“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan…

Just an old Aussie poem which comes to mind more and more when I hear the increasing level of doom & gloom alarmism surrounding Catastrophic Man Made Global Warming.

Said Hanrahan

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan
In accents most forlorn
Outside the church ere Mass began
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock and crops and drought
As it had done for years.

“It’s lookin’ crook,” said Daniel Croke;
“Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad.

“It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
“It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“Before the year is out.

“The crops are done; ye’ll have your work
To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-O’-Bourke
They’re singin’ out for rain.

“They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,
“And all the tanks are dry.”
The congregation scratched its head,
And gazed around the sky.

“There won’t be grass, in any case,
Enough to feed an ass;
There’s not a blade on Casey’s place
As I came down to Mass.”

“If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,
And cleared his throat to speak –
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, ”
If rain don’t come this week.”

A heavy silence seemed to steal
On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed a piece of bark.

“We want an inch of rain, we do,”
O’Neil observed at last;
But Croke “maintained” we wanted two
To put the danger past.

“If we don’t get three inches, man,
Or four to break this drought,
We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“Before the year is out.”

In God’s good time down came the rain;
And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
Way out to Back-O’-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“If this rain doesn’t stop.”

And stop it did, in God’s good time:
And spring came in to fold
A mantle o’er the hills sublime
Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place
Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed his piece of bark.

“There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
There will, without a doubt;
We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“Before the year is out.”

John O’Brien

Update: Of course, we could always take the Dorothea McKeller view of Australia and accept that Australia’s climate always has been and always will be pretty extreme, no matter how many Carbon Offsets we are forced to buy:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

9 Responses to ““We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan…”

  1. bingbing Says:

    Funny how every generation has its C-3POs. “We’re doomed.”

    Well it was until KRudd decided to tax the air.

  2. nilk Says:

    Bingbing, the scary thing is, in high school one of our creative writing exercises was to be given a list of titles, around which we had to write a 3000 word piece.

    Mine was “Air Raid,” and I wrote about some sort of dystopian future (and I didn’t even know what one of those was!) where due to a war/disaster/whatever people lived in airtight apartments, and air was regulated.

    And taxed.


    I think I finally turfed it out a couple of months ago, which is a damned shame.

    It ran to near 5000 words, and my mind boggles that something I thought of as a fun intellectual exercise could even be seriously considered.

    For a slight diversion, check out Climate Change and see what upcoming legislation we’ve got to look forward to.

  3. bingbing Says:


    They gave me free drinks after work, and have smoothed that edge even more since I got home. Do I rrrreally have to read it? They lost me at “Department of Climate Change”, “Think. Climate. Think. Change.”

    Gee, what lexophiles.

    Lord Xenu ain’t nothing compared to this Starfleet of Stupid®

  4. Ash Says:

    Both are quite good poems Spot. It’s been a while since I read them.

    Dorothea McKeller really nailed Australia’s climate.

  5. spot_the_dog Says:

    #4 She did. We used to be proud of our ability to not just survive but thrive in the face of our extreme climate. What hubris to think we can change it; what idiocy to throw all of our resources into trying to change it instead of advancing our already-substantial ability to adapt to it.

    We used to conquer Gaia and be goddamned proud of it; now we act as though she’s totally pussy-whipped us and we’re almost to the point of offering her human sacrifices to try and appease her.

  6. Ash Says:

    It is very arrogant of us as a species to think that we have such a great force over the natural forces already at work.

    We adapt easily to change. The progressives need to start being progressive.

  7. tizona Says:

    Ahhh, yes.

    The ingenuity of humankind versus the unpredictability of nature’s force. What a battle. May the force to keep up, be with you humankind.

  8. bingbing Says:

    The AGW/dommsday argument is quaint… yet non unprecedented, not by any generation.

  9. Angus Dei Says:

    There have always been, and there will always be, lame-brain Chicken Littles crowing and cowering and stomping like children having a tantrum about this, that, or the other end of the world scenario. “… a story told by a fool: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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