[Introduction - spoken]
Friends most of my bush ballards are based on true
I'd like to sing for you now a story that is 100% true
Because I know the family that grandfather Johnson
And like most bush ballards and story songs these
ballards explain themselves as they move along.
Here is the true story of Grandfather Johnson.
Grandfather Johnson was an old blackman
From a real proud race of men
When he was a child he heard them tell of butchers
And the story was old even then.
How the white man came and took over the land
And the blood of the blackman mixed with white
But grandfather Johnson was a fullblood man,
Proud of his people and their rights,
Now grandfather Johnson was a tribal man
He knew all the old hunting ways
He knew how to wield the nulla throw the killer
And he'd entertain the tourists everyday.
And grandfather Johnson had a brand new suit
A new hat for his snowy headed crown
But whenever the tourists where about to arrive
He would change into his old hand me downs.
When I asked him the reason he said son you ought to
My old working clothes look better for the part
I'm just old grandfather Johnson making boomerangs for
I'd lose business if I went around looking smart.
So he sold them boomerangs and taught them to throw
And they bragged for months of seeing the real thing
When they'd gone grandpa dressed up took his money from
And smiled as he paid cash for a new gold ring.
He would always bail me up when we met in town
And he'd bite me for some money or a smoke
Oh but I can't forget the day I had to tell grandfather
I was sorry but I was stoney broke.
He just nodded and emptied out his pockets
The notes and the silver flowed apace
With a twinkle in his eye he shoved the money in my
And laughed at the look upon my face.
Well grandfather Johnson died one year on walkabout
In a strange land alone in the dark
No one new his name or knew from where he came
They just found him dead one morning in the park.
And they buried grandpa Johnson as a pauper
It was months and months before I even new
I gave his money to the hungry, clothes to the poor
And his story I'm giving to you,
And his story I'm giving to you.
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