our talking cockatoo. 
Boil a billy, bake a damper, share a campfire's flickering light, 
in our vast Australian outback on a glorious star filled night.

See the paintings and the craftwork of the aboriginee
and experience the stories of their dreamtime history.
More than anything you do here or wherever you may roam
we'd just like to say you're welcome and please make yourself at home.

Can you hear the distant echo of the haunting didgeridoo 
as it pulses through the airwaves … yes my friend it's calling you. 
To this land we call Australia, which welcomes one and all
and its drone spells out a message … can you hear its beckoning call?

© Merv Webster

     I was inspired to write this song as there was a National competition that required a song to express the spirit of Australia to overseas tourists.  Never got around to entering it but it was recorded by Denise Brooks and Bobby Magee on their album “The Balladeer and the Sailor”.

 

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HARD HAT HEROES

There's a breed of Aussie hero who have served this nation well,
and they don a yellow uniform to face the fires of hell.
When day temperatures are soaring and high winds blow at a gust,
when our bush land is ignited; it's in them we place our trust. 
Yes, you're all somebody's daughter and you're all somebody's son; 
you are mothers and you're fathers. Hard hat heroes everyone.

When their mates are in the hot seat and they need a helping hand,
they will volunteer their services from stations 'cross this land.
Whether country towns or cities or a small bush fire brigade;
they will gladly throw their hats in and will offer their mates aide.
Yes, you're all somebody's daughter and you're all somebody's son;
you are mothers and you're fathers. Hard hat heroes everyone.

Do you owe your home or property, your very lives perhaps? 
To the selfless, honest, efforts of these bold fire-fighting chaps. 
Or still sadly you lost everything, but proudly can attest
to their fierce determination as each brave soul did their best. 
Yes, you're all somebody's daughter and you're all somebody's son;
you are mothers and you're fathers. Hard hat heroes everyone.

So I ask you all to join me, as we stand and raise a glass
to the courage and the spirit of this fire fighting, class;
and I'm sure you'd love to join me as this message we impart, 
"You're all true blue hard hat heroes and we thank you from the heart."
Yes, you're all somebody's daughter and you're all somebody's son;
you are mothers and you're fathers. Hard hat heroes everyone.

© Merv Webster

     After watching and hearing of the many devastating fires that ravaged communities over the years, I was watching a procession in Sydney in honour of all the Fire Fighters.  The one thing that stood out in the procession was all the coloured white and yellow hard hats they wore and it inspired me to write a tribute to these folk.

     The song was also recorded recorded by Denise Brooks and Bobby Magee on their album “The Balladeer and the Sailor”.  Denise did the vocals and Bob added the melody.  It also received the Poetry Soup International Award of Excellence in the Outstanding Poetic Achievement Poetry Soup.

 

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THE ROSE FROM THE GARDEN

From the garden of life I was handed a rose.
though a bud yet to blossom
I loved her God knows.

And for years she was mine, gave me pleasure in life,
Always stood there beside me
In good times and strife.

There were thorns on the stem but then everyone knows
They both add to its beauty.
together they grow.

In this time she had blossomed unnoticed by me,
how she cried for attention,
"Please love me!" cried she.

Then a friend he had noticed her there on the shelf
And admiring her beauty
desired her himself.

So he watered and nutured her behind my back;
my poor rose she was hurting,
her petals turned black.

In a desp'prate last bid she then cried in despair,
to her owner and lover,
"Please show me you care!"

Then I saw how I'd hurt her, been callous and cruel,
I had near lost my rosebud;
you poor stupid fool.

Oh the pain in my heart how it cut like a knife
for that rose from the garden
was you, my sweet wife.

© Merv Webster

     Sadly, over the years I watched as my friend’s marriages broke up, as the passing of years had bred familiarity and contempt.  Often it was a so-called friend who took advantage of one of the wounded parties for their own selfish ends.  Happily in some cases, the deep seated love for each other was enough to bring them to their senses and mended their wounds.  These thoughts inspired the lyrics to this poem and it was recorded by Bob Magee on their album “The Balladeer and the Sailor”.  Bob did the vocals and added the melody.

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THE SAILOR AND THE BALLADEER

This man in black with his guitar is just one half of me
as once I was a Sailor who enjoyed a life at sea.
My love was singing country and bush ballads weren't my style,
but then I met this balladeer, which made it all worthwhile.

