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Lyr Req: Second Class Wait Here (Henry Lawson)

DigiTrad:
ANDY'S GONE WITH CATTLE
DO YOU THINK THAT I DO NOT KNOW
FREEDOM'S ON THE WALLABY
IRELAND SHALL REBEL
REEDY RIVER


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Kathryn 19 Mar 01 - 06:23 PM
Bugsy 19 Mar 01 - 07:57 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Mar 01 - 09:17 PM
Kathryn 20 Mar 01 - 06:47 AM
Bob Bolton 20 Mar 01 - 07:16 AM
Bob Bolton 21 Mar 01 - 03:31 AM
Bob Bolton 21 Mar 01 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 22 Mar 01 - 01:00 PM
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Subject: Second Class wait here
From: Kathryn
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 06:23 PM

This is a great song from Australia, but I don't understand all the words on the CD. Does anyone know the words?? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Second Class wait here
From: Bugsy
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 07:57 PM

Do you mean you don't understand what the words are or what the words mean?

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Second Class wait here
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 09:17 PM

G'day Kathryn,

This is a setting of a poem by Henry Lawson ... pretty autobiographical, since it is based on his memories of working as a very much exploited "apprentice" painter at a coachbuilding works (usually dismissed when they grew too big to fit under the carriages they were painting). This is his reaction to being banished to the far (and cold) end of the station because of his 2nd-class ticket.

Whose CD do you have it from? I have it on a local CD by Margaret Walters but that would be rare outside Australia.

I can give you the words from my home machine, when i get home - if no one else gets in first. I don't know what tune you have, as i don't know who sings your version ... but you only need the words.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Second Class wait here
From: Kathryn
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 06:47 AM

Thanks Bob,

I didn't realize it was a Lawson poem. I heard it on "Trains of Treasure", an Aussie CD from the Rail,Tram and Bus Union Cultural Committee in Redfern.

The CD had the first 2 verses printed but the rest werent and I have difficulty understanding several of the lines.

Thanks also for the historical background. It helps clear up some of the concepts...

Love the song!!

Thanks for the info.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SECOND CLASS WAIT HERE (Henry Lawson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 07:16 AM

G'day Kathryn,

Here are the words, scanned in from Chris Kempster's beaut book The Songs of Henry Lawson, Viking O'Neill, Ringwood, Victoria, 1989:

SECOND CLASS WAIT HERE
Henry Lawson, 1899

On suburban railway stations - you may see them as you pass -
There are signboards on the platforms saying, 'Wait here second class';
And to me the whirr and thunder and the cluck of running gear
Seem to be for ever saying, saying 'Second class wait here' -

'Wait here second class, second class wait here.'
Seem to be for ever saying, saying 'Second class wait here'.

And the second class were waiting in the days of serf and prince,
And the second class are waiting - they've been waiting ever since.
There are gardens in the background, and the line is bare and drear,
Yet they wait beneath a signboard, sneering 'Second class wait here'.

I have waited oft in winter, in the mornings dark and damp,
When the asphalt platform glistened underneath the lonely lamp.
Ghastly on the brick-faced cutting 'Sellum's Soap' and 'Blower's Beer;
Ghastly on enamelled signboards with their 'Second class wait here'.

And the others seemed like burglars, slouched and muffled to the throats,
Standing round apart and silent in their shoddy overcoats,
And the wind among the wires, and the poplars bleak and bare,
Seemed to be for ever snarling, snarling 'Second class wait there'.

Out beyond the further suburb, 'neath a chimney stack alone,
Lay the works of Grinder Brothers, with a platform of their own;
And I waited there and suffered, waited there for many a year,
Slaved beneath a phantom signboard, telling our class to wait here.

Ah! a man must feel revengeful for a boyhood such as mine.
God! I hate the very houses near the workshop by the line;
And the smell of railway stations, and the roar of running gear,
And the scornful-seeming signboards, saying 'Second class wait here'

There's a train with Death for driver, which is ever going past,
And there are no class compartments, and we all must go at last
To the long white jasper platform with an Eden in the rear;
And there won't be any signboards, saying 'Second class wait here'..

Lawson's words are public domain, as he died in 1922, but the tune Margaret sings on Trains of Treasure (and also her own CD for the Future and the Past) is by Tony Miles, 1981. I notice that Brian Dunnett, who put the Trains of Treasure CD together, also wrote his own tune in 1985. (Both are in Chris's book.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Second Class wait here
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 03:31 AM

G'day again Kathryn,

I just telephoned Margaret Walters, and she said she will email her particular edit of Lawson's words to me. I will post these when they arrive.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: SECOND CLASS WAIT HERE (Henry Lawson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 10:44 PM

G'day yet again,

Here is the version as sung by Margaret Walters (with the tune by Tony Miles 1981)on her album For the Future and the Past

SECOND CLASS WAIT HERE
Henry Lawson, 1899

On suburban railway stations - you may see them as you pass -
There are signboards on the platforms saying, 'Wait here second class';
And to me the whirr and thunder and the cluck of running gear
Seem to be for ever saying, saying 'Second class wait here' -

'Wait here second class, second class wait here.'
Seem to be for ever saying, saying 'Second class wait here'.

And the second class were waiting in the days of serf and prince,
And the second class are waiting - they've been waiting ever since.
There are gardens in the background, and the line is bare and drear,
Yet they wait beneath a signboard, sneering 'Second class wait here'.

I have waited oft in winter, in the mornings dark and damp,
When the asphalt platform glistened underneath the lonely lamp.
And the wind among the wires, and the poplars bleak and bare,
Seemed to be for ever snarling, snarling 'Second class wait there'.

Out beyond the further suburb, 'neath a chimney stack alone,
Lay the works of Grinder Brothers, with a platform of their own;
And I waited there and suffered, waited there for many a year,
Slaved beneath a phantom signboard, telling our class to wait here.

Ah! a man must feel revengeful for a boyhood such as mine.
God! I hate the very houses near the workshop by the line;
And the smell of railway stations, and the roar of running gear,
And the scornful-seeming signboards, saying 'Second class wait here'

There's a train with Death for driver, which is ever going past,
And there are no class compartments, and we all must go at last
To the long white jasper platform with an Eden in the rear;
And there won't be any signboards, saying 'Second class wait here'..

Note: verse 3 is a combination of two of Lawson's verses.

Margaret tells me that she put down six tracks for her new solo album with musicians Kim Poole, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan - 3 songs by John Warner (her partner as Walters & Warner) and 3 traditional, so far.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Second Class wait here
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 22 Mar 01 - 01:00 PM

Way back in the early seventies I was taking the Dublin/Holyhead ferry one night. There was still a "first class" and "second class" division on the boat at that time. It was the early days of the IRA campaign and there had been a rash of hoax bomb scares. I arrived on the quay to find a large crowd being shepherded off the boat and back to the waiting rooms. On enquiring, I was told "There's a bomb scare!" The crowd were the second class passengers only - the first class had been left, presumably, in the bar. "We didn't want to disturb them." said one of the staff!

Always struck me as an example of what we call "an Irish solution to an Irish problem".

Regards


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