Gladstone Pier, by Redgum

Good morning dear readers, I’m getting ready for work, Ivor’s a busy plumber again. I’m listening to this incredible song, “Gladstone Pier” by an iconic Australian band, Redgum. I’ve looped the song, so I’m now listening to the music continuously for about the sixth time, and I hope you enjoy this song and the fabulous lyrics, as much as I am, on thisย  pleasant Friday morning. My featured image above is of the Port Campbell Pier, on south-west coast, down here in Victoria.

Gladstone Pier, Lyrics by Redgum

Peter was a sailor
Swarthy lean and proud
He could take a schooner through a big sea swell
Aloof in the mainland crowd

She loved his quiet laughter
Like a boy he’d shrug and grin
The beach stretched wide at Port Mackay
With dreams upon the wind

He wore her name in a rose tattoo
Long weekends of gins and lime
She lived in Cairns, made plans to move
Checkout girl part-time
And rumour said, “There’s a boom ahead,
You can make your future here
By the Gladstone Pier”

A two-roomed fibro shelter
Empty hopes, the damp, the flies
Prices hiked, her face grew tight
And conversation died

And the foreman at the smelter said “You’re much too old
Try the canefields furthers north”
And the clerk at the market said “We don’t buy trouble
There’s a strike down at the port”

Then a six-day shift in a filthy pit
The drag lines gouging coal
The black dust gnaws at your lungs and pores
And the anger rots your soul
And the queue round the block waits for you to drop
Can you take it for another year?
By the Gladstone Pier

Every Sunday he’d walk alone
Casting pebbles at the passing waves
Plunge in brine, cleanse his pride
And a stronger man remains

The crunch of shale and distant sails
Ached within his bones
Seeing ships upon the tide
Bound for ports unknown

Soon he drank for comfort
She grew bitter in the weeks between
The nights of beer and hollow cheer
When love became routine

They fought, she left him crying
Angry words in a last cafรฉ
In desperation on a lonely night
She took the bus to Cairns next day

Gladstone couples break that way
Mutual blame and no regrets
Boomtown blues just fade to grey
And all that’s left are debts –
He cried, “I’ve got to leave this dirty old town
and the rattle of broken men
Break these chains, wash the pain
And put to sea again
I drained all my passion, my anger and my fears
And sank them in a flagon
under Gladstone Pier”

She saw him through the Greyhound window
As the dawn glowed on the chrome
Standing by the pier under sullen skies
Sea winds calling home

From Surfers up to Townsville
Past the high-rise colonies
Fast food, cheap motels
And two more boomtown refugees

This song is from the album “Frontline”.
Ivor Steven (c)ย  2018

 

Published by

ivor20

Hi, and welcome to my blog site. My name is Ivor Steven, I live in Geelong, Australia. I'm a retired, part-time plumber, and a former Carer of my wife(Carole), for 30 years, who suffered from severe MS. I Write poetry about those personal thoughts, throughout and beyond my life as a Carer. I've been blogging for 9 months, and writing poems for nearly 18 years. Of course a lot of my poems are about my favourite subject Carole, but since I've been blogging my writings have become quite varied, humourous, mystical, observational, and even a few monster/horror poems.

22 thoughts on “Gladstone Pier, by Redgum”

  1. a very good morning to you Ivor and hope you have a great Friday, work and all, I will be listening to this song as I do my morning start up at work and thinking of that beautiful photo of your pier. It is absolutely gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool! Great song and stunningly beautiful video, Ivor! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (I put fav songs on to loop, too. Ha! I like hearing some songs over and over and over (and you know what I mean!) again! ๐Ÿ˜€ )
    What a beautiful photo you captured!
    Hope you are having a good day and night!
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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