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Weevils in the Flour

[Dorothy Hewett, Mike Leyden]

The Bushwackers sang Dorothy Hewett's poem Weevils in the Flour in 1981 on their album produced by Trevor Lucas, Faces in the Street.

Roy Bailey sang Weevils in the Flour, accompanied by Martin Simpson on guitar, on his 2005 CD Sit Down and Sing.

Danny Spooner sang Weevils in the Flour on his 2007 CD of fairly contemporary Australian songs, Emerging Tradition. He noted:

A poem by Dorothy Hewett set to music by Mike Leyden creates a biting reminder of the horrors that can result from the greed of unchecked capital. The depression of 1929/30 hit workers and speculators around the world.

Martyn Wyndham-Read sang Dorothy Hewett's poem Weevils in the Flour in 2010 on his Fellside CD Back to You.

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings Weevils in the Flour

On an island in a river,
How that bitter river ran,
We lived on scraps of charity
In the best way that you can.
On an island in a river,
Where I grew to be a man.

And just across the river
Stood the mighty BHP,
Poured pollution on the water,
Poured the lead of misery,
And its smoke was black as Hades
Rolling hungry to the sea.

Chorus (after each verse):
For dole bread is bitter bread,
Bitter bread and sour.
There’s grief in the taste of it
There’s weevils in the flour,
There’s weevils in the flour.

In those humpies by the river
Well, we lived on dole and stew,
While just across the river
Those greedy smokestacks grew,
And the hunger of the many
Filled the bellies of the few.

On an island in a river,
How that bitter river ran,
It broke the banks of charity
But it baked the bread of man.
On an island in a river
Where I grew to be a man.

Final Chorus:
For dole bread is bitter bread,
There’s weevils in the flour,
But man grows strong as iron on
Black bread and sour,
Black bread and sour.