Phyl Lobl

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Based on a true story that happened to the sister of a colleague. A boy from Broadmeadows and a girl from Kew met at University. Huge thistles grow around Broadmeadows, a working class suburb of Melbourne. Prunus trees which bear an inedible fruit adorn the streets of Kew. The song has found currency in England. It has also been used as a counselling tool.

 

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BROADMEADOW THISTLE

Words & Music: Phyl Lobl

She was a lady of high degree,
A scholarship student of science was he.
Their love was untimely, their loving unwise
For such loving it caused her soft belly to rise.

The Broadmeadow thistle grows purple in Springtime,
But the Prunus tree blooms in the gardens of Kew.


Her mother in anger confined her to bed,
'No-one will know you were shameless', she said,
'We'll say you've a fever and you never must show
For the rest of the family are too young to know'.

The Broadmeadow thistle grows purple in Springtime,
But the Prunus tree blooms in the gardens of Kew.


Then off to the priest with his lean justice face,
The mother confessed of the daughter's disgrace,
And pleading her cause on the family name,
She begged an abortion to cast off the shame.

The Broadmeadow thistle grows purple in Springtime,
But the Prunus tree blooms in the gardens of Kew.


'Oh no', said the priest,'No that never could be,
The faith must be kept so just listen to me,
If marriage is out of the question' he said,
'You'll all have to pray for miscarriage instead'.

The Broadmeadow thistle grows purple in Springtime,
But the Prunus tree blooms in the gardens of Kew.


The prayers went unanswered the time it went slow,
There was nothing to do, there was nowhere to go.
From bed she was taken when six months had gone,
And sent interstate then to bear it alone.

The Broadmeadow thistle grows purple in Springtime,
But the Prunus tree blooms in the gardens of Kew.

There on a farm for the last months she stayed,
Where the food was as poor as the people they paid.
Her mind and her body were locked in their pain
And she cursed the life over and over again.

The Broadmeadow thistle grows purple in Springtime,
But the Prunus tree blooms in the gardens of Kew.


The priest kept the faith and the mother her pride,
The daughter kept wishing that she could have died,
The baby kept coming as they are inclined
But his body was spoiled, being poorly confined.

The priest never knew, he was transferred away,
The girl never knew she returned home to stay,
The mother's concern was her own peace of mind,
But the baby he knew because he was born blind.

The sting of the thistle is sharp at Broadmeadow,
But the blossom falls softly in the gardens of Kew.

 
 
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