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1993 Tallangatta - 'Women on the Land'

Negative - Copy

Image: Negative - Copy

Source: Museum Victoria

Gathering: This verse, written by local school teacher Andrew Kimber, was first sung at the 1993 Tallangatta Gathering by Leonie Hodgkin, a Mitta Valley Women on Farms Gathering delegate. Her rendition of the song added a highlight to Saturday night's festivities.

Author: Andrew Kimber, March 1993

***

We've heard of that bushman, name of Clancy
Droving up the Snowys or out on the plains
But do you know of his patient wife called Nancy
Who waits on the selection protecting their gains
And who is it that faces the land shark
Holding frightened children by the hand,
Who conquers the long cold darkness?
Why it is Nancy, a woman on the land.

Stoking the fires- milking the cows
-tighten the wires - working the plough
Churning the cream- stitching bag shirts
-harness the team- poison the wort.

Through fire and drought- wars and depression
Jessie stands by her man- there's no turning back.
Five children to raise and pushing an obsession.
To make a real home from a packing case shack.
Her Harry's returned quite lame now,
He's back in the bush but can't find calm.
No price for the crop- so who's to blame now?
Taken in the stride of a woman on the farm.

Fuelling the Furgy - cooking for men
-driving the kids - killing the hens
Axing the wood - emptying the traps
- preserving the fruit - the fifth baby on lap.

For Sally - the future's full of questions -
Fast change and pressure face a woman on the land,
Factory farms, trade wars - genetic revolutions,
Life not so predictable from where she stands.
Signs of hope midst clouds of despair,
Careful managing to minimise the harm,

Taking risks her mother would never dare -
The coming of age of a woman on a farm,
Taken in the stride of a woman on the farm.

Related Stories:
Victorian Women on Farms Gathering Collection
Poetry and Song - The Victorian Women on Farms Gatherings

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