Bring Back the Bloody Train

A Poem by John Dengate©John Dengate 1996

The flooding rains might stop the trains
but the bus from Dubbo goes,
And the driver smiles at the thought of miles
of vile American videos.

I'll lay large bets that he'll have cassettes
of music that'll make you ill,
And I rather think you'll need a drink
when you get to Broken Hill.

By Nevertire he'll have raised your ire
but you must not make a fuss,
You can writhe and toss but the driver's boss
you're a prisoner on that bus.

At Nyngan town he'll set you down
for a sandwich and a brief respite,
Then you're back on board for your just reward
you have sinned and it serves you right.

You moan and weep and you try to sleep
as the bus spears through the dark,
There's a ban on booze and you've lost your shoes
but the videos have left their mark.

The toilet's bung so your flaming tongue
is not the only thing you hold,
Now Cobar's passed and you're sinking fast
in the land of rainbow gold.

Count the cost, for the Darling's crossed
and the Hill's not far away,
You've swollen feet and I'll be discrete
and censor what I'd like to say.

The driver knows that you're in the throes
of every kind of subtle pain,
On bended knees I beg you please
Bring back the bloody train.


This poem was read out in full by in the NSW Parliament by the Hon. Gerald Sullivan in April 1996 and can be found in Hansard:


Mr SULLIVAN (Wollongong) [5.15]: I have been requested to speak this evening by people who are very pleased with the Carr Labor Government for bringing back the train to Broken Hill. If I may, I shall quote a poem written by John Dengate, that is, John Dengate the folk singer, not John Dengate of the national parks - although they are distantly related. The poem is entitled "Bring Back the Bloody Train", and could be subtitled "The Coming of the Outback Experience":

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