Spirit of the Land lyrics
From Frontline (1984), On The Frontline (1984), The Very Best of Redgum (1987), Spirit of the Land (2007) and The Essential Redgum (2011)
Spirit of the Land (Hugh McDonald)
The rivers are dry across the land
And the farmers fields have turned to sand
‘Cos the rain hasn’t come
For two years going on three.
The topsoils gone with the hot north wind
Crops won’r grow and rust set in,
And the cruel south wind of Winter brought no relief.
And the old men in the public bar
Talk of floods and droughts before,
And as the night goes on and the conversations die,
But the battlers won’t give up,
It’s written on their hands and in their eyes,
And the spirit of the land survives.
On Saturday night in the Royal Hotel,
Hank the Dutchman plays guitar,
He sings country and Western favorites
It used to be his second job,
A bit of a laugh for a couple of bob,
Now it’s all he’s got ‘cos his crops
all died from thirst.
So he spent his savings on cattle and sheep,
Got some credit, got in too deep,
But stock won’t graze on pastures
turned to salt.
He tried to get work as a travelling man,
Selling Rawleighs products
from the back of his van,
But the cockies all shop in town
where things are cheap.
The state schools all rundown,
Roofs rusting and paint peeling,
School yards just a dustbowl
,Not a spot of green,
But the kids still kick their footballs
Sending dustclouds to the sun,
And it’s good to know that drought can’t spoil the fun.
And in the cricketers' lounge late at night,
Where the cockies talk and the shearers fight,
Their wives drink shandies ‘cos they’ll be driving home.
The conversation centres around
The prices of wheat.
The lack of rain and the lack of sheep
‘Cos credits stretched and it won’t stretch any more
1988 Redgum Live At Expo 88 in Brisbane 1984 Frontline album version