SCRATCHING FOR TIN
Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson
From rugged hills and valleys
From creeks and mine shafts deep,
Each time they get together
Old and new friends will compete,
Swill the mining tin pan
Make the hand steel hammer ring,
Hear the air drill screech in anger
That’s how miners get their tin.
We remember those before us
Iron men who searched this land,
With their billy, beans and flour
And a sample bag in hand,
From the first light of day’s dawning
Looking for the rich lode seam,
Driven through the years of hardship
By the tin mine fever dream.
So when you’ve heard this song my friend
Don’t kick those cans around,
For I’ve bust me bloody guts for years
Scratching tin out of the ground.
Shanty towns behind us
Where all our tin’s been spent,
With fines imposed for brawling
We’re broke but never bent,
We’re shovelling on the banjo
Our hopes are up not down
We’ll blow our tin pay cheque again
When we get back to town.
Hard rock mining ferret
Half a mile below the ground,
I owe no man my living
Just the tin that I have found,
For the fever’s on me heavy
Digging in there like a mole
And the miners’ ghosts before me
Keep me company down this hole.
No factory whistle blowing
No clock to punch each day
There’s no foreman giving orders
I do it all my way,
Half a ton a trolley load
Upon the line I built,
To hose down in the sluice box
Separating tin from silt.
Hard-worked shovel swinging
Muscles aching with the strain
And you wonder why you follow
Such a soul destroying game,
But the tunnel is my rainbow
At its end there is a seam
I know that rich tin’s lying there
I saw it in my dream.
© Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au