Yes I'm the balladeer who changed his life I'm proud to say;
a girl who sings bush ballads in our own Australian way.
I grew up in the back blocks and I'd never been to sea
as sailing was too scary for a country girl like me.

Though music was a kindred thread that helped us compromise;
the Sailor's playing Ballads to the Balladeer;s surprise.
And cupid's dart can change one's heart, she's sailing too these days
and now we love to share life's stage in oh so many ways.


My life is so much diff'rent now though I've not one regret
as life with my sweet balladeer is good as life can get.
We share our love, our music and occasionally the sea.
What more could this old Sailor want? I'm happy as can be.

I learnt in life that dreams come true as I am living mine
and singing with my man in black is surely something fine.
I sense he loves his country and still talks about the sea,
but now I know that Sailor man is more in love with me.

Yes music was a kindred thread that helped us compromise;,
the Sailor's playing Ballads to the Balladeer;s surprise.
And cupid's dart can change one's heart, she's sailing too these days
and now we love to share life's stage in oh so many ways.

©Bush Poet and Ballad Writer
Merv Webster

After releasing their “The Balladeer and The Sailor” album Denise Brooks and Bob Magee told me the story behind the title.  Bob had been a Sailor and loved Country music while Denise was a country girl and loved bush ballads.  With this knowledge I was inspired to write a theme song for them and they recorded it on their “Brooks & Magee – On Tour” album.

 

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I WISH I WAS A CROCODILE

We were gathered at a barbie down at Bazzas by the bay
and the blokes were watching Rugby on a World Cup Saturday.
But the lounge became a henhouse where the girls hung out that night,
though a dozen giggling sheilas are a rather sick'ning site.
They were gathered 'round the tele and they watched a video
where that blond haired bloke in khaki says, "Hey Crikey ... here's a go!"
He would sneak up on a crocodile and wrestle that large brute
and the girls would cry excitedly, " Oh Steve you are so cute!"

Yes they'd sigh and gasp in concord when Steve Irwin cracked his smile
and a dreamy eyed expression was implanted on each dile.
Then a loud resounding chorus echoed out in harmony, 
"Oh I wish I were a crocodile and Steve would wrestle me!"


Now we reckon if they want a smile that's manly; well then shucks; 
they should cop George Gregan's pearly whites their worth a million bucks.
And that cuddling poor old crocodiles to us was really tame; 
let him try to maul a Kiwi or a Springbok if he's game.

And that sickly untucked Khaki look, it really is a joke, 
but the green and gold looks ripper and real bonzer on a bloke.
Still the banter fell on deaf ears and us blokes we were ignored,
while Steve's antics kept them mesmerized and far from being bored.

Yes they'd sigh and gasp in concord when Steve Irwin cracked his smile
and a dreamy eyed expression was implanted on each dile.
Then a loud resounding chorus echoed out in harmony, 
"Oh I wish I were a crocodile and Steve would wrestle me!"


So us blokes we cheered more loudly when the Wallabies went in
and we'd drown their girly chorus with our raucous, rowdy din.
That was 'til the Springboks beat us and our cheers went out the door
and the beer went flat and tasteless and we couldn't take no more.

We all went into a huddle with a beer can in our hand,
then we marched into the lounge room to play out what we had planned.
Just as Steve jumped on a whopper and cried, "Crikey here's a go!"
All us blokes we chucked the towel in and we sat and watched the show.

Yes we sighed and gasped in concord when Steve Irwin cracked his smile
and a dreamy eyed expression was implanted on each dile.
Then a loud resounding chorus echoed out in harmony,
"Oh I wish I were a crocodile and Steve would wrestle me!"

© Merv Webster

     I’m not sure what inspired these lyrics but I think the Rugby World Cup was on at the time and Steve Irwin was a larger than life character, who became an Aussie icon for his love of wildlife and his endeavour to save their ecosystems.  You either loved or loathed Steve’s antics and I obviously thought he was the choice of character to include in the song “I Wish I Were a Crocodile”.  Sadly Steve was killed while diving on the Great Barrier Reef doing what he loved best on the 4th December 2006.  Photo below:  Steve Irwin

     The lyrics won a finalist spot and took out second place in the Lyrics Only section S. E. Qld. Branch of the Tamworth Song Writers' Assoc. in 2006.  It was also a finalist and overall winner of the 2007 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards.

