‘Viking Song’, The Bulletin, 25 August 1910

Viking Song (25 August, 1910), p. 3.jpg

Dublin Core


‘Viking Song’, The Bulletin, 25 August 1910


anvil, Australian Navy, David McKee Wright (1869-1928), forge, National Defence, national pride, Norse mythology, Odin, politics, Thor, Thor’s Hammer, Vikings.


David McKee Wright draws inspiration from the journeys of the Vikings across the North Sea in this poetic martial ‘ditty’ that brims with national pride:

Australia with her bright hair glowing
Has her eye on the furrows of the deep
Clang, clang, clang on the anvil
There are steel ships wanted on the sea!

The reason for Wright’s show of enthusiasm was doubtless the creation of the Australian Navy in 1909. Billy Hughes told the Sydney Morning Herald in 1910 that “Mr Deakin had taken Mr Watson’s scheme [c. 1905] and adorned it with that magnificent eloquence of his till it shone [...] But it was a thing in the clouds [...] The Fisher Government transformed it into iron and steel and guns” (See The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, 16 February 1910, pp. 9-10. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15133137). When the fleet eventually arrived off Australian shores in October 1913, it was welcomed “By very large and demonstrative crowds [...] and fervently patriotic speeches were made at the welcoming banquet” (F. K. Crowley, A New History of Australia, Richmond, William Heinemann, 1984, p.294). During the Federal electioneering of February 1910, the fleet featured large in the overall proceedings. The Deakin-Cook Fusion Party lost the 1910 election, but Australia still got its navy, and balladeers and patriots sang its praises.


David McKee Wright


The Bulletin


The Bulletin


25 August 1910, p.3


Public Domain


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