Words & Music: Pat Drummond (5.35)
For Jeffrey 'Stretch' Armstrong.
Dateline... Goonoo Goonoo Station near Tamworth,
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Now Jeffery's not just tall, he stands at six
foot eleven and a half.
When he fronts up at 'The Longyard' it's for
certain the patrons get a laugh.
Tellin' stories that are taller than the man
himself and drinking with the staff,
till they carry him out comatose and throw
him in the back seat of his car.
But you'd be making a mistake to write him
off as just a drunken cattle hand;
for Jeffery works on Goonoo Goonoo, and there
is little he don't know about the land.
Chorus: This bloke can put a beast into the
yard, if the beast can yet be mastered;
even if he has to go and shoot the flamin'
and tie it to a Landrover and tow it off the
The beast was never been bred that was so hard,
that Jeffery couldn't put him in the yard.
Now he can't do that fancy kind of ridin' that
you see in rodeos
but, in general, he can sit a horse and make
it take him where he wants to go.
They say he came a cropper once that left his
spine and spleen the worse for wear,
but he climbed back on that horse and penned
the herd, and rode down to intensive care.
Now, whether I believed that, it's the story
that his drinking buddies gave.
So if Jeffery ever 'carks it', it's a moral
that they'll carve this on his grave.
It's the land, mate, the land! God, this land
has been my life!
And there's companies, I know, prepared to
pay for good advice.
I've got plans, mate, plans! I won't do this
all me life!
There's this girl that I intend to make my
His mates began to laugh at him, but he didn't
seem to hear.
For his eyes were far awayish as he stared
into his beer.
I couldn't help but thinkin', as he grinned
from ear to ear, that little lady's in for quite a start,
when Jeffery gets his beast into the yard!
She'll have to tie him to a Landrover and tow
him off the pastures!
Ah, that little lady's in for quite a start
when she gets Jeffery Armstrong in the yard.
I first met Jeffrey Armstrong in Tamworth during
a drinking session with a bunch of his mates at The Longyard
Hotel. It was a pretty 'male' sort of event, I suppose, and,
in many ways, 'Stretch' really does sum up a lot of Aussie blokes.
'Take it or leave it', no apologies, sort of characters who,
though a little rough around the edges and somewhat less than
'ideologically sound', are real softies underneath. Loyal, 'fair
dinkum' and capable of working every bit as hard as they play,
I really do believe that it is the sheer exuberance for life
that 'Stretch', and people like him, maintain, that will always
be the cornerstone of this country's future. He is one in the
eye for all the trendy city internationalists who like to claim
that the tall, laconic, practical, bush character with the larrikin
sense of humour is a myth; and one that never really existed
in the first place.
Now there's lots of 'Will I? Won't I?' blokes,
that take a 'suck and see' approach to life;
but young Jeffery, well he's different, he
just bites it off in one tremendous slice.
From his bodily proportions, to the way he
drinks, and lies, and loves and laughs,
Lord, give me men like Jeffery Armstrong, blokes
who never can do anything by halves.
For they're mates who'll stand beside you when
your 'pants are gone' and times are gettin' hard;
for in the end your life's a stubborn beast,
and you need friends to put it in the yard.
Yes, I rate our lives are stubborn beasts,
and we need mates to keep them in the yard.
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