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MY POCKET FULL OF DREAMS

From the time I was a child with curly tresses 
I recall to mind what all the folks would say. 
How to them I was a little ray of sunshine
That would beam on down and brighten up their day. 
Oh I had so many dreams tucked in my pocket 
But I found in life that dreams can disappear 
And the love I thought I'd have in life forever
Well his love it wasn't what you'd call sincere.

Yes the sunshine in my world had all but vanished 
Clouded out by all his dark and nasty schemes
'Cause I feel betrayed and oh so broken hearted 
As he took with him my pocket full of dreams. 


He seemed sweet and made of what all girls would fancy
But he then revealed a darker side to me.
Soon the warmth and joy that we had shared together
Was a faded and a worn out memory.
He had slowly sapped the joy folk found infectious
For the mind games that he played were dark and cruel.
And the hurt was more than I could somehow manage,
I was sick and tired of playing out the fool.

Yes the sunshine in my world had all but vanished 
Clouded out by all his dark and nasty schemes.
'Cause I feel betrayed and oh so broken hearted
As he took with him my pocket full of dreams. 

In this world they say that time is the great healer,
But I felt that I could never love again,
Then you walked into my life and now my darling 
How your presence has extinguished all the pain. 
It's so nice to know my dreams have not been wasted
And I am so proud to be your loving wife 
How I love it when you whisper to me sweetly 
I'm the little ray of sunshine in your life.

Yes the sunshine in my world has reappeared now;
No more clouds with any dark and nasty schemes.

I no longer feel betrayed or broken hearted
You have given back my pocket full of dreams.

© Merv Webster

     The dreams of little girls should come true but sadly for some they don’t eventuate straight away and they experience years of pain before they do. The experience of a fellow singer songwriter inspired me to pen these lyrics.

 

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I UNDERSTAND MATILDA

There’s a Cairn beside the highway near the creek in Drillham town
where I stopped to rest a moment and to lay my body down.
How the silence soothed my tiredness and it helped me to unwind
when the sound of children’s laughter seemed to echo through my mind.

But the laughter turned to silence, followed by a young boy’s cry,
then a mother’s constant weeping and I sat up wond’ring why.
Soon the answer lay before me on the plaque set there in stone
and the sad and tragic story well it cut me to the bone.

Now I understand Matilda why you weep the tears you do
as four children drowned that evening and they all belonged to you.
You would lose your three sweet daughters and your eldest son in play
‘neath the cold and muddy waters of the creek that fateful day.
Now I understand Matilda why you weep the tears you do.

You had left your home in Germany to start a brand new life
and then Charles F. Roehrig asked you if you might became his wife.
You would purchase land in Drillham back in eighteen eighty four
as your man worked on the railway to keep hunger from your door.

It took place that day in Janu’ry of eighteen ninety three,
after lunching with your husband and your growing family,
Who’d have guessed the sound of laughter could destroy a mother’s soul
and the Weir that sunny evening how it played a luring role.

Now I understand Matilda why you weep the tears you do
as four children drowned that evening and they all belonged to you.
You would lose your three sweet daughters and your eldest son in play
‘neath the cold and muddy waters of the creek that fateful day.
Now I understand Matilda why you weep the tears you do.

©Bush Poet and Ballad Writer
Merv Webster

 

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THE RANKINE RUSH DEBATE

There's a tale I find amusing that I'd kind of like to share
'bout two Ringers in the top end and a query they solved there.
Both the men had been debating in the Rankine Store one day
about animals and rushes, but t'was in a friendly way.

One lay claim that any animal would rush without a doubt,
though the other Ringer questioned him and finally spat out
That domestic animals don't rush, the tale it was absurd;
and it was the darndest bush debate that I had ever heard. 

It was true that some old drunken cook swore black and blue he'd seen,
up around McArthur River way a rather dubious scene.
He'd observed with his own eyes one day some thirty cats or more 
that had rushed inside a meat house and took out the west side wall.

Then while heading back to camp that ave they passed the old goat shed,
where the publican housed all her goats and then one chap he said.
"Mate let's settle this rush business here with Mrs Fowler's herd".
And it was the darndest bush debate that I had ever heard. 

He then climbed onto the iron shed and cried, "Mate here's your proof!"
and then gave the biggest bellow as he jumped on that old roof.
The result was instantaneous and devastating too
as them goats they flattened one side wall and then they all shot through.

