Where the Cane Fires Burn

Words and Music 1999 Bill Scott

 

A prime reason for finally extending a tour to Australia was to meet Mavis and Bill Scott, with whom I had corresponded and shared music for so many years.

 

He lived his last years in Warwick, but when he died in 2005, the family took his ashes North and scattered them by the Johnstone River near Mt. Tully, the area that he loved so well. I learned the song from Penny Davies and Roger Illott, though it's in Bill's songbook.

 

Gordon 12-String guitar

 

I've wandered East, I've wandered West

From the Hamersley Range to the Snowy Crest

From the Lachlan Plains to the Broken Hill

But my heart's at the Johnstone River still

Now the time has come when I must return

Where the vine scrub grows and the canefres burn

Where the vine scrub grows and the canefires burn

 

By the Yarra now the cold rain falls

And the wind is bleak from the Bass Strait squalls

I stand and wonder in the chill

Has the season started at Mulgrave Hill?

For Autumn comes and I must return

Where the harvesters chug and the trashfires burn

Where the harvesters chug and the trashfires burn

 

The smog is thick and stings the eye

Where the Harbour Bridge fills half the sky

And the sirens wail through Sydney town

But I dream of Tully when the sun goes down

Where the rainforest covers the hills with green

The cane grows tall and the air is clean

The cane grows tall and the air is clean

 

I've been wandering South and West

On land and sea, but the North is best

Now Autumn comes with its hint of snows

And I must follow where the egret goes

To watch the evening's first faint star

From Flying Fish Point or Yarrabah

From Flying Fish Point or Yarrabah

 

 

Where the Cane Fires Burn is recorded on the album In Concert and is also in the songbook Hey Rain!