The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4069645
Posted By: Stewie
25-Aug-20 - 09:25 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
My apologies, I once again forgot to log in before posting 'Call of the north'.

A couple of decades ago, Bob Bolton posted the lyrics to Alan Mann's 'Windmill run' together with a few notes to assist non-aussies:

THE WINDMILL RUN
(Alan Mann)

The Southern Cross is turning, creaking joints need oiling
There's a finger-full of grease for cog and gears,
Clockwise, ever clockwise, hot-dipped and galvanised,
The blades have turned for fully fifty years.

One day's dawn will find him, astride his faithful Harley
Just a kerosene tin jammed between his knees.
There's a hessian bag of tucker, twitch wire and some pliers,
And his camouflage, khaki dungarees.

Out along the western fence, the three-mile troughs are full,
And it's north along the track 'till deadwood bore.
There's spinifex and mulga, plus the dozen mills or so,
'Till nightfall finds him on an Alcan floor

The Southern Cross is turning, creaking joints need oiling
There's a finger-full of grease for cog and gears,
Clockwise, ever clockwise, hot-dipped and galvanised,
The blades have turned for fully fifty years.

Well, every now and then, there's a breakdown - and he finds it
Depressing as the jammed-up rods he frees.
Fifty head it cost him ... and the crows with bellies full;
Sitting there ... laughing in the trees.

Mostly, though, it's endless toil – adjusting floats and valves,
And checking out the fences near and far.
Visions of the wife and kids – see him through the afternoon,
'Till his nightly destination with the stars.

The Southern Cross is turning, creaking joints need oiling
There's a finger-full of grease for cog and gears,
Clockwise, ever clockwise, hot-dipped and galvanised,
The blades have turned for fully fifty years.

Gone again's another week and he turns up at the homestead,
Just a silhouette against the setting sun,
There's just two days at home, for there's sheep to dip tomorrow.
And a rest before another windmill run.

The Southern Cross is turning, creaking joints need oiling
There's a finger-full of grease for cog and gears,
Clockwise, ever clockwise, hot-dipped and galvanised,
The blades have turned for fully fifty years.

The Southern Cross is turning, creaking joints need oiling ...

Notes:

Alcan: Local brand of aluminium (well, lots of Canadian money in it as well). Presumably the floor of a work shed or store out on the run. Clockwise, ever clockwise: Of course, the blades always turn in the same direction because the tailpiece keeps them pointing up wind Dungarees: Work overalls – in this case ex-army
Fifty head it cost: On these huge inland runs, there is little permanent water and the bore (artesian) water brought up by the windmill may be all there is. A pump breakdown can mean death to all the cattle in that paddock.
Harley: Harley Davidson motorbike? Maybe an old WWII despatch rider's bike, rather than the fat road bikes of today
Hot-dipped and galvanised: They made things to last back then … not that there is much rain to rust windmill blades out in the outback!
Mulga: Low scrubby acacias of the arid interior
Southern Cross: The best known Australian brand of water-pumping windmill (named for the famous southern sky constellation).
Spinifex: Thorny weed - the Australian species is zygochloa paradoxus.
Tucker: Food, supplies
Twitch wire: Binding or tie wire for minor repairs

You can find the song on Loaded Dog 'A Coastline Facing West'. Here is a rendition by Wongawilli:

Youtube clip

--Stewie.