The crows kept flyin' up, boys,
The crows kept flyin' up.
The dog he seen and whimpered, boys,
Though he was but a pup.
The lost was found, we brought him round
And took him from the place,
While the ants was swarmin' on the ground
And the crows was sayin' grace.
The sunburnt___stockman stood And in a dismal___mood,
Apostrophized his ___cuddy;
He couldn't earn his___ food
He jumped across the___horse
And cantered off, of___course!
The roads were bad and ___muddy;
Said he, "Well, spare me___days
The___Government's ___ ways
Are screamin' ___funny,
He rode up hill, down___dale,
The wind it blew a___gale,
The creek was high and___floody.
Said he, "The___horse must swim,
The same for___me and him,
He plunged into the___creek,
The stockman's face a___study!
And though the___horse was drowned
The___rider reached the ground
The Great Australian Adjective
William Thomas Goodge (1862-1909) sailed from London as a ship's steward but went "on the wallaby" for a decade in outback New South Wales when he arrived in Sydney. Later he settled down and became the editor of a newspaper at Orange, a major country town. He published light verse in The Bulletin and for nine years he wrote a weekly column for the Sydney Truth describing the unlikely antics of an imaginary group of comic outback characters which he called the Gimcrack Club. Some contemporaries such as Norman Lindsay regarded him as a leading writer of light verse but his reputation has not weathered well and nowadays he is only known for a handful of poems such as The Great Australian Adjective.
The Great Australian Adjective was quoted by Robert Graves in his essay 'Lars Porsena', or 'The Future of Swearing and Improper Language' , along with C.J. Dennis' famous 'Australian Battle Hymn'. All kinds of words get an airing in Tim Conley's Joyce's Bad Words.
The reference to crows saying grace is unfortunately topical at present as outback Australia is in the grip of one of the most prolonged droughts on record. It may not be appreciated overseas that one third of the continent is defined as 'arid' (effectively desert) and another third is 'semi arid' which means 'not much better than desert'. Even in the remaining third, considerable areas are subject to unreliable rains and so there are serious losses of stock and crops in bad seasons.