The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4069521
Posted By: Sandra in Sydney
24-Aug-20 - 11:37 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Loaded Dog are fantastic, they turned up at Jamberoo years ago & I had hopes of booking them for the Loaded Dog Folk Club, but alas, they never came east again. I think they had a grant from some Govt agency to travel that year.

Poison Train is one of the best session songs, & we've had it many a time at the Dog, often sung by Margaret & Bob Fagan. The Dog is run by singers for a singing audience. I remember the first time I went to another club after a friend took over the Dog in 1995 & NO-ONE SANG ALONG!

sung by Chloe & Jason Roweth

Subject: ADD: The poison train ^^
From: Stewie - PM
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 08:52 PM

(Michael O'Rourke)

This old town has had its day
All the people moved away
And the houses standing empty
In the dry and the dusty day
No one cares for this old town
Now the money's not around
And the railway lines are rusty
And the station's falling down

There's a light down the line
Let it shine, shine, let it shine
There's a camp down the way
All the fettlers will be coming home today

When the railway opened here
All the gutters flowed with beer
And the people stood beside the line
To watch and wave and cheer
All the speeches that were made
When the bosses smiled and said
'The good times are just beginning
Follow us and you'll go ahead'


Well, they built the street so wide
It would be a thing of pride
To walk across it drunk
Or throw a stone to the other side
And the buildings grew so tall
You would tremble at the fall
But they've just dried out
And you would never know
There was anyone there at all


I still hear the tall man say
To the children at their play
'You'd better go home early
And you'd better stay away
Stay away from the line
Can't you hear the railway humming
The grass has grown too tall
And the poison train is coming


You feel sorry for the grass
All it did was grow too fast
All the weapons used against it
It was never made to last
And the man and his offsider
Are all dressed in black
As the poison train goes through the town
And blisters all the track


Well, it never lasted long
Half the town was packed and gone
And everybody was afraid
To be left there alone
All the people stayed away
And there was no celebration
Nobody made a speech the day
They closed the railway station


Published by Greenhouse Publications. Source: Roy Bailey 'New Directions in the Old' Fuse CFCD 402. Recorded by 'Mike O'Rourke on 'Flying Pieman' 1980.

The image of the 'Poison Train' is used by O'Rourke to describe the decay of outback towns that grew too quicly. The fast-growing grass around the railway tracks has to be burnt back.