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The Premier and the Socialist

Andrew Barton Paterson 1864 (Orange, New South Wales) – 1941 (Sydney, New South Wales)



The Premier and the Socialist
Were walking through the State:
They wept to see the Savings Bank
Such funds accumulate.
"If these were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be great."
"If three financial amateurs
Controlled them for a year,
Do you suppose," the Premier said,
"That they would get them clear?"
"I think so," said the Socialist;
"They would -- or very near!"

"If we should try to raise some cash
On assets of our own,
Do you suppose," the Premier said,
"That we could float a loan?"
"I doubt it," said the Socialist,
And groaned a doleful groan.

"Oh, Savings, come and walk with us!"
The Premier did entreat;
"A little walk, a little talk,
Away from Barrack Street;
My Socialistic friend will guide
Your inexperienced feet."

"We do not think," the Savings said,
"A socialistic crank,
Although he chance just now to hold
A legislative rank,
Can teach experienced Banking men
The way to run a Bank."

The Premier and the Socialist
They passed an Act or so
To take the little Savings out
And let them have a blow.
"We'll teach the Banks," the Premier said,
"The way to run the show.

"There's Tom Waddell -- in Bank finance
Can show them what is what.
I used to prove not long ago
His Estimates were rot.
But that -- like many other things --
I've recently forgot.

"Advances on a dried-out farm
Are what we chiefly need,
And loaned to friends of Ms.L.A.
Are very good, indeed,
See how the back-block Cockatoos
Are rolling up to feed."

"But not on us," the Savings cried,
Falling a little flat,
"We didn't think a man like you
Would do a thing like that;
For most of us are very small,
And none of us are fat."

"This haughty tone," the Premier said,
"Is not the proper line;
Before I'd be dictated to
My billet I'd resign!"
"How brightly," said the Socialist,
"Those little sovereigns shine."

The Premier and the Socialist
They had their bit of fun;
They tried to call the Savings back
But answer came there none,
Because the back-block Cockatoos
Had eaten every one.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:50 min read
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Andrew Barton Paterson

Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Clancy of the Overflow" (1889), "The Man from Snowy River" (1890) and "Waltzing Matilda" (1895), regarded widely as Australia's unofficial national anthem. more…

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