[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, 27 May 1921.]
They told us in the days of old
That we must more produce,
And when the produce had been sold
Our debt we could reduce.
But we can’t sell fat,
And we can’t sell wool,
And we can’t give hides away;
For I tell you plump,
We have got a slump,
And the slump is here to stay.
And we must grow two ears of corn
Where one had been the rule,
And all the children that were born
Must learn to farm at school.
While they squander and tax,
Supervision is lax,
And one now and then helps himself.
But the farmer who works
Has no share in the perks,
For he’s busy providing the pelf.
But if farmers would take a long spell,
And the country was blessed with a drought,
Our produce perhaps we could sell,
And prosperity reign without doubt.
Though officials well paid,
Oftentimes make a raid,
As a means of enhancing their pay.
So they live at their ease,
And devour the cheese,
While the farmer is left with the whey.
The Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 27 May 1921, p. 3
pelf = wealth or riches, especially when dishonestly acquired; from the Old French term “pelfre” for booty (related to “pilfer”)
whey = the watery part of milk which forms after milk becomes thick and sour, and separates from the curds (the thick part of the coagulated milk), especially in the process of making cheese