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Smudger Smith

The bar is always crowded and noisy
Friday night, the cockies were in town
Bob Dickie kept wood on the fire
Four big bloody logs heated the public bar
Of the Mount Jeffcott Hotel
Outside it was cold windy and wet

Standing on the hearth holding court
Smudger had done every job, t'was always hard
Worked with drongos, in rain, snow, cyclones and heat
Been the back o' Bourke, over the Snowies, north and south
Friday was his day, he'd talk to all that'd listen
With tales that sometimes hinted of truth

The only bloke to see a fifty foot croc
Cane toad three foot across the shoulders
Shook hands with Smithy, helped him fix his plane
Places and times always changed
Old Smudger would look you in the eye
Forgettin' he'd told you the story 50 bloody ways

Ya think it's cold or ya think it's wet
Was always the way Smudger started winter tales
Hot and dusty his favourite in summer opener
The time it snowed in bloody Broken Hill
Bloody rain flooded the Alice
Bull dust flew thick and fast

Five feet six and nine stone wringing wet
Battered old army hat sat atop his head
Sleeves always rolled past the elbows
A rolly hangin' from his lip
Glass of Carlton Draft his poison
He was one hell of a character

Came to town about 15 year ago
The wind had blown all bloody week
Dust covered half of the town
Fighting against it for days
Smudger, his horse, his dog and 150 head
Of merinos heading to agistment

A hot Wednesday in February
Smudger first breasted the bar
The first beer never touched the sides
Bloody hell it tasted so flaming good
Spent the afternoon washing away the dust
Tellin' his story to all who'd listen

Slept under the stars that night
His dog Kitchener and horse King George
Shared a stable at the show grounds
Next day they found a hut and moved in
Bugger being a drover I've had enough
Got a job the next day at the race course


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Smudger Smith