David Lewis Paget
Al Cobdogla's Hearse
The mood in the town of Warramine
Was grim, and getting worse,
For stuck on the town's old hump-back bridge
Was Al Cobdogla's hearse,
The brakes had failed and the motor quit
And the footplates wedged each side,
The springs had sprung, and the body hung
On Emily's final ride!
The coffin lodged in the back was black,
As black as Emily's sin,
There wasn't a man in the great outback
That hadn't been out and in,
For Emily Gray was more than gay
In the old sense of the word,
She only charged a dollar a spin
Out there in the cattle yard.
For Emily was an outdoor girl
She couldn't abide inside,
She liked the sun on her naked legs
And a good bit more beside,
She'd run stark naked under the trees
When the wattle began to bloom,
And wives would lock their men in the bar
On a Saturday afternoon.
‘The blatant hussy, ' - ‘The brazen bitch! '
The women would often say,
The men would mutter and dropp their heads,
‘It's only Emily Gray! '
They found her lying without a stitch,
Or that's what somebody said,
And beat her bloody with candlesticks,
So now, poor Emily's dead!
She lay in the coffin, wedged in tight,
As tight as the hearse on the bridge,
The men got worried and pulled her out
And stuck her in somebody's fridge!
‘She won't last long in the heat out here,
It's over a hundred today, '
It seemed that the women of Warramine
Were stuck with Emily Gray!
They pushed and heaved, pummelled and thrust
But nothing could budge that hearse,
The only bridge into Warramine
Was blocked, for better or worse,
The farmers couldn't get into the pub,
The townsfolk, locked in the town,
While Emily Gray, quite naked lay
With the men, all milling around.
They built a fabulous highway bridge,
Four lanes, both in and out,
While Al Cobdogla's ancient hearse
Is part of the tourist route,
And Emily went to her final rest
To the cheers of the men, and cursed,
But Warramine boasts its ‘Emily Bridge'
Thanks to Cobdogla's hearse!
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
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