The old Ringer he had proved his point and settled that debate,
but next day down at the Rankine Store Ma Fowler was irate;
as it was the only wat'ring hole, they never said a word,
though it was the darndest bush debate that I had ever heard.

© Merv Webster

 

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THE DEBUT DEBACLE

I am sure that we’ve all had a dream or two mate 
that’s been waiting to see light of day
and I don’t mind admitting I had one myself
but misfortunate near stole it away.
For some years I had dabbled in playing guitar
and had written a lyric or two .
I just needed an offer to play on a stage;
some occasion to make my debut.

Then my moment arrived when a big show hit town
and they sought out a local to star.
I was nervous as hell when I walked on that stage
just myself and my old box guitar.
With the whole town in view and my family too
how I prayed that I’d nail my first song. 
So I sucked in a breath and I tipped back my hat 
and just hoped that I’d do nothing wrong.

But my debut debacle it was quite a sight,
as my thumb pick got caught in a string.
Then the microphone drooped and I had to squat down
and I sure found it awkward to sing.
The old nerves they were shot when the E string went snap
and my capo it broke right in two.
I was way out of key but continued to play; 
oh what else was a poor bloke to do. 


Man it’s sure hard to smile when you’re crying inside 
and you wish that the curtain would fall.
When it ran through my mind that perhaps old Slim too 
would have probably gone through it all.
But the show must go on, as the old saying goes, 
and I’ve only the chorus to go. 
Would they throw things and boo or pull me off stage 
for the mess that I made of the show. 

Though the crowd didn’t mind and they all sang along 
and it suddenly made all things right. 
So I ran with it twice and it sure proved to me 
that they treated me kindly that night.
Well I’ve played a few gigs since that night way back then
and my dream has now seen light of day. 
Still for all of you folk who might have dreams as well
there are hurdles to jump on the way.

Yes my debut debacle it was quite a sight,
as my thumb pick got caught in a string.
Then the microphone drooped and I had to squat down 
and I sure found it awkward to sing. 
The old nerves they were shot when the E string went snap 
and my capo it broke right in two.
I was way out of key but continued to play;
oh what else was a poor bloke to do. 

© Merv Webster

 

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IT'S TIME WE WENT TO TOWN

His aged eyes showed a twinkle 
that I hadn’t seen in years.
He’d been so used to starving stock,
the endless drought upon his block,
and long hot nights just fighting off the tears.

For eight straight years he’d struggled,
cut mulga to survive.
He’d watch each day the cloudless sky
while creeks and dams went slowly dry
and wondered if he’d keep the cows alive.

It’s great to see him smiling
now the Monsoons have come down.
“The creeks are full” I heard him cry 
and grass is waving stirrup high;
so get dressed love it’s time we went to town.

We hadn’t spent a razoo 
on ourselves through all that time.
It went on supplememts and hay
and carting water ev’ry day; 
believe me it has been an up hill climb.

It’s part and parcel sadly,
with living on the land.
But when it’s all you’ve ever known
and all your dreams are all bush grown;
that’s life mate and you simply take a stand.

It’s great to see him smiling
now the Monsoons have come down.
“The creeks are full” I heard him cry 
and grass is waving stirrup high;
so get dressed love it’s time we went to town.


©Bush Poet and Ballad Writer
Merv Webster

 

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IT'S SECOND BEST TO HEAVEN MATE

We enjoy the many places, ‘round this great big land we roam
and we love to share the laughter and the tears of this our home.
We have told our tales in hotels and in tourist parks each night
and at many Music Musters, where it’s been a sheer delight.

But the thing that we love most of all, between the gigs we do,
is relaxing by a waterhole, with nature in full view,
Then pulling out the fishing gear; our fav’rite chair as well.
Hey, it’s second best to Heaven mate; as far as I can tell.

Yes it’s second best to Heaven mate as far as I can tell
and to have the missus by your side is special too as well.
Even if she lands the most, with me that too is fine,
I’m just happy for the chance old son to stop and wet a line.

Like old Coster we’ve caught yellowbelly in the old Barcoo
and the Moonie River near St George supplied a jew or two.
We’ve pulled fish from out the Darling down at Tilpa and at Louth
and at Wentworth where it fin’lly joins the Murray further South.

