Wiradjuri Country

Tony Smith
Language: English

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Wiradjuri Country
© Tony Smith 2013


I live on land in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. The land was taken by force from the Wiradjuri people.
The song is my attempt to acknowledge the history of dispossession.
I used the tune to 'Joe Hill' after hearing Paul Robeson sing this union song.
The place I live in has a past
It’s full of history
Though much of it is buried now
And veiled in mystery
And veiled in mystery

For many years the grass was cropped
By hungry ranging flocks
And miners tried their luck with gold
Among the quartz and rocks (2)

But after we have left this land
It will forever be
In the future as it was before
Wiradjuri country (2)

The people and the land were one
Some forty thousand years
Till a decade of the gubbas brought
Bitterness and tears (2)

When other tribes passed through your land
A price they always paid
Some gift they always brought to you
Respectful signs they made (2)

The gubbas had not heart to give
They spat onto your ground
They killed for sport your animals
Claimed everything they found (2)

They fenced the creeks with wire barbed
Poisoned waterholes
They stole young girls and shot the men
As if they had no souls (2)

The ghosts that came from the morning sun
Brought such desperate times
The people turned to a warrior chief
His name was Windradyne (2)

He led his people patiently
With King George peace he sought
But Brisbane sent Morrisset’s men
And declared martial law (2)

No refuge now for Windradyne
Not even in his land
Branded as a terrorist
He made a final stand (2)

Along the Turon and Winburndale
Too much blood was shed
The warrior’s earthly time was up
A price was on his head (2)

Invaders have for centuries
Used divide and rule
But a chieftain felled by Koori spear
Was irony too cruel (2)

Windradyne was buried
By a Gubba friend
Though his grave is deep and still
His story did not end (2: has no end)

They could not kill the Wiradjuri heart
It beats even as we speak
Windradyne whispers in the trees
His spirit offers peace (2)

And after we have left this land
It will forever be
In the future as it was before
Wiradjuri country
Wiradjuri country

Contributed by Tony Smith - 2017/9/22 - 02:48

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