If a Man Is A Man

If a Man Is A Man Quicktime Player

Words & Music: Pat Drummond (4.20)

For Robert, Peter and Ian Scott. Dateline... Dubbo, NSW

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In the Australian vernacular, the term 'True Blue' bears on the concept of integrity; while the expression 'Fair Dinkum' is most often used in relation to the virtue of honesty. While not synonymous, both terms are closely interrelated and would, by all accounts, have been applicable to Bob Scott. In the area around Wellington, he was renowned as a man whose word was his bond. The presentation of The Robert Scott Memorial Award at The Zoo '92 Convention, in Dubbo last year, was testament to the regard in which he was held by his community. This song is about honesty and integrity; two old fashioned virtues which played a major part in the development of our national character and which, sadly, have been portrayed in recent years as the province of the naive and the idealistic. Perhaps it's time we realised that they are, in fact, the essential glue which binds all business and social contracts. Without them, individuals, organisations and governments face a limited future.


Old Robert Scott had hands that were hard

from the years spent working in the Wellington yard

Doing deals over derelect cars

for the parts that he bought and sold

And the lines in his hands were the long highways

ground dark by the ghosts of the old FJs

but the grease in that handshake was worth it's weight in Gold


Chorus: "If a man is a man

his word is his bond

It's the land that his life's built on

On a handshake a deal is done

and he will honour his word

and the worth of his hand

If a man is a man"


Now the two Scott boys were kids I'm told

when the family business up in Wellington sold

Bob did the deal on a handshake and sealed in his way

Then he was offered more money just to change his mind

there was nothing put to paper; nothing ever signed

Some said he was crazy

but they heard that old man say




and I've spent thirty odd years building something up here

Something that's solid and strong

and if you think that I'm just talking business

boys you're wrong

For a man takes pride in what's inside himself

and I'll tell you son

There's not enough money in this whole damn

to buy it back once it's gone"




Now we live in a world full of women and men

who can twist the truth with the point of a pen

and change it to suit themselves when they can

and Bob is dead and gone

But his sons told that story on a Saturday night

to a room full of hard-nosed business types

and I thought "Bob, you did alright

when you handed that handshake on"




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