We have grilled them on the open fire or fried them in a pan
like the pioneers of old have done since settlement began.
There is nothing like a feed of fish; a tinny too as well.
Hey, it’s second best to Heaven mate; as far as I can tell.

Yes it’s second best to Heaven mate as far as I can tell
and to have the missus by your side is special too as well.
Even if she lands the most, with me that too is fine,
I’m just happy for the chance old son to stop and wet a line.


© Bush Poet and Ballad Writer -Merv Webster

 

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HOW THE ALICE CAME TO US

We headed west for Broken Hill when, there before our eyes,
a dusty bank of storm clouds from the Centre filled the skies.
The man upon the radio gave warnings to the town
that gale force winds were threatening and folk should batten down.

The storm it sure caused havoc and thank God we sat it out
‘cause when we reached the outskirts there was debris strewn about.
Then late that day more dust filled clouds stormed in from out the west 
and soon the sky was filthy brown from this unwelcome guest. 

The thunder roared and lightning flashed across that darkened sky
and dust from Alice Springs soon dropped as mud before our eyes. 
I’d never seen that outback town and mate what haunts me still
Is how the Alice came to us that day at Broken Hill.

For folks out there those storms that day they roused the townsfolk’s fears
as all expressed they hadn’t seen their like in twenty years.
I thought the rain it might have washed the dust from off the car,
but now it looked some ten times worse and dirtier by far. 

The local car wash made a kill as cars queued up all day,
and after looking ‘round the place we then went on our way.
We’ve still not been to Alice Springs but folks they sure do warm
to how we killed two birds that day with just a single storm.

The thunder roared and lightning flashed across that darkened sky
and dust from Alice Springs soon dropped as mud before our eyes. 
I’d never seen that outback town and mate what haunts me still
Is how the Alice came to us that day at Broken Hill.


©Bush Poet and Balladeer
Merv Webster

 

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WHEN YOU OUTLIVE YOUR DREAMS

I met him while performing at a nursing home 
and sensed he wished to share a thought it seems.
He whispered I’ve reached ninety and feel so alone. 
How can you get to outlive all your dreams?

This man had spent a lifetime making them come true 
though sadly he had lost them ‘long the way.
This bushman’s vivid mem’ries; just torment him now. 
But still the mental pictures fill his day.

It’s sad when in a lifetime you outlive your dreams; 
the ones who shared your journey ‘long the way. 
Your wife and all your children, workmates and your friends 
You outlive all your Dreams of yesterday.

No stimulating friendships amid these city folk. 
Just aging souls who have their struggles too.
Three meals a day and nursing; day in and day out. 
That’s all a bloke in this place gets to do.

I thought about the quandary the old man put to me 
and made a promise that I meant to keep.
I sat with him each Wednesday, for a month or two 
until one morn he found sweet peace in sleep.

It’s sad when in a lifetime you outlive your dreams; 
the ones who shared your journey ‘long the way. 
Your wife and all your children, workmates and your friends 
You outlive all your Dreams of yesterday.

© Bush Poet and Ballad Writer - Merv Webster

     Some years ago while performing in a nursing home I met an elderly gentleman who had lived his life in the bush, but had lost his wife and children and most of his friends and was now living in the city in the nursing home.  He told me his story and how lonely life was.  This inspired the song.

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MY MOTHER'S NAME WAS FRY


The Doctor stood by the old man’s bed and he somehow had no doubt
this Bushman knew the chips were down, his time was running out. 
His weathered face and his wiry frame, told a tale that in his day;
He’d travelled down the road of life, met tough times ‘long the way.

The Doctor asked in a gentle voice have you kin at all old mate.
A mum and dad or wife and kids; to keep the records straight.
My wife and child have been gone some time, as I lost them years ago
and as regards my parents well there’s little that I know.

Some say my dad was a Ringer Boss though he could not read or write
and poison in a water hole had claimed his life one night. 
While others say that he died of fear that some ghost caused him to die
but one fact that I’m sure of is my mother’s name was Fry.

I never drank throughout my life and I worked on Properties
I’d rake and ride those twisters Boss and rope and plait with ease.
I’ve tracked lost men who’d been lost at night and I counter lined as well
old saddles for a quid or two when out of work a spell.

