The Tree of Knowledge

Written before the Tree of Knowledge was poisoned. Maybe that was an omen.

Barcaldine way, where ghost gums sway,
A ghost gum stands where shearer bands
Met to fight – a shearers’ strike
Against the powers-that-be,
Rebelled against bureaucracy
Underneath the Knowledge Tree.

The law had ruled their wages cruelled.

They wouldn’t stand for law of land
Passing a bill against their will,
A cut unjust of hard-earned cash.

Aussies true-blue, the shearers knew
Wrong from right, and though the might
Of law prevails, it finally fails
If it’s unjust. Justice must.

The shearers swore to fight the law,
And gathered round with thoughts profound
Under the Tree of Knowledge, free
Men and bold, and history told
How they formed, under the tree, the A.L.P.,
To change the law forevermore,
So Australians all might be
Free to carve their destiny,
Earn fair wage or salary.

Still the Tree of Knowledge stands,
Monument to all the lands
Of justice in Australia fair,
And victory to workers there.

Written before the Tree of Knowledge was poisoned. Maybe that was an omen.

Barcaldine way, where ghost gums sway,
A ghost gum stands where shearer bands
Met to fight – a shearers’ strike
Against the powers-that-be,
Rebelled against bureaucracy
Underneath the Knowledge Tree.

The law had ruled their wages cruelled.

They wouldn’t stand for law of land
Passing a bill against their will,
A cut unjust of hard-earned cash.

Aussies true-blue, the shearers knew
Wrong from right, and though the might
Of law prevails, it finally fails
If it’s unjust. Justice must.

The shearers swore to fight the law,
And gathered round with thoughts profound
Under the Tree of Knowledge, free
Men and bold, and history told
How they formed, under the tree, the A.L.P.,
To change the law forevermore,
So Australians all might be
Free to carve their destiny,
Earn fair wage or salary.

Still the Tree of Knowledge stands,
Monument to all the lands
Of justice in Australia fair,
And victory to workers there.