From the recording The Australian Sessions
Written by Sammy Horner (PRS/MCPS)
Vocals: Kylie Horner, Sammy Horner; BGVs: Rich Davies
Acoustic guitar, slide, dobro, bass, strings: Brian Baker
Notes… I visited the town of Gundagai more than 20 years ago. My mate John Smith took me to see the town’s most famous statue which was called the ‘Dog On The Tucker Box’. Then he told me that no memorial had ever been erected to the aboriginal men who saved the lives of townsfolk when it flooded back in 1852. It took 165 years after the event to have a sculpture in honour of the heroes of Gundagai, Yarri and Jacky of the Wiradjuri tribe.
Things weren’t ever easy back in ‘52
Daddy did his best for us, the best that he could do
Worked out in the blazing sun, used a rag to wipe the sweat out of his eyes
Never knew we’d be in trouble on that day when the creek began to rise
The storm came in the evening, my daddy laughed with joy,
He looked at me across his horse and said ’we need this boy’
My mother and my sister, thanked the Lord, that day in Gundagai
Never guessed what lay before us, on the day when the creek began to rise.
It started as a blessing , but soon became a curse,
We lost our small plantation, when the riverbanks burst
Our home was swept away as water fell like angels tears down from the skies.
And we thought that we were finished, on the day when the creek began to rise
With all but three homes standing, as hope turned to despair
My mother cried “We shall be lost” and then we saw them there
They delivered us to safety, in a bark canoe they said “you shall not die!
“We’ve been picking up your neighbours, ever since the day the creek began to rise”