[Editor: This article, which includes some songs by James McColl (1844-1929), was published in The Kyneton Guardian (Kyneton, Vic.), 12 August 1915.]
Ex-Senator McColl in a new role.
Up in Bendigo they had, notwithstanding the rain, on Australian Red Cross Day an exceptionally good time, and incidentally gathered in over £3000, which was a record for the provinces. Bendigo has, however, always been strongly to the fore in such movements, and just as it set a fine example years ago by initiating the Easter Fair movement in aid of the local hospital funds, so on this occasion it turned the poetical talents of one of its best known citizens into hard cash for the benefit of our wounded soldiers. The gentleman in question was ex-Senator J. H. McColl who furnished four or five sets of stirring patriotic songs, which could be sung to well-known airs. Printed in a neat little booklet, decorated with gaily colored flags, these songs furnished an appropriate souvenir of the day, and brought in a very considerable addition to the funds. All honor to Mr. McColl for his clever idea and generous gift. Appended are one or two of the verses of the various songs:—
“Australia Day,” sung to the tune of “Marching through Georgia”—
And truly has our faith in them been fully justified,
The Empire rings with praise of them, it echoes far and wide,
By feats that few would dare to do they have been fairly tried,
Those brave boys of ours from Australia.
Hurrah, hurrah, across the ocean foam,
Hurrah, hurrah, our boys are coming home.
By deeds renowned and honor crowned,
In pride of heart to-day,
We welcome our boys to Australia.
“Our Boys in Front,” sung to the tune of the “Men of Harlech,” strikes a bold, triumphant note—
King and Empire now are calling,
Comes the word that men are falling,
Yet flinch not, howe’er appalling,
Hasten now away.
Not for conquest do we send you,
But for righteousness we lend you,
Strong in faith, God will defend you,
Go you forth to-day.
God will bless you going,
Cause your foes’ undoing.
Nerve your arm, in all alarm, to you
His purpose showing.
Lean on Him, He will defend you,
And a victory sure will send you.
All Australia’s prayers attend you,
Forward to the fray.
“The Lion’s Cubs,” to the tune of “Tramp, tramp, the Boys are Marching,” is a song of forecast victory—
When the Kaiser and his Huns with his poison gases and guns,
Thought to make the grand old British Lion fear,
He forgot that o’er the seas, swiftly borne upon the breeze,
The Lion’s cubs were quickly drawing near.
Tramp, tramp, tramp, we hear them marching,
From East, West, North, and South they come,
And with every wind that blows they fly to meet their foes
In defence of Honor, Liberty, and Home.
The Canadians in the North also bravely sallied forth,
And have won their land imperishable fame,
And now in the Dardanelles, as the record truly tells,
The Australian boys have also played the game.
Tramp, tramp, tramp, we hear them marching, etc.
So, too, “The Boys of Australia,” sung to “Johnny Comes Marching Home,” and “Gallipoli,” set to the tune of “My Native Land,” are spirit-stirring productions, of which Bendigonians may well be proud.
The Kyneton Guardian (Kyneton, Vic.), 12 August 1915, p. 4
Also published in:
The Chiltern and Howlong Times and Ovens Register (Chiltern, Vic.), 6 August 1915, p. 2
The Ararat Advertiser, and Chronicle for the Stawell and Wimmera Districts (Ararat, Vic.), 7 August 1915, p. 3
The Mildura Telegraph and Darling and Lower Murray Advocate (Mildura, Vic.), 10 August 1915, p. 1
The title of this article rhymes (“Ex-Senator McColl / in a new role”), which may well have been a deliberate bit of editorial humour.
The booklet referred to in this article is: J. H. McColl, Patriotic Songs for Australia Day, July 30, 1915, Bendigo: Bolton Bros. [printers], 1915 (the publication stated its charitable intent: “Proceeds for the Australia Day Wounded Soldiers Fund”)
Australia Day = 30 July (also known as “Australian Red Cross Day”), a patriotic day dedicated to raising funds for the Australian Red Cross during the First World War (1914-1918); can also refer to “Australia Day”, 26th of January, a patriotic day which celebrates the anniversary of the foundation of the British colony at Sydney, New South Wales, in 1788
Australian Red Cross Day = 30 July (also known as “Australia Day”), a patriotic day dedicated to raising funds for the Australian Red Cross during the First World War (1914-1918)
Bendigonian = an inhabitant of the city of Bendigo, Victoria; someone or something native to Bendigo
Dardanelles = (also known as the Strait of Gallipoli) the strait which connects the Sea of Marmara (north-west end of the strait) with the Aegean Sea (south-east end of the strait), the latter of which connects to the Mediterranean sea; it is bounded on its northern side by the Gallipoli peninsula and on its southern side by the mainland of Turkey; it is considered to be part of the continental boundary between Asia and Europe (thus separating Asian Turkey from European Turkey); it was the site of a military campaign during the First World War, when the Allied powers attacked the Gallipoli peninsula (part of Turkey) in 1915
Empire = in the context of early Australia, the British Empire
Gallipoli = the Gallipoli peninsula (in western Turkey), which is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey; it was the scene of heavy fighting during the Gallipoli Campaign (February 1915 to January 1916), during the First World War (1914-1918); running along the eastern coast of the Gallipoli peninsula is the Strait of Gallipoli, also known as the Dardanelles (or, the Dardanelles strait)
He = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to God or Jesus
Him = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to God or Jesus
howe’er = (vernacular) an archaic contraction of “however”
Huns = Germans; refers to Germans in general, or to the German military (especially around the time of World War One, 1914-1918)
Kaiser = Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II (William II) was the head of the German Empire, from 15 June 1888 up until his abdication on 9 November 1918, two days prior to the armistice which ended World War One (however, his official “Statement of Abdication” was dated 28 November 1918)
Lion = Britain, or the British people (as the representative emblem of Britain is a lion)
McColl = James Hiers McColl (1844-1929), politician; a Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (1886-1900), a Member of the House of Representatives (1901-1906), and a Senator (1907-1914); born in South Shields (County Durham, England) in 1844, died in Melbourne (Victoria) in 1929
nerve = the power of control, endurance, fortitude, stamina, strength; to give courage, steadiness, or strength to oneself; to steel oneself, to prepare for something hard or unpleasant
o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)
sallied = past tense of “sally”: a military attack or sortie against an enemy, especially by soldiers who are besieged or surrounded; to burst out, to rush forward; an outburst, a commencement or start of activity; to go on a journey (“sallied” is often used in conjunction with “forth”, especially in a military context, e.g. “they sallied forth from the castle”)
[Editor: Added a comma after “praise of them”; changed “ohwe’er” to “howe’er”; “and Hom” to “and Home.”; in the last chorus in the article, “Tramp, tram, tramp” to “Tramp, tramp, tramp”.]