The Olive and the Vine by Stan Graham


A few years ago I was talking to our good friend Stan Graham about how I had noticed that many of the Italian emigrants of the 1960s had now reached retirement age from their wine growing or market garden businesses. They were now handing these over to the next generation and they were then heading back to their country of birth to end their days. I found that the pull of their resolve to return was so strong and Stan has come up with this great song. 

OLIVE AND THE VINE   By Stan Graham. 

Here in the soil that I now call home

Far from Amalphi Naples and Rome 

Clearing the bush with hard working hands 

Placing my trust in the love of the land. 


And at night I would dream for hours at a time 

Of trees full of olives and grapes on the vine.

Sit down my sons and I’ll sing you a song 

From the old country where my heart belongs

I’ll tell you of places that you’ve never seen 

Of mountains and valleys and fields ever green.


But the rains never came for year after year

The trees never flowered the vines slow to grow

We fought back the tears through years of distrust 

But keeping our faith in Australian dust.


Oh friends we had many and always at hand 

Day after day kept working the land

Waiting with patience for nature’s return

It’s the soil that you turn decides what you earn.


And now I look back at the hardship and pain

And if God is willing I’d do it again

I’ll never forget the place I call home 

The hills of Barosa or the valleys of Rome.


And I open my eyes where the sun always shines

On trees full of olives and grapes on the vine

Yes I open my eyes where the sun always shines 

On fields full of olives and grapes on the vine.