Bold John Heke

bold john heke was a wounded man
he came to the beach to execute his plan
began to destroy the whaler’s house
& all that noise brought the magistrate out
“go home, be quiet” said john heke to him
“go home now or else you’ll swim
& see that flag at the top of town
when i come back that flag comes down”

the magistrate just smiled & left
he did not believe john heke’s threat
but on the day that john heke came back
he put an end to that union jack
hear your sparrows chirp like mad
a flag & a thud, the swing of an axe
& heke cries “tears, who me?
but no, this moment i’m in ecstacy”

governor fitzroy was not impressed
he puts a hundred pounds on john heke’s head
but bold john heke’s not short of a few
he puts a hundred pounds on fitzroy’s head too
another flag is raised on the hill
but heke’s straight back, his look bodes ill
he says “devourer of the skies – divide, divide
for the devourer of the earth does multiply”

another flagpole cased in iron
another union jack set a-flyin
a moat, a blockhouse & thirty men
who did not want to see that flag fall again
but heke’s men are crouched the scrub
with musket, axe, spear & club
& on march eleven, 1845
heke takes the flag yet another time

well i hate to cut a story short
but john william heke was getting bored
& after abandoning his third fort
to the troops he tries to take it back for some sport
but like the soldiers he can’t get in
he can’t lose, he can’t win
heke sighs “tears, who me
i’m never going to cry, can’t you see?”

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