Union Songs

Green Ban Fusiliers

A song by Denis Kevans©1972 Denis Kevans
tune: McAlpine's Fusiliers

Up Broadway to the MBA come the Green Ban Fusiliers.
They stole the street with their marching feet, placards high above their ears.
In Sydney town they would not lie down, they gave Martin's scabs some cheer,
And it's up Broadway to the MBA come the Green Ban Fusiliers.

Half-smart thieves with their Gucci sleeves and car parks on the brain
Told the usual lie: 'The trees've got to die' - the fig trees in Sydney's domain,
And some said, 'Joe, we orta let 'em go. It's only bloody timber to be cleared,
Ah, but listen to the trees as they whisper to the breeze and the Green Ban Fusiliers.

Bulldozer blades made a lightning raid, coming in with a great big rush,
Moving in for the kill up at Hunter's hill, at beautiful Kelly's Bush,
But the local women lay down in the bulldozer's way, to the bucking and the shuddering of the gears,
When their hands were raised the ones they praised were the Green Ban Fusiliers.

They made a stand for our sunny land at the Rocks and Woolloomooloo.
On the chimney tops they waltzed with the cops to save a bit of Sydney for you,
And the finance fleas who made refugees of families who had been pioneers
Finished on their arse, and they did their brass with the Green Ban Fusiliers.

Through the years and through my tears I can see 'em marching again,
From the dizzy heights and the concrete sites in sunshine and in rain,
That patch of green's gettin' a lovely old sheen, no matter how many flow the years,
And it's up Broadway to the MBA come the Green Ban Fusiliers.


Many thanks to Denis Kevans for permission to publish this song. Denis, known as Australia's Poet Lorrikeet, worked in Sydney as a labourer and member of the NSW BLF when he wrote this song. In the 1970's the NSW Builders Labourers Federation joined with residents' action groups and took on major corporations to save heritage buildings, bushland, and low-rent inner-city housing from developers ' bulldozers. The MBA in the song is the Master Builders Association.

Return to top of page