Year of the Drum

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Album "Australian Selection"
Lyrics by Wendy Joseph

"This song from Wendy Joseph describes the tragic effects of the World Wars on several generations of the people of Mannum and the use of music to entice young men to war. Mannum is a small town on the lower Murray River and has the distinction of having lost more men per head of population in both World Wars than any other town in South Australia."
My name is Jack Gresham, I grew up in Mannum,
That river boat town I loved well,
I married Meg Davis, we had us two children,
One day our family bliss turned to Hell.
For in nineteen fourteen, 'twas the year of the drum,
The guns and the Government called me to come,
Past melaleuca and tall shining gums,
I drifted away down the Murray.

My name is Meg Davis and I work down at Shearers,
Making wagons and stirrups and hames,
The war it is raging, the men are all fighting,
The women toil here making fuel for the flames.
For it's nineteen fifteen and the men have all gone,
They're fighting in Europe so we carry on,
We're keeping the candles lit bright here at home,
To light their way back up the Murray.

My name it is Mary and I am an orphan,
My father was killed in the war,
My mother Meg Davis, an upstanding lady,
She drowned in the Murray the year I turned four.
It was nineteen sixteen when the telegram came,
The death of her soldier its message proclaimed,
My Mum lost her footing due to tears and the rain,
She slipped on the banks of the Murray.

My name it is Billy and I am a soldier,
I just got my orders to-day,
My wife's name is Mary, she's as fair as a sunset,
I hate to be leaving her lonely this way.
But the year's forty two, 'tis the year of the drum,
The guns and the Government call me to come,
Past melaleuca and tall shining gums,
I'm drifting away down the Murray.

But the year doesn't matter, there's always a drum,
The guns and the Governments call men to come,
But the town still grows strong in her tall shining sons,
While her daughters light lamps by the Murray.

inviata da Alessandro - 26/9/2009 - 06:07

Wonderful....I have lived in Mannum for many years and did not know of this till today

Peter Emeny - 25/11/2017 - 05:12

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