National Park Lament No. 1

by Keith McKenry

This is from the Monash Bushwalking Club
song book from the early 1970s.

I’m only a boy from the bush near Fitzroy,
And I don’t understand people’s games.
I don’t understand a pre-packaged land,
Timetables for underground trains.

I’ve wandered around through bushland and town,
I’ve laboured in deserts outback.
I’ve run from your city, with painted lights pretty,
And made for the wallaby track.

I’ve left you alone in your stainless steel home,
I’ve left you to play in the sand.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not of your kind,
I can’t live in a crowded grandstand.

With a coin in your hand, in a faceless wasteland,
You can go paddle deep in the sea.
But if you decide to escape from the tide,
Then call across the waters to me.

Then we’ll farewell the Push and head for the bush,
We’ll wiggle our toes in the soil.
We’ll hear the thrush, smell the bottlebrush,
Take the billycan off the boil.

Now the city is fine when you’ve plenty of time
To escape, and you know that you can.
But our untranished ground is being cut down,
We are being paved over by man.

Now I’m only a boy from the bush near Fitzroy
And I don’t understand people’s games.
But I’d still like to know where our children will go
When none of the bushland remains.