It is only when we examine some of the musical gems — so cherished by and self-imortant academics, the self-appointed guardians of our culture — that we discover that like all rare stones, these gems also have an earthy origin.
Jewelled phrases, philosophical pearls dug from the rough field of Folk to be cut, shaped, and polished by the academic guardians of culture,
until the original substance is barely recognisable.
Tall Tales, Bush Yarns — the product and property of our fathers — often find their polished counterpart in the silver-tongued innuendo of statesmen.
I’ll leave you to decide which of these fits the ‘Murrumbidgee Whalers’. HR
Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson
(As performed by Alex Hood on Harry’s 1971 LP “WHALE CHASING MEN”)
Down on the Murrumbidgee where the fish are of great size,
And the stories people tell down there will often sound like lies
But the truth was never stranger than the contents of this tale,
About brave Aussie fishermen, and the Murrumbidgee whale.
It seems that back in history — I’m told that this is true,
The Murrumbidgee fishermen had caught a whale or two,
But they were just the babies of the daddy of them all,
Who came and found his lads beached high, on Murrumbidgee soil.
He thrashed the water with his tail and caused high tidal waves,
That covered New South Wales with floods that lasted several days,
’Til people in their terror thought that it would be the same,
That Noah copped with forty days, and forty nights of rain.
The people held a meeting and a man he spoke up loud,
“We’ve had it mates I tell you that I ain’t too bloody proud
To get the experts down here — make the river safe again,
We need the men from Ballina, and the Queensland Whaling Men.”
Full steam ahead the whalers came to flush the monster out,
And fired their killer harpoon every time he blew a spout,
They cornered and they killed him, beached him high upon dry land,
And the Murrumbidgee people danced, to the Sally’s ragtime band.
Twelve months they feasted on his meat — but this is common news,
The problem of his bones remained and how they could be used,
But on the Murrumbidgee shore the work has now begun
To build a concert hall that’s like, the Sydney Opera one
The moral of this story is quite simple and it’s true,
If a whale gets in your swimming pool I’ll tell you what to do,
Get men who did it once before to do the same again,
Bring trawler men from Ballina, and the Queensland Whaling Men.
© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au