Mates

Songs and poetry relating to the RFC and RAF or aviation in general

Mates

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 12 Oct 2014, 09:13

"MATES"

Author: Duncan Butler, 2/12th Field Ambulance

Published in Patsy Adam-Smith's book: "Prisoners of War" (1992):

'I've travelled down some lonely roads,
Both crooked tracks and straight.
An' I've learned life's noblest creed,
Summed up in one word … "Mate".

I'm thinking back across the years,
(a thing I do of late),
An' this word sticks between me ears:
You've got to have a "Mate".

Someone who'll take you as you are,
Regardless of your state,
An' stand as firm as Ayres Rock
Because 'e is your mate.

Me mind goes back to '42,
To slavery and 'ate,
When Man's one chance to stay alive
Depended on 'is Mate.

With bamboo for a billy-can
An' bamboo for a plate.
A bamboo paradise for bugs
Was bed for me and "Mate".

You'd slip and slither through the mud
And curse your rotten fate,
But then you'd 'ear a quiet word:
"Don't drop your bundle Mate."

And though it's all so long ago,
This truth I 'ave to state:
A man don't know what lonely means
Til 'e has lost his "Mate".

If there's a life that follers this,
If there's a 'golden-gate';
The welcome I just want to 'ear
Is just, "Good on y' Mate."

An' so to all that ask me why
We keep these special dates,
Like "Anzac Day" … I answer:
"Why!? - We're thinking of our Mates."

An' when I've left the driver's seat,
An' handed in me plates,
I'll tell ol' Peter at the door,
"I've come to join me Mates."
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Mates

Postby Fairblue » 12 Oct 2014, 11:10

This poem. Is very true to life OzB and brought a tear to my eye. The only time I ever saw my Dad cry (apart from when we lost mum) was when his particular mate passed at the ripe old age of 91.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
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Re: Mates

Postby Spitfire666 » 12 Oct 2014, 11:22

Moving, and goes also some way to explaining why Biggles was so very popular in Australia.

I think, though, that in some way they are with us after they have gone. I do still think of people I have lost, and remember good times.
If there's one thing certain in this uncertain world it is that Algy won't go home without us.

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Re: Mates

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 12 Oct 2014, 11:36

Fairblue wrote:This poem. Is very true to life OzB and brought a tear to my eye. The only time I ever saw my Dad cry (apart from when we lost mum) was when his particular mate passed at the ripe old age of 91.


It's so quintessentially Australian the language & slang [& had the same effect on me, lol], & reminds me so much of the attitude of so many of the prisoners on the Thai-Burma railway. If you didn't have a special mate or particular pal, you just didn't survive. I have 20 or 30 autobiographies of these POW's [British & Aussie] & this is a common theme of all the books...ties between men & soldiers that no family or relatives could possibly understand when they returned home to civilian life & were expected to pick up the reins exactly where they left off 3 and a half to 4 years earlier [i.e. since Feb 1942].
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Random: "Live long and prosper."

Re: Mates

Postby kylie_koyote » 12 Oct 2014, 12:26

This is a lovely poem!
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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