Grandma's Eyes

Words & Music: Pat Drummond (3.55)

For Philomena Drummond Nee Chaumont 1916-1990

Poet, storyteller, wife, mother, mentor and guide.

Dateline... Croydon, NSW


My mother and father were always great storytellers. Country people, exiled to the city by history and circumstance, they bequeathed to their children, through the tales they told, a sense of pride and place. A cup of tea, a yarn, and a political debate around our dining room table could, and did, last for hours. Against the backdrop of Basin Mountain, Forbes Lagoon and The Bonewood Scrub, a bizarre cast of characters, with names like 'Wormy Wright','The Carbine Heifer',and 'Old Tarnation'; creatures far too fantastic for mere invention; lived out lives of hardship and high adventure. They were, to my brothers and I, stories of a foreign world; a place inhabited by aunts and uncles we had never met, and by dangerous creatures and fabulous sights that we had never seen. But they were also, for city kids, a tenuous link to 'The Bush'; that fantastic place of myth and legend; of snakes, crocodiles, horsemen, shearers and beer; which existed somewhere west of Strathfield, in the uncharted lands of a suburban childs' imagination.


She's so old now she creaks when she walks;

and her voice is kind of crackly now when she talks.

But she's got more stories than you've ever heard

and her grandchildren hang onto every word.

Of ponies that bolted and farms that went bad;

of people who shared of what little they had;

of a different time and a different world;

of things she got up to as a slip of a girl.


Chorus: Grab a cup of tea from that old tin pot.

She's going to feed your friends whether they want it or not.

And her memory is like a window in time; you can see to 1929.

How long has it been since you've seen your world out of Grandma's eyes?


Tales of laughter and stories of tears.

The one about the jollop in the policeman's beer.

Running away to Surfers' Paradise,

before the high rise buildings blotted out the skies.

If you bring a girl home, it's true without doubt,

all of her best china cups will come out

and the afternoon will drift away

in fabulous stories and lamington cakes.




Orchards in Orange and farms up in Forbes;

the times in the bush between the two World Wars.

There's a girl inside with a wonderful smile,

jet black hair and acres of style and

I can her see her waving to me out of Grandma's eyes.




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