Bushman’s Ballad

by Daniel Kelly 2023

     Am                 C         G
Working the wood in the old high country,
F            C        G          Am
Axe, Froe, Adze, Cross-Saw and Maul
Am                       C         G
Seeking the heart of the ancient timber,
     C      G        Em       Am
Break her back and watch her fall.

Search for the tree amidst the forest,
Straight in trunk and timber sound,
Cut the scarf and saw the back through,
Hear the crack and she comes down.

Strip the bark now, best be hasty,
Bush worked timber’s best done green,
Load it on the cart and homewards,
Time to build a slab hut dream,

Mark the post and strip the sapwood,
Cut with axe to black string line,
Work the broadaxe square and smooth like,
Post will stand till the end of time.

The froe cuts slabs, when maul she hammers,
Split two inches with the grain,
Square with broad axe sides all even,
Chamfer to keep out the rain,

Cut the grove in post with auger,
Chisel, maul and lots of care,
Drop the slabs in, walls are rising,
To keep out the winter air.

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