Australian country music star's tribute to our hay icon
AUSTRALIAN country music star Sara Storer was so moved after watching Burrumbuttock Hay Runners founder Brendan Farrell share his grief in a viral Facebook video she immediately wrote a song honouring the plight of the hay runners.
"This particular post one day was very emotional and it took a while for him to speak,” Sara told Big Rigs.
"He had just found out a farmer he had delivered hay to had committed suicide and he was really saddened. I guess watching that I felt that hay runners do more than just deliver and drop off hay.
"They have a yarn, catch up and build relationships with people on the land. I thought what a tough gig for a hay runner. I felt really moved, he took my breath away. I sat down and pretty much put pen to paper.
"I didn't know how to attack my emotions over it so I sort of just wrote it from Brendan's eyes and what he felt.”
The result was the song Hayrunner, which appeared on Sara's new album Raindance.
Sara, who has won more than 20 Gold Guitar awards, said she'd been performing the song during her concerts and before she even started singing it, she would get a round of applause.
"Everyone has heard of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners and they know what a great job they do,” she said.
While she said she didn't have a connection to the transport industry other than working in a roadhouse for a time when she was younger, she had a huge respect for the drivers out on the roads.
"They're (in) huge vehicles on the road, they demand respect in every way and they do a wonderful job whatever they're delivering - stock or some sort of freight - they're amazing,” she said.
"It's quite a big track on the album and I really wanted it to sound like big road trains, trucks rattling down through the Australian landscape.
"I wanted that vibe through the song an its quite up-tempo, there's a lot of sadness but it's not a slow song, it rollicks along.
"They hold so much power and that's why I wanted (the sound) of a big truck rattling down the road. There's a sense of importance but it's still kind of rollicking. I hope I've done that.”
Sara said she reached out to Brendan and shared her song with him before she produced it.
"Putting myself in someone else's shoes I wanted to get his approval and he said he loved it. It was a big relief for me as I really believed in the song.”
Brendan said he was touched by Sara's song.
"It's a bit overwhelming anyone of her stature in the country music scene would do that,” he said.
"I met old Stan many years ago and he's no longer with us now because of the drought. For her to write a song about that is pretty touching.”
Listen to Raindance or get details of gigs at www.sarastorer.com.au.