Florence of the Airwaves

By Daniel Kelly – 2020

G                          C             G
Florence well she wanted to be an engineer,
C                          G                    D
The man down at the college, He said now listen here,
G                              C                G
We only take apprentices, and you clearly don’t work,
C                           G             D               G  
So she started her own business, take that you flamin’ jerk.

She then got into radios, and bought herself a store,
The famous Sydney Wireless Shop, you couldn’t ask for more,
Twas there she learn’t the code of Morse, and workings of the HAM,
She could soon tap out a dot or dash as quick as any man.

       C                    D             G             C     
Hear Florence on the Airwaves, in nineteen twenty two,
       D                                             G
A woman showed the world, there is nothing they can’t do.
       C                          G             Em
This mistress of the radio, the signal and the code,
       C                  D          G
We never repaid the debt that she is owed.

To give every women freedom, from shackles of house chores,
was the role of electricity, in the patriarchy wars,
Florence taught a thousand women, the secrets of the air,
an army of lady signalers, as for war we did prepare.

Florence went to Billy Hughes, let my girls join the fight,
But a girl in Navy uniform, he just thought it wasn’t right,
Progress and sense prevailed, in nineteen forty one,
Fourteen girls arrived in Canberra, revolution had begun

Now Florence in her later life she never did slow down,
Pen pals with Albert Einstein, and honours from the crown,
Her school it trained the country for another thirteen years,
Freely helping servicemen, embark on new careers.

So I say thankyou Florence, for the courage that you shared,
A pioneer for women, one who taught and led and cared,
And if anyone should tell you, that a job’s just for a man,
You can tell them about Florence, because every woman can.

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