My mother died so the story goes when I turned the age of five
and I was raised by Mission folk that’s how I stayed alive.
The girl I wed was a lovely lass and our son his name was Snow,
but as regards my father’s life there’s little that I know.

Some say my dad was a Ringer Boss though he could not read or write
and poison in a water hole had claimed his life one night. 
While others say that he died of fear that some ghost caused him to die
but one fact that I’m sure of is my mother’s name was Fry.

©Merv Webster 

     Some years ago Joe Daley wrote a song that he gave to Slim Dusty and after working on it Slim recorded it and called it Trumby.  It became a big hit and it was often played as a cover version by many artists.  Some time later Stan Coster wrote a sequel that he called Trumby’s Ghost. 

     The lyrics very cleverly threw in a twist, in that the writer suggests that he had heard an old man say that Dogger Fry’s may have run off with Trumby and left it at that.  Now that both these great songwriter’s are no longer with us I thought I’d like to keep the sequel thing going and was inspired to write these lyrics.

  The song was recorded by Alan Luscombe in 2010 on his ’’Outback country Style” album  .

 

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WHEN THE QUEENSLAND RIVERS RUN

When you’ve watched your paddocks wither
from the torment of the sun
and rivers shrink to dry or muddy holes.
When a decade of dry seasons
scatters bleached bones stained with dust; 
It saps the strength of even seasoned souls.

But there comes within one’s lifetime
rains that make the Rivers run.
Streams spread and saturate a dry parched land.
Soon the landscapes team with life forms
and transform the lives of folk.
Their bright eyes and their smiles look really grand.

The visions are fantastic though the losses can be tragic
in the outback when the Queensland Rivers run.
Still anger and frustration now give way to jubilation; 
there’s rejoicing when the Queensland Rivers run. 

There are always anxious moments 
when the waters first arrive;
they’ve never seen the levels rise so high. 
There’ll be weeks of isolation
snakes and wives may hiss a bit,
but what the heck they’ll manage and get by.

From all regions throughout Queenlsand
to the Murray and Lake Eyre,
they’ll talk about the year two thousand ten.
Folk will share with their grandchildren
how the Queensland Rivers ran
and helped them to survive tough times back then. 

The visions are fantastic though the losses can be tragic
in the outback when the Queensland Rivers run.
Still anger and frustration now give way to jubilation;
there’s rejoicing when the Queensland Rivers run.


© Merv Webster

     After the big rains in early 2010 in Queensland it was great to see that much of the water was getting down the Darling River.  We had followed the Darling down through Louth and Tilpa a couple of years earlier and the river was looking rather sad.  I was inspired to write the song after watching a 60 Minutes programme one Sunday night that highlighted the floods as they moved down the river.

 


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THE PUB WE ALL CALL SHINDY'S INN

There’s a place that is known on the Darling
where the old paddle steamers would stop
and the Cob and Co., Coaches would frequent;
so parched throats could have a wee drop.

T.A. Matthews he saw the potential
and built the old pub by its banks,
then a hundred and fifty years later
we all dips our lids to say, “Thanks”.

So it’s pour me a Tooheys me darling
the fun is about to begin.
All you Shearers and Drovers and Tourists,
Race Goers and Locals as well
come and join all the ghosts of the past lads
at the pub we all call Shindy’s Inn.

Now in Louth we will find any reason
to party and drink yummy beer,   [You'd love that Coster]
like in August when we hold the races
and half of Australia is here.

When the Blues and Maroons are at battle
or Melbourne Cup Day without doubt.
It’s tradition to bring out the yard glass
and share in the Publican’s shout.

So it’s pour me a Tooheys me darling
the fun is about to begin.
All you Shearers and Drovers and Tourists,
Race Goers and Locals as well
come and join all the ghosts of the past lads
at the pub we all call Shindy’s Inn.

But perhaps you’re a Trav’ller and touring 
the old river road in your van
and you’re hoping to catch yellowbelly 
or Cod if you jolly well can.

Still it’s all thirsty work all the same mate
and one thing we Louthians hold dear.
It is knowing that fish in the Darling 
bite better with worms dipped in beer.

So it’s pour me a Tooheys me darling
The fun is about to begin.
All you Shearers and Drovers and Tourists,
Race Goers and Locals as well
Come and join all the ghosts of the past lads
At the pub we all call Shindy’s Inn.

