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.