“The Country’s Broke” [poem by “Kookaburra”, 24 October 1930]

[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 24 October 1930.]

“The Country’s Broke.”

(With Variations).

(From “The Countryman.”)

I went to the show, as I always do,
My friends to meet and the sights to view;
And the things I saw and the things I heard
Were sometimes queer and sometimes absurd.
And — is it a slogan or is it a joke —
But one man said that “the country’s broke!”
Well, perhaps it is or perhaps it ain’t,
But there’s troubles enough to vex a saint.
The motors were shining like silver and gold,
Just like the Assyrian horde of old.
But where is the gig of the old-time days?
Where are the buggies, and where the drays?
Where is the old spring cart we knew,
With the seat behind so snug for two?
All passed off as a sort of a joke,
For the motors are here and the country’s broke.
Now, a trip to glory is easily won;
A busted tube — and the deed is done.
And dying will be an expensive fact,
With coffins under the sales tax act.
So I’ll give some advice to the lad and his lass:
Get off the road and keep on the grass.
The Cocky is there with his Fiat or Ford,
And that is a fact by some deplored.
He is not now seen with the old grey moke,
There’s an overdraft and a Government stroke.
The authorities, too, are uneasy now,
Milking the State and the Federal cow.
If the Antis can but their plans arrange,
Perhaps ere long we will have a change.
The farmers are all uniting, too,
And have the nucleus of a crew
That yet may steer Australia’s ship
Through the dangers of the financial rip.
“To hell with the farmers” was once a joke;
And it was a Labor man who spoke.
But jokes were made for passing around.
And very often one will rebound;
For still the farmer he feeds them all
When labor’s back is against the wall.
The farmer now lives in splendor fine.
For his wheat is bringing just two and nine.
And, would he any relaxation seek,
He’ll find it in seven days’ work each week!
From early morn till the set of sun,
And even then his work is not done.


The Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 24 October 1930, p. 6

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