In The Grain
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Words and Music: Pat Drummond
For Robert , Sharon, Jimmy and Louise Hyland.
Dateline ; Mount Burr, S.A.
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Chorus: It's in the grain, in the grain. Some
things still remain.
When the pride of a man is in the work of his
hands you can feel it in the grain.
Oh, they're gathering in on the south-east
where the Southern Ocean rolls,
the timber stands that their father's hands
sowed forty five years ago.
And the women and the men of the timberland
have milled and turned their lives
to the smell of the pine on the Mount Burr
in the mill on Thomas Drive.
Louise is in the office working on the ledger;
Bobbie's on the main race drive;
Jimmy's doin' time on the Optimiser Edger;
Sharon' s on the Hyster Nine.
From the flitch to the match; from the chains
to the stacks
where the timber's kilned
The women and the men of the
Mount Burr Mill
turn their trade with pride.
We can't stay the pace of change but some things
These families have learned
like the Radiata in the Southern Wind.
If they close this mill they'll start again
but it goes against the grain.
It runs against the grain.
Some people work for a living; it's the lot
that they're given
and they slave from nine till five.
Some people live for their work. It's
a joy and a blessing.
It's what keeps them alive.
The sons and the daughters of the Fennells
and the children of the Hyland Clan;
They own that mill in a way their
The economic rationalists
that have dominated the entire political spectrum in Australia
over the last ten years seem to forget that industry is as much
about 'pride in a product'; as it is about 'pride in a profit'.
This song, about the dignity of worthwhile work done well, was
written after I stayed with a family of timber workers in Mt.
Burr, near Millicent, in South Australia. The timber mill, which
has been the focus of their lives for two generations, is currently
under threat of closure.
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