I’m Bob Wilson from Wilcannia. I’ve got a little poem here I made up about the river of life, the river of life it was often called by the old people years ago.
I remember back in the good old days when the Darling River used to flow,
You could stand on the bridge and look at your reflection down below.
In the crystal clear water as it gently flowed along, as it’s done far back in the Dreamtime,
But now our river is almost gone.
Aboriginal tribes for thousands of years have come to the river and drank,
Or rested a while or camped beneath the gumtrees that grew on the bank.
Bullockies, drovers and swagmen took a rest from their troubles and strife,
And rested a while neath the cradle of the gums and drank from the river of life.
The river of life it was often called back in the good old days,
Til the cotton farmers up around Bourke have almost taken it away.
Where there's thousands of acres of cotton farms and their pumps turned on full blast,
It was just a matter of time to see how long our river of life will last.
Times like that might return again if it would only rain,
Our river of life is like our blood that runs throughout our veins.
If I thought that it would do some good,
I might just take a chance,
And slap on some paint and some dancing gear and do a rain dance,
You never know, it might just work.
(Audio by Uncle Bob Wilson, Crow's father)