The Wild Beaudesert Train

Some bards have sung the isles of Greece and some the summer rain,
Fill high the cup with wine! I sing the wild Beaudesert train!
Some sing the gees and Ascot course and some the spring’s sweet reign;
But I, in keenest wine, I pledge the wild Beaudesert train.

Behind us drops the smoky town, the pubs, the City Tower.
We thunder out to Dutton Park in under half an hour.
Tonight we seek no amber ale, nor cause to boil the billy
As limned in fire and black with smoke we rear through Yeerongpilly.

And now we yank the throttles wide, the furnace fires gleam
As Cooper’s Plains goes flashing past a phantom in a dream;
The metals sing an angry song, the clanking pistons strain,
And cowering people cry, ‘Behold! The wild Beaudesert train!’

We take on corn at Waterford and logs at Logan Village,
Lord knows what at Cedar Grove, and crops of Woodhill tillage.
Now wilder, wilder grows the pace as drunk with speed and power
We thunder round the Veresoak Bend at seven miles an hour.

Black smoke leaps belching from our stack, a roar affrights the ear
And far across the blue-gum flats pale farmers blanch with fear.
And darkies sing their babes to sleep with threatening refrain,
‘By Cripes! He come and gobble you, that wild Beaudesert train!’

But crowd on canvas! Stock her up! For winged Gods are here;
We pass the sawmill like a streak, a sort of smoky bear,
The wheels fly off, the boiler tubes are busted up and broke,
We dash into Beaudesert town a storm of flame and smoke.

And still the grey-beards tell the tale, and swear by all the powers
We made the run from Melbourne Street in under seven hours!
Yea down the years they hand the yarn and chant the wild refrain,
‘By George, those days ‘twas hard to beat the wild Beaudesert train!’


Discovered pasted on the wall of his bedroom when staying near Lamington National Park in Queensland by Garry Tooth, an original member of the Moreton Bay Bush Music Society. Garry set it to The Lachlan Tigers tune.


Anonymous said...

What a great poem! My grandfather recites this whenever a suitable occasion. Pure magic!

Anonymous said...

And it would be great to have a recording of that!

Roger Holmes said...

I seem to remember the line as "We pass the sawmill like a streak, a sort of smoky smear"