Works in the Herald 1931

"Work at last! . . . What does it mean to a man who has not had the luck to know a pay day for twelve months past?" From yesterday's article by a grateful pick and shovel worker on the Yarra Boulevard Improvement Scheme.

The feel of a pick in yer hand at last,
   And an acre of earth to dig!
Didn't seem much in the days gone past,
   When yer chance of a job was big.
For work was a troublesome thing to some;
   But a thing that had to be done.
Little we thought that a time would come
   When a job looked reel good fun.

Swingin' a pick on a railway job; Slingin' the "banjo" round, Cursin' the need for to earn a abob, Or even a measly pound. Doin' it in on a Saturday night; Growlin' on a Monday morn; Lookin' on work as a bit of a blight, An' treatin' a job with scorn.
But a man must learn thro' days of stress; An' I've had full time to learn. An' there came a day when I learned to bless The chance for a man to earn, An' the feel of a pick in yer hand again An' the good brown earth below; For it's good, hard toil that makes sound me, As I've had full cause to know.
Swingin' a pick with a grin an' a joke; Slingin' the "banjo" round. Oh, the toil comes good to a decent bloke An' the hope of a hard-earned pound. Countin' it up of a Saturday night; Shovin' a bit in the sock; For wisdom comes to a cove all right When he once has "took the knock."

Herald, 16 December 1931, p9

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002