Works in the Herald 1938

During the depression, when funds were desperately needed, Australia managed to remain self-supporting. Today, with a revenue surplus of some millions in view, the Federal Government startles public opinion by borrowing overseas instead of raising and circulating the defence money within our own borders. - From a leading article on the poor response to Australia's latest London loan.

Borrowin' over the water; I've seen it all before
Raisin' loans (said Old George Jones)
   Was a trick we learned of yore.
Borrowin' over the water
   In the old Australian way
Splash the cash an' cut a dash
   An' leave the kids to pay.

Steel rails an' sausage skins, cotton goods an' fal-de-rals,
   Drapery an' rollin'-stock an' pocket knives an' sich;
That was how we took it out
When we was but a growin' lout;
But sich-like habits calls for doubt
   Now we are grown an' rich.

Borrowin' over the water for reproductive works
That ain't produced; sich habits used
   To mark the crowd that shirks.
That's why we're heaped with taxes
   In this sad year A.D.
Thro' the ancient tricks of politics
   In borrowin' overseas.

Airyplanes an' motor-cars, guns an' bombs an' bayonits --
   The cash is here to buy the things an' meet the whole expense.
But seems we'll never mend our ways;
An' habits learned in olden days
Sticks hard; so we keep up the craze
   An' borrow for defence.
Advance Australia!  Pile the loans.
The kids'll pay (said Old George Jones).

Herald, 12 May 1938, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-07