Kidman's Boys by Les Daley

Kidman's Boys


By Les Daley

The old man sat in the grandstand
And he gazed at the oval below-
At the boys in blue, at the boys he knew,
Round his heart was a sort of glow.
And his thoughts travelled far from the city,
With its hustle and bustle and noise:
He was riding on the cattle track,
Riding with Kidman's boys.

Once again with the greenhide and stockwhip
He was wheeling the mob on the plain:
How they baulk and dash as the writhing lash
Sings its staccato refrain.
And his eyes they kindle and sparkle,
His head takes a statelier poise;
The horses' manes toss as they bow to the boss,
Aren't they ridden by Kidman's boys?

For these are the men from the stations,
Who ride'neath the Northern Star's light,
Where the saltbush blows and the mulga grows
And men must be men in the fight.
Where they're not yarded up by tramlines,
And no boundary of brick wall annoys,
A thousand mile ride, they take it in their stride,
'Tis the day's work for Kidman's boys.

There's Hooper of Diamantina,
And Archie McLean of the Peake:
Pierce Edwards there, with silvering hair,
And Mick, who prefers not to speak.
John Brooke is down from Mundowdna,
And Cusack, whom Morney employs,
Kempe of Macumba, and Ferber of Momba,
And Johnnie, they're all Kidman boys.

Durham Downs sends us McCullagh,
And Carr's from Nundora, the tinker,
Gourlay and West are there with the rest
And Spencer from far Innamincka-
Riding through good times and bad ones,
Riding through sorrows and joys,
Like Crombie of Glengyle, going broke with a smile,
'This the spirit of Kidman's boys.

And we who sit snug in the city
And rail at the drabness of life,
Rave of depression and have an obsession
That we were just born into strife.
Let's take a cue from these riders,
And stop all this gloom that annoys,
Get a stockwhip and rope, put a lasso on hope
And smile, just like Kidman's boys.

Let's ride on the trail of good fortune
And cut out bad luck from the mob,
Where there's a muster, bring dull care a buster
And stick on like glue to the job.
And tho' drought and ill luck may assail us,
Stick your chin out and don't drop that poise,
And tho' tough be the battle,
You'll muster fat cattle,
And win out -- like Kidman's boys.


Dedicated to Sir Sidney Kidman on the occasion of his 75th Birthday
which was celebrated by his employees with a rodeo at Adelaide, on 3 September 1932.


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