Union Songs

Along the Waterfront

A poem by Vic Williams©1954 Vic Williams

I walked along the waterfront when I was 17,
And every ship was telling me
Of all I had not seen.
I've hunted through the red gums,
I've washed the dust for gold;
It's the fading wake of liners
That would not lose their hold.
The plains are laced with sheep pads,
The mountain tracks are steep,
It's our singing ringing waterfront
That will not let me sleep.


From Harry Stein's "A Glance Over an Old Left Shoulder". (p.112)

Harry was for a time assistant editor of The Maritime Worker and he writes:

"There was no shortage of material for the paper. It came from all over Australia. The waterfront was full of colourful characters - talented writers, poets, artists, film-makers, champion atheletes, boxers, weight-lifters and wrestlers. When wharfies knocked off work they would go to nearby pubs to talk about politics and sport and, above all, what was happening on the waterfront.
Vic Williams, the West Australian wharfie and poet, captured the scene in the poem he sent us, 'Along the Waterfront'".

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