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Murray Darling

Clark Gormley, 2005

Oh Murray Darling
You’re not so healthy anymore
You know you’re harmin’
Lots of native flora
It’s alarmin’
How you’ve wound back the water
To a trickle, whereas once you used to pour

Oh Murray Darling
Irrigation’s irritating me
The sole would hearten
Just to see you flowin free
And not to Harden
Just like an artery
And once again to see you see the sea.

Delta, Oh Delta, you used to be so Goodrem-ember? Before the embers of your heart were snuffed out by some sham Poo! A floater on your river. Then he went off to Paris leaving you high and dry. You didn’t think the Scud could aim so low. You should have changed your name to Sandy when your humour ceased to flow.

O Murray Darlin’
It’s as if someone pulled the plug out of the basin
And they’ve siphoned off the lot without replacin’
And now the planets getting hot,
But all you’ve got is not enough to wash my face in.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  The Murray doesn’t have a ‘delta’ as
such.  Rather the area where the Murray River meets the sea is a ?  Yes
that’s it.  A contiguous twin estuarine lake system, But that doesn’t scan
well, so I’m using my poetic license.

O Murray Darlin
Your love is miles from where you are
I know you’re pining cos you can see him from afar
But I know one day you’ll reach him and savour
Your Younghusbands long Peninsula (look it up) 

And Adelaide poor girl is thirsting. Strains Murrumbidgee mud through clenched teeth.
All those broken folk in Broken Hill who have to boil their water.
And all those narrow minds from places such as, (BUT NOT NECESSARILY!) Narromine repeating their call, parrot-fashion, to “turn the rivers inland” and other unnatural acts. It’s them we should be cursin’. Listen to them and problems will only worsen.

O Murray Darlin’
As you meander round the bend
I’ll miss you, and –er, I love you like the farmers daughter
Called Miranda, and I’d drink you like rosewater from a tap
Not the sap of an oleander

There are those who say “Go with the flow, make Hay - while the sun shines. There is no water problem”. I’ll take that with a dry riverbed of salt. Take heed, the day is not too far off when you’ll be saying “Hay, remember when we were making a splash in Wee-Waa and the parks in Parkes had grass and Griffith was high and not dry. And there was mildew in Mildura”. When that day comes, Murray, Darling, do you think you can ever reclaim your former glory? Willcania? WILLCANIA!?

O Murray Darlin’
I’m not certain but it seems
That certain farmers
Don’t care what’s goes on downstream
Don’t they know that there is no I in team?
But there is in ‘callous negligence’ indeed

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