Outback Christmas has been reprinted and is available from www.atfpress.com
Outback Christmas is also available to be performed as a musical. For details contact Robin Mann at email@example.com
Outback Christmas is the story of Jesus Birth told from an Aussie perspective with bold colourful paintings by Pro Hart and corresponding poems by Norman Habel. Typical paintings cum poems are:
The Coming Bushman
Old Joseph the Carpenter
The Ride of Bethlehem
The Bethlehem Pub
The Report of the Stockman
The Three Gamblers
The Gifts of the Gamblers
The Bethlehem Pub
A country pub is not a proper place for women,
The last place on earth to try and have a kid.
So when Mary and her tired old man arrived that night
I rustled up a bed of straw out in the shed.
I run the country pub in Outback Bethlehem,
A home away from home for stockmen interstate.
For when the picnic races stir the dust out here
A man will ride a hundred miles to meet his mate.
The pub in Bethlehem is rough as horned-head toads
And what I seen would turn a shearer green and white,
Like the time young bill fought Blue, the old man kangaroo,
Till beer and blood and fur flowed down the street.
I’ve seen men drive their horse in for a drink or two
And with their stockwhip clear the beer glass of its foam
While Fred, the pet galah whose language turned the air dark blue
Would screech his old refrain, ‘Well stone the flaming crows!’
You should have heard the cursing from the stockmen when I said,
“We have a pregnant woman with the horses in the stalls.”
You should have seen them drinking mate and hear them sing off key:
‘Why was he born so beautiful, why was he born at all.’
At first I also wondered if Mary’s child belonged out here,
He may as well be born among the mulga bush out back.
Yes Mary seemed a sister to all who found her in the shed,
And Jesus seemed a brother to drinkers, drovers, blacks.