© Merv Webster

     The Australian Hotels Association ran a competition in 2011/12 called the Great Country Pub Song contest and the challenge was for entrants to come up with a new pub song that will capture the essence of the Aussie pub and write and perform it.  The Pub We All Call Shindy’s Inn was a finalist and I enjoyed performing it at the Pub Hotel in Tamworth during the 2011/12 Festivals.

 

http://www.ahansw.com.au/FileLibrary/Documents/statewidesongjudging170111.pdf 

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MY WHITE ROSE OF HOPE

“Grandma, why is it you call this flower your white rose of hope?”
“Well”, her tearful grandma said, not sure if she could somehow cope
with the answer. “This white rose my dear, sweet child survived a day
when I lost most everything I loved; the rest got washed away.

That day muddy water, meters high, rushed down our little creek
sweeping everything before its path, the strong dear and the weak.
And among the carnage left behind, the one thing that I found,
was the rose bush you are looking at; still standing safe and sound.

To me it was a sign of hope that white rose growing there
It proved that life can carry on amid all that despair.
Each day it gave me strength of heart and child it helped me cope.
That’s why this precious flower dear is my white rose of hope. 

Then as each day brought its haunting task to want to stay alive
I would take a stroll to see a friend who helped me to survive.
It might sound a wee bit silly, but those moments I would share
with my white rose in the garden gave me hope beyond compare. 

It took years to rebuild from that day and start life fresh again,
though the treasures of a lifetime lost still linger and bring pain.
But thank God he gave us memories along with happy tears
and my white rose in my garden they all helped allay my fears.

To me it was a sign of hope that white rose growing there
It proved that life can carry on amid all that despair.
Each day it gave me strength of heart and child it helped me cope
That’s why this precious flower dear is my white rose of hope 


© Merv Webster

     After the horrific Grantham floods in January 2011 one lady returned to her home to find it totally devastated and filled with mud and debris.  The only thing to survive of any value was a white rose bush in her garden bearing white flowers and she was so moved by its survival that she called it her white rose of Hope.   It inspired me to write the song.  In October 2011 I was advised that the lyrics would be placed in the Garden of Hope and Courage that was to be established in the town of Helidon.  On the 1st December 2012 I was invited to the opening ceremony and had the opportunity to play this song.

 This special garden has been designed to allow visitors and townsfolk, the opportunity for quiet contemplation.  It is not a memorial but instead, somewhere to come and gather your thoughts.  The garden was conceived by a lady named Elizabeth after she witnessed the courage displayed by the people of the Lockyer Valley during the devastating floods of January 2011.  It has been made possible by generous donations of money, time and materials and with the special aid of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council.  It is the purpose of this garden to ensure that the courage of the Community be recognised and that their Hope for the future never be lost or underestimated.

 

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MCINTYRE MELODIES

The pink and gold horizon paints a backdrop for the stage
as I sit here on the riverbank preparing to engage
the musical tranquility bush orchestras compose
and despite the inner calm I feel my expectation grows.

The water’s constant ripple how it sets the melody;
complemented by a gentle breeze that dances through each tree.
The warble of a magpie is delightful without doubt,
then a small limb hits the water and a gentle splash rings out.

Those McIntyre melodies they’re soothing to the soul
Delivered free to you and me as nature plays its roll.
Sweet symphonies both day and night I treasure more than gold.
So spare some time and join me as the melodies unfold.

The creaking of an age-old gum that wakens now and then
and the quaint honk of that busy bird we call the water hen.
The constant sucking of a carp along its banks for food;
whilst a jackass joins in unannounced, he’s in a jolly mood.

The ribbit of a frog close by is muffled by a cry;
white cockatoos departing from a big dead gum nearby.
The sound of broken water as two ducks come into land
And the pink galahs beside me are a truly noisy band.

Those McIntyre melodies they’re soothing to the soul
Delivered free to you and me as nature plays its roll.
Sweet symphonies both day and night I treasure more than gold.
So spare some time and join me as the melodies unfold.

Then as the evening lights dip low each insect chimed a tune,
myriads of stars applaud and too that big old moon.
The splish splash of a fish at play, the crackling of my fire
is a pleasant sound I must admit of which I never tire.

I nurse a glass of cool sweet wine and lay back in my chair;
the symphonies of water birds all break the cool night air.
There’s enchantment in the air tonight and I thank God above
For the magic of this orchestra and his unselfish love.

