​Curly Quits the Bank

Curly was a bit of a toff
A mansion in Hawthorn
His parents called home
They owned a couple of banks
Had high hopes for Curly
The son they called Mervyn

Always strong and athletic
Girls were drawn to him
Played football during winter
While cricket was the summer passion
Old Tom Wills dubbed him Curly
He'd kicked two goals that week

A banker's life
Dressed in suits
Wasn't for Curly
It broke his mother's heart
When he quit the family bank
She was such a snob

Mervyn Henry Bayles
A common labourer
What will people say
I am so embarrassed
Surely you can't do it

Curly took off
Headed to Ballarat
Then across to Bendigo
He heard tales of the boats
Travelling up and down the Murray
That was the life for him

Echuca was a small town
The port was always busy
Boats coming and going
Loading and unloading
Jobs were very scarce
For a toff from the city

Ya don't talk like a worker
Ever done any work
Ya sound more like a dandy
Than a deck hand to me
Why don't you go to the bank
They're looking for people like you

He approached the Mississippi Belle
An American owned her
He mightn't be as quick to judge
Him by the way he talks
A bloke in his mid fifties
Stood by the boat

Good morning sir
I am looking for employment
Do you have a vacancy
The captain looked him up and down
Didn't sound like a worker
But looked young and strong

Ever done any hard work
No sir but I am sure I can
I'll give ya a week
If we like you
You can stay
Thank you Captain

What's your name young fella
Mervyn Henry Bayles sir
The sixth generation named Mervyn
But you can call me Curly
Welcome aboard Curly
This work is bloody hard

Next morning at dawn
They were off to Mildura
Curly stoking the boiler
Bluey showing him the tricks
He was a quick learner
Sweat dripping from his brow

Within a month
Curly was saying g'day
Never sounded like a banker again
Except when talking to girls
This was the life
He loved the mighty Murray

That was five years ago
His mother still beside herself
Mervyn is long gone
Curly has taken his place
Swearing and cursing all day
Working his fingers to the bone