To the Sunburnt Ear

Our homeland was carved out by the bushman
Been defended by our heroes at war
We're lucky to have both ... no ... they're the same
See our heroes were bushmen before.
And the women whose hearts grew beside them
Who stood by them ... over here and over there
Have since inspired a nation
That has since given birth to their heirs.

The price that we paid for our freedom
Was the best that we had to give
The cream of a young generation
Were buried ... so the unborn could yet live.
The blood and bone that's been shed for the southland
Has raised a crop like none else on earth
A people of heart ... an invincible spirit
A people of immeasurable worth.

Little wonder our enemies hated
The sight of the one sided hat
They knew wherever they saw it
Was not the place to be at.
Because even if both sides had run out of bullets
They had learned ... there was one left to fear
The digger ... with the heart of the bushman
A bayonet ... and a sunburnt left ear.

He may have come from the city
Or milked cows ... or dagged sheep for a quid
Been a tradesman ... or managed a business
It mattered not what he did.
You see ... if you're born a son or daughter ... of this southland
In a hospital bed ... or out back o' the bar
The bush is not something you live in
The bush ... is just something you are.

As long as there's dust at the base of the rock
There'll be those who are willing to die
For the right of every Australian
To walk free under clear southern skies.
And those who go forth to defend it
This land ... this people of such infinite worth
Will always be without doubt
The finest soldiers on earth.

And others will ask ... what quality makes them so different?
They didn't win every fight
They were rough and not as respectful
Or as well equipped as they might.
We'll never satisfy their questions
Because the answer only we'll understand.
They never left home for the battle
With an intention ... or a desire ... to hate
They went to war with the mind of a soldier
But the heart and soul of a mate.

So when they ask from over the ocean
By what writing ... high tribute ... or honour
Should we mark the graves of your dead.
Know what I'd tell em ... I'd tell 'em
If you just mark 'em ... Australian.
No greater tribute ... no higher honour ... could ever be
Thought of ... written ... or said
Because to those who know ... who have stood at the wall
To those who know ... one word ... one word says it all.

By Tony Gunter