Those McIntyre melodies they’re soothing to the soul
Delivered free to you and me as nature plays its roll.
Sweet symphonies both day and night I treasure more than gold.
So spare some time and join me as the melodies unfold.

© Merv Webster

     Throughout our years of touring we have always enjoyed pulling up on a river bank and setting up camp and enjoying wetting a line and listening to the sounds and watching the activities of the river.  I was born on the banks of the McIntyre River in Goondiwindi [cause that is where the Hospital is situated] and have often camped along its banks and wanted to write a song about those things.  Finally, I took the bit between the teeth and came up with the following.  It was also a finalist in the 2012 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards.

 


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PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG

It was just about a month ago I visited a mate
whom I’d shared my schoolboy days with and I can proudly state
that from head to toe he’s Aussie and I’m even chuffed to say
Smithy sings Waltzing Matilda when he showers every day.
But I noticed that first morning when the old mate’s day began
he was woken by his beside clock, that said … made in Japan.
Too the razor that he shaved with it was made in old Hong Kong
but believe me he’s Australian, so please don’t get me wrong.

Still his coffee pot was Chinese and the clothing that he wore
was a dress shirt from Shri Lanka and some jeans from Singapore.
His white sneakers were Korean whilst his watch was Taiwanese
and the skillet he cooked brekky with was English … as you please.
I had noticed too the CD that he then went on to play
was a pirated edition he’d bought from the U.S.A. 
Yes our Smithy loves his music and enjoys a country song
but believe me he’s Australian, so please don’t get me wrong.

He then went to check on e bay on his laptop that was made
in the islands of the Philippines to see if he had paid
for the DVD’s he purchased on the net the day before 
from some bloke in Indonesia and be blowed he bought twelve more. 
Then that afternoon we drove around in his flash, red sports car,
an imported job from Germany, and hadn’t driven far
when he stopped and brought some French wine, whose aroma was quite strong, 
but believe me he’s Australian, so please don’t get me wrong.

After tea we watched his tele, that was made in Italy,
but the pragramme agitated him as he then said to me
“It’s no wonder I can’t find a job that pays well anymore!”
But he reckons that the Government will help him out for sure.
Yes a Government whose carbon tax his Leader proudly hails,
but correct me if I’m wrong at all. Was she not made in Wales?
Hey it’s mates like good old Smithy that make up our Aussie throng.
but believe me they’re Australian, so please don’t get me wrong.

© Merv Webster

     I’ve found that when it comes down to dollars and cents folk often go where the best price is and as much as they love being Australian we’ve priced ourselves out of the market at times.  Tongue in cheek look at life today.  It was also a finalist in the 2012 Lyrics Only section of the Tamworth Songwriters Association’s National Country Music Song Writing Awards.

 

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DO YOU HAVE A DADDY MISTER?

In a park beside the hi-way where I stopped to rest a while 
I observed a small boy playing, though devoid of any smile. 
He was oh so sad and lonely so I squatted down to say 
“Can you tell me why your gloomy son on such a lovely day?

He then stopped what he was doing and his stare it sought some trace 
of a hint of kindred spirit etched somewhere within my face. 
How those brown eyes touched me deeply as he searched within my eyes, 
then his sweet voice gave its answer, though it took me by surprise.

Do you have a daddy Mister, one to call your own. 
Back when you were a child like me; before you got full grown. 
Do you have a daddy Mister, that you love because he cares 
Do you have a daddy Mister, who will help you with your prayers.

How that question got me thinking of a childhood years ago 
and deep down I knew the answer was a very simple, No. 
But I told him of a stranger who’d befriend me as a lad 
Who then took the time to know me and he cared just like a dad.

How he listened to my troubles and unburdened any load; 
and was always there to help me as I journeyed down life’s road. 
And if you would like my friendship I will help you smile again 
So in time you’ll have an answer should some child ask this refrain.

Do you have a daddy Mister, one to call your own. 
Back when you were a child like me; before you got full grown. 
Do you have a daddy Mister, that you love because he cares 
Do you have a daddy Mister, who will help you with your prayers.

© Bush Poet and Ballad Writer - Merv Webster - 2012

I think I had been listening to the old classic “Nobody’s Child” on U tube and got thinking how times haven’t changed much and there are many kids out there today who don’t have a daddy in their life. It inspired me to write this one.