Somewhere in the Car
(The Spider Song)
Words & Music: Pat Drummond (5.25)
Dateline... Thredbo, NSW
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It came out of the dashboard, barely two foot
from her face,
when the heating fan inside the vent began
She could not believe her eyes.
She thought the vent had come alive,
as the probing legs came blackly through the
A spiky sheet of fear flew up her back.
She fought to force her fingers to relax;
but with one eye on the grate,
she stabbed blindly at the grate
and the battered Holden skidded off the track.
It squeezed past the plastic, fell forward
with a 'plop';
she screamed and watched it run back through
Like a herky-jerky doll, spring-loaded in a
she catapulted through the door onto the tar.
The night air hit her body like a blow.
It was very nearly four degrees below.
On the back road to Khancoban, from the lights
she'd been running with the coming of the snow.
Chorus: It's somewhere in the Car! Lord, it's
somewhere in the car!
The cabin light's not working and the night
is deathly dark.
You know there's matches somewhere, but you
don't where they are;
and the damn thing is somewhere in the Car!
She'd driven down from Sydney, where it must
have got on board.
She knew it was a Funnel Web; she'd seen the
But they're rarely quite as large, or as ugly
and as fast,
as the thing that she'd seen running on the
Now she flipped the driver's rear door open
but the moon was gone, she couldn't see inside.
Under the empty biscuit packets and discarded
there was far too many places it could hide.
Australia contains the most bewildering array
of venomous 'creepy crawlies' imaginable. For overseas visitors,
the mere apparition of a single Huntsman Spider is enough to
inspire paroxysms of fear. Growing up in Australia, we've somewhat
learned to co-exist with snakes and large spiders and many of
our tall tales have focused on them. In the tradition of Banjo's
Paterson's "Johnson's Snakebite Antidote" comes this
somewhat blacker tale (concerning the deadly Funnel Web Spider)
which I was inspired to write after a close encounter of the
mobile kind in the Walcha Ranges.
(Spoken) So she walked round in front of the
Holden and looked at it,
as it lay in the ditch like a wounded beast.
She knew no one else was coming up the road
that night from Khancoban...
She wondered what the hell she was going to
Several feet of fallen tree had gone in through
and the one remaining headlight glimmered dimly
in the chill.
Then the first few flakes of white spun and
danced along the light,
as the blizzard came in howling from the hills.
The horror of her situation dawned.
She knew she'd freeze unless she sheltered
from the storm.
With every nightmare that she'd known,
she climbed back inside the Holden;
driven by the desperation to be warm.
Through the hours of the darkness she stared
into the blackness.
Every muscle in her body quivering in wild
every time she thought she heard it as it skittered
through the papers;
every time she thought she felt it on her arm.
The howling mountain blizzard locked it's fingers
'round their prison
and the storm clouds blotted out the stars.
"Hell, isn't hot at all", she thought,
"it's colder than the grave!
And it runs on silent legs inside this car!"
Now the spider died at midnight, frozen by
the alpine air,
but as it fell down from the roof... there
was a scream of wild despair;
and next day they found her there, with a catatonic
and the Funnel Web still tangled in her hair!
So they searched the woman's body for a bite.
Though there was none, she was dead and icy
The coroner said, "Probably, a stress-related
('cause he didn't want to say she'd died of
Now there's a scientist on the Sunday social
who's just been married to a girl who's half
while back in his laboratory at Sydney University...
there's a Funnel Web.... that's missing from
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