The Bold Jack Donohue [song, 29 August 1903]

[Editor: A song about Jack Donohue, the bushranger. Published in the Evening News, 29 August 1903.]

The Bold Jack Donohue.

To the Editor of the “Evening News.”

Sir. — I see by this evening’s “News” your account of Bold Jack Donohoe, the Bushranger. A curious coincidence, yesterday being the anniversary of his death. I here append an old ballad I heard sung nearly 50 years ago.

MICK FOX (an old native).
1 Botany-street, Waterloo, August 22.

Oh, it’s come, all ye lads of loyalty,
And a sorrowful tale I’ll tell —
It’s of a gallant hero,
Who in battle lately fell.
His name it was Jack Donohoe,
Of courage and renown,
Who scorned to live in slavery,
Or humble to the Crown.

The 21st of August had been his fatal day,
When he and his two comrades
Were cruising the highway.
He was met by three policemen
Who called on him to stand.
Come on! come on! cried Donohoe,
We’ll fight you, man for man.

He spoke unto his comrades:
My boys, I hope you’ll gain
This day, to fight for liberty,
And loud might sound your fame.
There is only three of them; our number’s just the same.
Oh, no, said cowardly Walmsley,
Your plans I won’t fulfil.
For don’t you see, there’s nine or ten more
Advancing over yon hill.
Then begone, you cowardly rascals.
Begone, I say, from me,
For if we were united,
We would gain the victory.

The police commenced their firing,
Poor Donohoe did say:
My curse attend you traitors,
Who from me run away.
Oh, one stood in the front of him,
Another on each side;
At last poor gallant-hearted Jack
Received the ball and died.

He was chased about by hundreds,
For three long years or more;
At last it was by God’s decree
That he should rove no more.
He would rather range the forest
Like some beast or kangaroo,
Before he’d work one hour for Government,
Cried bold Jack Donohoe.

And as he closed his struggling eyes,
He bid this world Adieu!
Saying, All good people
Pray for the soul
Of bold Jack Donohoe.

Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 29 August 1903, p. 2 of the “Evening News Supplement”

Editor’s notes:
adieu = farewell, goodbye (Middle English, from Anglo-French “a dieu”, meaning “to God”, used as an abbreviated form of “a dieu (vous) commant”, i.e. “I commend (you) to God”)

ball = lead ball (i.e. a bullet, as used with old firearms)

Speak Your Mind