The Uplift

When the drays are bogged and sinking, then it’s no use sitting thinking,
You must put the teams together and must double-bank the pull.
When the crop is light and weedy, or the fleece is burred and seedy,
Then the next year’s crop and fleeces may repay you to the full.

So it’s lift her, Johnny, lift her,
Put your back in it and shift her,
While the jabber, jabber, jabber of the politicians flows.
If your nag’s to poor to travel
Then get down and scratch the gravel
For you’ll get there if you walk it – if you don’t, you’ll feed the crows.

Shall we waste our time debating with a grand young country waiting
For the plough and for the harrow and the lucerne and the maize?
For it’s work alone will save us in the land that fortune gave us
There’s no crop but what we’ll grow it; there’s no stock but what we’ll raise.

When the drays are bogged and sinking
Then it’s no use sitting thinking.
There’s a roadway up the mountain that the old black leader knows:
So it’s lift her, Johnny, lift her,
Put your back in it and shift her,
Take a lesson from the bullock – he goes slowly, but he goes!


More Banjo Paterson poems recorded by Wallis and Matilda


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