A Railway Porter's Job

A Poem by Frank Brown©Frank Brown 1936

I was sitting on the Central,
And you can take my word
I found it interesting,
For this is what I heard.

“Porter!” “Yes, Sir” “Train to Penrith?”
“Yes Sir - platform No. 3.”
“Porter!” “Yes Miss?” “Very sorry,
Hadn’t time to drink your tea.”

“Porter!” “Yes Sir,” “Train to Lithgow?”
“Yes Sir, platform No. 9.”
“Yes, it leaves eleven thirty”.
“No Sir, mustn’t cross the line.”

“Porter!” “Yes Miss?” “Change at Penrith,
Mulgoa or Wallacia? Fare?”
“Very sorry, couldn’t say, Miss.
See Snowy Connell when you get there.”

“Porter,” “Yes, Sir,” “Mayor of Penrith?”
“Same Dave Pitch, good fellow too;
Yes, the Old Red Cow is milking,
All renovated, looks quite new.”

“Porter!” “Yes. Sir,” “Stop at Kingswood?”
“Didn’t just catch what you said.”
“Yes Sir.” “No, Sir, never been there,
Never want to unless I’m dead.”

“Porter.” “Yes Sir.” “Jack Page, Glenbrook,
Who’s on the ‘Fish’ that don’t know Jack,
Knows all about Repatriation,
Helps many a Digger on the track.”

“Porter!” “No, Sir.” “Couldn’t take a tip, Sir,
Don’t you know it’s against the rules?
Two bob you owed me? - Now I get you:
Us porter a ain’t all blooming fools.”

“Porter!” “Yes, Sir.” “Hold your Alsatian
I ain’t a bloom’ circus, see.
Well go and see the Stationmaster,
Don’t try to bully me.”

“What? You’d knock my head off, would you?
Just come and try it, if you dare,
That’s my cobber, Poddy Hewitt,
See him standing over there.”

“Porter!” “Yes, Mum?” “What’s the tears for?”
“Husband’s gone and lost his hat”,
“Well, you’ll have to buy another,
All the drivers see to that.”

“Porter!” “Yes, Mum? Lost your ticket?
Well, that’s hard luck, I must say.
Yes, I’ll mind the kiddies missus,
Don’t be very long away.”

“Porter!” “Yes, Sir?” “Porter!” “No Sir.
Oh, I’m nearly off my head,
I think I’ll chuck the blooming railway
And start an S.P. joint instead”.


One of a group of railway ballads composed by Frank Brown of Penrith, NSW, and located by John Low in The Nepean Times 24 September 1936. Published in Frank Brown's book Engine 1174: And Other Verses, published in Enfield NSW in 1948

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