Union Songs

City Of Green

A song by Denis Kevans©Denis Kevans music Kate Fagan

I built a city of green, the city of my dreams,
Oh my city of green, the best you've ever seen.
For, still and all, we all must dream, far better it is to try,
To build a city all of green, than to let your dreaming die.
And so' my friends, if you have a dream, do not let it die,
Then, when you are dead and gone, you'll be alive as I.

I was riding high on a plank of steel, with old Sydney stretched below,
I saw them grey, ln the living day. scurrying to and fro,
As I watched those moving shadows in tho streets way down there'
I wished that just one fall of light would strike on their lovely hair would ignite their dancing hair.

As the day was born, in the hungover dawn, we fronted the old change shed,
And we slammed the door,and we cursed and swore, at the lies the presschiefs spread.
Our blood had dried in the concrete dust,the steel fix cut our hands,
Our ears were sore with the jackpick's roar, but we could understand, yes, we could understand.

Like a giant stonehenge,this city we built, for the worshippers of gold,
And we ripped and tore,to the jackpick's roar,
ln the burning heat and cold,
And the worshippers came. with their pallid flame, to bow their heads and tell
All the sins they had never committed, and the ones they had dreamed as well.

The big clowns said this shall be so, now knock that theatre down,
These rows of terraces can go in the best part of the town,
They used their words so hunt me, I ean tell you that they stung,
I copped plenty and I gave plenty, with my fists and fighting tongue, my fists and fightlng tongue.

In a mighty tide of human pride, we surged through Sydney's streets,
And the mark of green, on the concrete keen, was a kingtide, full and sweet,
Our names unknown, nor gold on stone, but still our hearts were high
To overturn the lies that burn the life from you and I.

I marched out front' I took the dump, on me they tipped the can,
I saw the heroes point and say:"Do you call it a man?"
But when the coppers buckled me, and slammed the paddy van,
I saw the heroes stop and think - perhaps I was a man, perhaps I was a man.

And now my friends, my hair is grey, and I am growing young,
For in the sky, the stars will play, where once smog curtains hung,
I see the oceans shine with fish. the rivers glint with bream,
And there wont be any beaches where the kiddies cannot swim.

I built a city of green, the city of my dreams.
Oh my city of green, the best you've ever seen,
For, still and all, we all must dream, far better it is to try,
To build a city all of green, than to let your dreaming die,
And so, my friends, it you have a dream, do not let it die,
Then, when you are dead and gone, you'll be alive as I.

Notes

Many thanks to Denis Kevans for permission to publish this song. Denis, known as Australia's Poet Lorrikeet,

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