Works in the Herald 1933

On October 9, 1883, Councillor Smith was elected Mayor of Melbourne. Exactly 50 years later to the day, another Councillor Smith was re-elected Lord mayor for a third time. It may be easy for history to repeat itself when dealing with Smith, but coincidence remains.

You can't get away from the Smiths.
   Though admitting the clan of that name
All the rolls dominate, they proportion is great
   That achieves to high honor and fame.
I am not a believer in luck
   And I scorn superstition and myths;
Yet see something queer and mysterious here,
   Oh, you can't get away from the Smiths.
'Twas a Smith back in far 'eighty-three
   Tis city elected for May'r.
Laggard time drifts away.  Fifty years to the day,
   And another Smith hops to the Chair.
Why Smith?  Why could not it be Brown,
   Jinks, Jones? -- names for conjuring with --
And why fifty years?  Put it up to the seers,
   And they'll tell you it had to be Smith.
When Australia first took to the air,
   'Twas a Smith who was early a-wing.
And the first to alight from a distant world's flight,
   And today, Smith is at the same thing.
Oh, you can't get away from the Smiths!
  I could quote for you cases galore.
Hyphenated and plain, 'tis a dominant strain
   That defies all statistical lore.
Oh, you can't get away from the Smiths,
   In politics, commerce and trade,
They are here, they are here; but most frequently where
   Fame beckons and fortunes are made.
But good luck to their totem, say I.
   Carve their deeds upon proud monoliths! ...
It's a tough name to rhyme; so for the last time --
   You can not get away from the Smiths.

Herald, 12 October 1933, p6

This poem was also published in the collection:
More than a Sentimental Bloke.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-04