[words John Warner, music G.H.H. Parry]
Danny Spooner sang John Warner's song Newell Highway on his 2007 CD of fairly contemporary Australian songs, Emerging Tradition. He noted:
John Warner penned this piece in 1985, after a visit to the Warrumbungle Mountains in inland New South Wales. A committed conservationist, John borrowed the tune of the well-loved Anglican hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (G.H.H. Parry) to remind us how ‘progress’ has encroached upon and damaged some of our most precious assets and continues to do sol.
Danny Spooner sings Newell Highway
Awake before the dawn, within the spire of range
Where magpies ornate melody
Engrave the chilly morning breeze
Beneath the towering stone,
Beneath the towering stone.
On nights of silver moon, too rich to waste on sleep,
In silence make your way to seek
The choir of frogs in swamp and creek
That sing beneath the stars,
That sing beneath the stars.
Out on the Western Plain beside the rolling road,
Where trucks snarl by without a care,
Are billabongs with ibis there
And wedge-tail eagles soar,
And wedge-tail eagles soar.
All you who love the earth and make her ways your choice,
Cry out against the noise of trade
Demand that silence be maintained
So all may hear her voice,
Her ancient, matchless voice.