Union Songs

The Roar of the Crowd

A Song by Denis Kevans©Denis Kevans 1962

I Heard the roar of the wind, boys, in the mighty, green-shirt pines.
As if the trees were blazing, like a gas-fire in the mines,
The wind's voice kept on mounting against the midnight's face,
I felt that roar well up in me, that roar has left its trace.

I heard the roar at the school-gates, when the holidays began,
When the kids raced out like brumbies, grown men turned and ran,
They raced down through the playground, and they roared out -
"We are free!" Ah, the hungry roar of those school kids, still lives inside of me.

I heard the roar at a foothball match, as it rose in the crowded stands,
When a winger leapt and took a pass, with magic, outstretched hand,
And the double roar, as he came inside, and flashed across the line,
Ah, that was a roar that stirred my soul, a roar that was a sign.

I heard the roar on the race-course, when the favourite lunged ahead,
And he grabbed the lead, at the leger, and the rest of the field seemed dead,
And the roar for horse and jockey, with the numbers in the frame,
And that was a roar that spurred my blood, and victory was its name.

And I heard the roar of soldiers when they first went to the front,
When war was only a sporting match, and they begged to go on a "stunt",
And they roared: "Come on Australia!" "Wagga!" and "Henty! and "Hay!"
Ah, that was the roar of the slaughterhouse, and there's nothen' more to say.

And I heard the roar at the Town Hall, when the delegate rose to speak,
A roar to shake the merciless, a roar to raise the weak,
To raise the weak and wandering, to give eyes to the blind,
That was the roar off a tidal wave that was making up its mind.


Many thanks to Denis Kevans for permission to add this song to the collection

Denis writes"
"I wrote this song in 17 Nobbs St., Surry Hills, Sydney. I had been thinking on the theme, and I heard a Saturday afternoon Rugby League crowd at the SCG give a mighty roar. I wrote down verses 3 to 6. It was about 1962. Soon after, I met Gary Shearston, and he was looking for songs for his album BROADSIDE 1 - with Sven Lebaek of April Music. I had already written the chords for the song and I added verses 1 and 2. Gary Shearston recorded the song. It was recorded again by Bob Camphell, and by Bob Hudson and sung by Bob Fagan, of "The Fagans. Bob Campbell and "Home Rule" have recorded it on their new CD "Write Me a Letter". It is the best version yet, I believe".

Return to top of page