THE BETHLEHEM PUB


1. A country pub is not a proper place for women,
the last place on earth to try and have a kid.
So when Mary and her tired old man arrived that night I rustled up a bed of straw out in the shed.

2. I run the country pub in Outback Bethlehem,
a home away from home for stockmen interstate.
For when the picnic races stir the dust out here
a man will ride a hundred miles to meet his mate. (music bridge)

3. The pub In Bethlehem is rough as honed-head toads,
and what I’ve seen would turn a shearer green and white; like the time young Bill fought Blue, the old man kangaroo till beer, and blood, and fur flowed down the street.

4. I’ve seen men drive their horse in for a drink or two,
and with their stockwhip clear the beer-glass of its foam
while Fred, the pet galah, whose language turned the air dark blue,
would screech his old refrain, ‘Well, stone the flamin’ crows’. (music bridge)

5. You should have heard the cursing from the stockmen when I said,
‘We have a pregnant woman with the horses in the stalls’.
You should have seen them drinking, mate, and heard them sing off-key: ‘Why was he born so beautiful, why was he born at all? (music bridge)

6. At first I also wondered if Mary’s child belonged out here.
He may as well be born among the mulga bush out back.
Yet Mary seemed a sister to all who found her in the shed
and Jesus seemed a brother to drinkers, drovers, blacks. (music bridge)


Norman Habel & Robin Mann © 1981


 

2021 - Where do we go from here?

Breezin' along in my Japanese coupe, breezin' along with the windows down. The dog keeps sniffing the air - he's got an empty head but he's alright. We've got time to spare, time to get where, we don't know, and who cares?

And the days go fast and the nights go faster
Lord, where do we go from here?
Lord, where do you want me to be? (© Robin Mann 1972)

Some questions keep on coming, and this is one of them.
The pandemic has put a hold on so much, and while Australia is in a better position than many, uncertainty remains.

Two weeks ago I  finished a song 'In the year that's coming'. It ends with:

May your love shine through us,
every day renew us,
keep on coming to us, 
stay with us
in the coming year.