Banjo Patterson’s classic Australia poem retells the tribulations of an impossible pursuit. So, I wrote the millennial version of it.
There was movement in the sharehouse, for the word had passed around,
That an apartment was for sale up the way.
It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a carpark, the structure was quite sound,
But they knew they couldn’t afford it, no way.
Although the flyer, held in hand, told a story too good to be true,
That it’s price was well below the expectation.
Some Boomer had died, with no children to claim the place, so who knew?
Maybe, at last, this home could be their salvation.
Now these folks, these poor Millennials, had been let down before,
By lies told through smiling teeth.
“But the bubble,” they said, “is sure to pop one of these days, for sure.”
Though they held out little hope now, or belief.
“If you’d just work harder,” their elders cried, “and eat less avocado,
“You’d own a place within the decade.”
Their words were bitter and pithy, shot out with machinegun staccato,
They willfully ignored wages made these days.
So off they went, en masse, to the dreaded thing: the auction!
The line was rounded off around the block.
They knew they had to wait and see, it could be their only option,
They had no luxury of salaries, wages, or stocks.
From the outside, however, they could see they’d been taken in,
For the roof had, under stress, begun to fold.
Once inside, they saw, the bedrooms were not big enough to live,
And every inch of wall was covered in black mould.
This could be their only chance, they could afford it with a massive loan,
Their parents texting them the best of luck.
As soon as it all got underway, they let out a pained and powerful groan,
The bidding soon became unstuck.
An older couple near the front was throwing out numbers fast and hard,
Life faded from colour to monochrome.
It went down to the wire, got to a million and a quarter, now they were surely barred,
And the couple got to buy their fifth home.
And down by Kosciusko lane, where the property prices rise,
With manicured lawns and sprinklers on high,
Where the air is free of crystal, and the televisions fairly blaze,
At midnight in the cold and bubbly sky,
And where around the jacuzzi, where the marital vows sweep and sway,
To the breezes, and the rolling hips are wide,
The house near Snowy River was a household sold today,
And the boomers tell the story of their ride.