The Deficit Demon (A Political Ballad)
By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)It was the lunatic poet escaped from the local asylum,
Loudly he twanged on his banjo and sang with his voice like a saw-mill,
While as with fervour he sang there was borne o'er the shuddering wildwood,
Borne on the breath of the poet a flavour of rum and of onions.
He sang of the Deficit Demon that dwelt in the Treasury Mountains,
How it was small in its youth and a champion was sent to destroy it:
Dibbs he was sallied, and he boasted, "Soon I will wipe out the Monster,"
But while he was boasting and bragging the monster grew larger and larger.
One day as Dibbs bragged of his prowess in daylight the Deficit met him,
Settled his hash in one act and made him to all man a byword,
Sent hin, a raving ex-Premier, to dwell in the shades of oblivion,
And the people put forward a champion known as Sir Patrick the Portly.
As in the midnight the tom-cat who seeketh his love on the house top,
Lifteth his voice up and is struck by the fast whizzing brickbat,
Drops to the ground in a swoon and glides to the silent hereafter,
So fell Sir Patrick the Portly at the stroke of the Deficit Demon.
Then were the people amazed and they called for the champion of champions
Known as Sir 'Enry the Fishfag unequaled in vilification.
He is the man, said the people, to wipe out the Deficit Monster,
If nothing else fetches him through he can at the least talk its head off.
So he sharpened his lance of Freetrade and he practiced in loud-mouthing abusing,
"Poodlehead," "Craven," and "Mole-eyes" were things that he purposed to call it,
He went to the fight full of valour and all men are waiting the issue,
Though they know not his armour nor weapons excepting his power of abusing.
Loud sang the lunatic his song of the champions of valour
Until he was sighted and captured by fleet-footed keepers pursuing,
To whom he remarked with a smile as they ran him off back to the madhouse,
"If you want to back Parkes I'm your man, here's a cool three to one on the Deficit."