Song Of The Artesian Water

an adaptation of a poem by Banjo Paterson

 

Now the stock have started dying, for the Lord has sent a drought

But we're sick of prayers and Providence - we're going to do without

With the derricks up above us and the solid earth below

We are waiting at the lever for the word to let her go

Sinking down, deeper down

Oh, we'll sink it deeper down

As the drill is plugging downward at a thousand feet of level

If the Lord won't send us water, oh, we'll get it from the devil

Yes, we'll get it from the devil deeper down

 

Now, our engine's built in Glasgow by a very canny Scot

And he’s marked it twenty horse-power, but he don’t know what is what

When Canadian Bill is firing with the sun-dried gidgee logs

She can equal thirty horses and a score or so of dogs

Sinking down, deeper down

Oh, we're going deeper down

If we fail to get the water, then it's ruin to the squatter

For the drought is on the station and the weather's growing hotter

But we're bound to get the water deeper down

 

But the shaft has started caving and the sinking's very slow

And the yellow rods are bending in the water down below

And the tubes are always jamming, and they can't be made to shift

‘Till we nearly burst the engine with a forty horse-power lift

Sinking down, deeper down

Oh, we're going deeper down

Though the shaft is always caving, and the tubes are always jamming

Yet we'll fight our way to water while the stubborn drill is ramming

While the stubborn drill is ramming deeper down

 

But there's no artesian water, though we've passed three thousand feet

And the contract price is rising, and the boss is nearly beat

But it must be down beneath us, and it's down we've got to go

Though she's bumping on the solid rock four thousand feet below

Sinking down, deeper down

Oh, we're going deeper down

And it's time they heard us knocking on the roof of Satan's dwellin'

But we'll get artesian water if we cave the roof of hell in

Oh we'll get artesian water deeper down

Yes, we’ll get artesian water deeper down

 

And a harsh wind is blowing

The temperature is vast

Nobody here is knowing

Of your good deeds from the past

You can scream into the darkness

You can dig your knuckles raw

But the Good Lord he can’t hear you

And old archfiend wants you more

 

And it’s down, deeper down

Oh, we’re going deeper down

And it's time they heard us knocking on the roof of Satan's dwellin'

Yeah, we'll get artesian water if we cave the roof of hell in

 

Sinking down, deeper down

Oh, we're going deeper down

As the drill is plugging downward at a thousand feet of level

If the Lord won't send us water, ah, we will get it from the devil

Yes, we'll get it from the devil deeper down

Yes, we'll get it from the devil deeper down

© Copyright 2020 Suzie Stapleton

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