(by Mark Schuster)
Open the squeezebox bellows, parchment dry and stiff,
Lift the stops, breathe back the lives of the aged pioneers
Men and women, not forgetting the kinder
Show us of modern times their ways.
Slab hut, bread oven, shingle barns
The patchwork of paddock, brigalow and pear
Hellfire preachers, rough men, farmworkers,
Women chained to the land, children worked
to a standstill.
now play your tune, vibrant but yet
tinged with melancholy
German shepherds speared by blacks
Women held by husbands, fathers and
the climate. Men battling landscape, culture and eeking
an existence from the 40 acres
Show us the German wagons, the pigs,
the Pastor, the swearing and the clink of bottles
The lieder drifting from the huts across
the hills, the all night dances and the brass bands,
Broken englisch, the laughter and tears and then
play your tune further yet – the droughts, pear, the adders,
kinder poisoned by bad water
Men imprisoned by the land
And the land conquered by blood, sweat – and tears.
Show us the uplifted and the
Damnable – the holy and not so holy,
the way our people lived THEIR lives
They are but us and we are them
play yet your tunes and let the bellows
work like the bellows of the forge
Show us of today how our German-Queenslanders
Lived, loved and suffered.
Keep playing: NEVER LET THE SOUNDS BE SILENCED!!