Goanna Oil Song


Photo: Mount Majura

GOANNA OIL-(C) Words written by the late Roy Wheeler, music written by Dave Wheeler, sung by Raymond Crooke on youtube. The song is set on the slopes of Mt Majura, Canberra, and is based on the old bush yarn about the bloke who put goanna oil in his car's sump only to find his car then ran up the nearest tree like a goanna.

On Mount Majura’s lower slopes, beside the Limestone Plain,     
Are tall and graceful eucalypts where noisy magpies reign.         
And in some upper branches is the strangest sight to see  
The engine and the chassis of an ancient Model T.                            
Just how the car got up there is a story yet untold,           
But if you care to listen now, the mystery will unfold.    
It was during The Depression that a bloke called Battler Bill                    
Was camped on Mount Majura with his eucalyptus still.                     

Now Bill he had a Model T, Tin Lizzies they were called.                
The engine knocked and rattled and the tyres were old and bald.                                                                       
The tank was almost empty and the engine short of oil,               
For poor old Bill was stony broke in spite of all his toil.
One night he sat beside his fire and ate some rabbit stew,                        
His tattered coat and trousers let the howling wind blow through.
He crawled into his flapping tent, but creeping up outside,
A ten foot long goanna tried the stew and promptly died.

Next morning while he waited for his billy tea to brew,                    
Bill thought about goanna oil and what that oil could do.                 
A certain cure for aches and pains, arthritis, Sandy Blight,              
A gallon in the Model T would surely be alright.                                    
Bill chopped the big goanna up, soon had him on the boil,                    
Within an hour the old bush still produced goanna oil.
He poured the oil into the sump, which filled to overflowing,       
Then turned the switch and swung the crank and got the old car going.

The engine roared, the mudguards shook, the horn let out a croak.                                                                    
With spinning wheels the car ran off, the camp was lost in smoke.                                                                        
It steered itself towards a tree, Bill felt his spirits sinking,             
But watched it scramble up the trunk with both its headlights blinking.
It stopped and settled on a branch, high up above the ground,    
And there it stayed these many years while seasons rolled around.
And one by one the bits fell off to rust away below.                     
The chassis and the engine held and never have let go.

And when a gentle summer breeze blows softly cross the plain,      
It lifts the gum tree’s branches and it lets them down again.     
Goannas stop and listen, stock still on tree and stump.              
They hear their dear old grandad as he sloshes in the sump.

(C) Roy Wheeler/Dave Wheeler

You can listen to this song on youtube sung by Raymond Crooke on


Another song which can be heard on youtube which was written by Roy and Dave Wheeler is "By the Banks of the Berembed Weir: 
Another is "The Perfect Marigold."
"Breaker Morant Watz" can also be heard by pushing the appropriate button on the home page of this site.