Story of an Election Written Years Ago [poem by “Kookaburra”, 3 November 1916]

[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Evelyn Observer, and Bourke East Record, 3 November 1916.]

Story of an Election Written Years Ago.

There was trouble in this town,
Of the goat and goose renown,
When they found that Andrew Mather
Who had promised roads and water,
Tried to float a mighty loan,
All upon his very own.

So they travelled near and far
For to find a councillor,
Who would pander to their little tuppeny whim.
They went first to Davy Mann,
Whom they coaxed as coax they can,
And the chance of being it was offered him.

Then they tackled sturdy Ott,
But he said that he would not
Lend his countenance to such a forlorn scheme.
When they went to German Dick,
He consigned them pretty quick
To a much warmer climate if they wanted Council steam.

When they interviewed big Jerry,
He told them he was very
Much disgusted with the hardness of the road;
But he’d known young Wuchatsch long,
And that though his will was strong,
Thought he’d serve them in a straight and honest mode.

Davy did at last consent,
So to Preston Shire they went
For a scrutineer to help him at the poll.
But his luck was much at fault,
Sure he must have spilt some salt,
For they finished up with Davy in a hole.

The great Rajah from below,
In his coat of calico,
Came to interview the people at the door;
But his labor was in vain,
And it must have given pain,
When he found his man was beaten by a score.

How the Laborites were skiting,
And they did a lot of writing
On the footpaths and the walls of houses, too,
But old Wuchatsch gave a grin,
For he thought he’d get put in
By the cockies and a township vote or two.

The busy B of medal fame,
Fell out with the leading dame,
Who had often lately looked at him askance.
Said the B what’s in a name;
Isn’t Wuchatsch very game,
Why not give the willing sport a winning chance?

Fred and Ted raked in the money
From the coots who were so funny
As to fancy Davy had a chance to win,
Though it’s not the strict O.K.,
It all counts said Teddy J.,
So he reached his hand and scooped the shekels in.

Let the skinny immigrant,
Full of theologic cant,
Take a warning from the writing on the wall;
Let him stick to Barrett’s ale,
Then his wisdom will not fail,
If he craves for better liquor then his pride will have a fall.

Do not interfere with Zimmer,
For he’s proved that he is slimmer
Than the very wildest rough ’un in the place.
If you wish to give him cheek,
You must speedy refuge seek,
For he’ll pay it back with interest on the face.

Now the trouble it is ended,
You are one and all commended
To be merry, like mixed bathers on the shore,
Go and eat Tom Brophy’s prog,
Drink in a glass or two of grog,
And live happy like true brothers evermore.

— Kook.

The Evelyn Observer, and Bourke East Record (Kangaroo Ground, Vic.), 3 November 1916, p. 3

Editor’s notes:
cockie = a cocky, or “cockie”, is a farmer (the term was used to refer to poor bush farmers, from having land so poor that they were jokingly said to only be able to farm cockies, i.e. cockatoos, a type of bird; however, it was later used to refer to farmers in general)

grog = alcoholic beverages

prog = food or victuals, particularly food gained by begging; may also refer to the act of prowling or searching for food to steal

tuppeny = (also spelt “tuppenny”) a contraction of “two pennies” (a very small amount); often used to refer to someone’s opinion, such as in “I put in my two pennies’ worth” (or “I put in my tuppence worth”; also rendered as “I put in my two cents’ worth”)

[Editor: Corrected “imigrant” to “immigrant”; “tupeny” to “tuppeny”.]

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