River Boat

Her bones lie near Echuca
on the muddy river bank
she was abandoned by her owners
and down in to the mud she sank

Her name has long since vanished
and her upper decking’s stripped
there was a time she plied the river
with a cargo to be shipped

A proud and sturdy river boat
her master at the wheel
her planking oiled and corked
with a yard beneath her keel

Working through the glory days
that the mighty Murray saw
Before the roads and railways
there were river boats galore

A mighty inland highway
down from Barmah to the sea
she sailed beneath the branches
of a red gum canopy

With her boiler stacked with timber
till she built a head of steam
with her paddle wheels both churning
and her whistles piping scream

But today she lies abandoned
and her body now decays
but stop, look again and see her
in those far off glory days

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  • kvennarad  On December 15, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Always a pleasure to find a bush ballad in the morning.


  • Eric  On December 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

    This is beautiful 🙂

    • livingwithtwins  On December 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks. It was inspired by a photo taken by one of the Layland brothers (I can’t remember which one right now) of the hull of an old river boat rotting on the bank of the Murray River. It was a very evocative image and it stuck in my mind for a long time.

      • Eric  On December 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

        My wife and I spent a holiday there and took a boat ride in the Murray – very memorable. Thanks for the memories. Keep blogging. I am gonna follow you.

      • livingwithtwins  On December 17, 2011 at 2:17 am

        Thanks for following. I still have quite a few bush ballads to put up before I have to start thinking about writing brand new ones so I hope you enjoy a few more of them.

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