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Scrabbling in the Dirt

© 2004 Words and music by Ben Scott
Their skin is the colour of pale ochre clay and everyone burned bright red in a day
Their feet are soft and delicate through the bush they cannot run
They cover themselves from head to toe despite the burning summer sun Peculiar they are
in every way we know not who they are
And the strange and foreign rituals these people carry out
We’ve discussed for many and evening but na’er can figure out
They gather together in silence and listen to one man speak
Then they mutter strange responses as they kneel before his feet
These Berewalgal men, they came two summers past
In great canoes they rode like the great birds of the sea
We thought them mighty men, we soon found them rude and ignorant
They take our fish in vast quantities
At other times of the day certain men group together
While one man yells and splutters they await without a word
And as he shouts aloud to them they move in one close column
And walk about the place so grouped and yell at other men
They brought peculiar animals on their boats to bring on shore
And fine and tasty game they’d make of that we’re fairly sure
But they will not touch these animals instead they let them roam
And escape into the bush where on our fires they find a home
And certain men and women they treat worse than their dogs
Their food has all but gone and now they search for roots and grubs
And its men doing women’s work, women doing men’s work
In all the wrong places they are scrabbling in the dirt
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