Cane Cutter's Lament

Language: English

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The Shearer's Lament
(Martyn Wyndham-Read)
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Presso una chiesa

[XIX° secolo?]
Canzone tradizionale australiana, precisamente del Queensland, visto che vi è citato il Barron River che lì scorre.
La trovo in un disco del 1973 di Martyn Wyndham-Read intitolato “Harry the Hawker is Dead”

Non ho capito se con “cook” ci si riferisce davvero ad un cuoco, grasso e laido, oppure se il termine in slang locale indichi il padrone sfruttatore (altrettanto grasso e laido)…
Quello del tagliatore di canna era (e in alcuni luoghi resta ancora oggi) uno dei lavori più duri e schifosi che ci fossero, secondo forse soltanto a quello del minatore. L’immagine che segue lo testimonia bene:

How we suffered grief and pain
On the banks of the Barron cutting cane
We sweated blood we were as black as sin
And the ganger he put the spur right in

The greasy cook with sore-eyed look
And the matter all stuck to his lashes
He damned our souls with his half baked rolls
And he'd poison the snakes with his hashes

The first six weeks so help me Christ
We lived on cheese and half boiled rice
Mouldy bread and cats meat stew
And corn beef that the flies had blew

The cane was bad the cutters were mad
The cook had shit on the liver
And I'll never cut cane for that bastard again
On the banks of the Barron River

So now I'm leaving that lousy place
I'll cut no more for that bugger
He can stand in the mud that's red as blood
And cut his own bloody sugar

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2017/12/15 - 08:26

This short film takes a look at the life of Queensland sugar cane cutters. It shows itinerant workers contracting with a cane farmer, cutting the cane and loading it for transport, from early morning to dark. Other sequences show the cutters in their quarters eating as much food as they need to carry out a tough job. The film is straightforward in its approach: cane cutting is hard work although the pay is good and the industry itself means much to the thriving state of Queensland. Made by The National Film Board 1948. Directed by Hugh McInnes.

B.B. - 2017/12/15 - 08:28

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