[Editor: This article, about the origin of a poem regarding “the dog on the tucker box” (of Gundagai fame), was published in The Gundagai Independent (Gundagai, NSW), 1 February 1945.]
The truth concerning another dog and the tucker box poem
A correspondent in the Wagga “Advertiser”, who hides behind the pen name of “Gundagai”, recently wrote a letter to that paper. In endeavouring to correct a report of that paper’s representative, he disclosed that he himself had been misled in regard to the origin of a poem concerning this town’s world famous dog. In his letter, “Gundagai” states:—
“After reading your representative’s report of a journey from Leeton to Sydney (“Advertiser” 18/1/45). I would like to correct him in his statement regarding the authorship of the lines he quotes.
“As I was coming down Conroy’s Gap
I heard a maiden cry,
There goes Bill the Bullocky,
He’s bound for Gundagai.”
“Jack Moses, whom he quotes as the author did not write these verses. An old copy of the “Gundagai Times” dated 1864 has these lines in it, and our old friend, Jack Moses, was not writing poetry on that date.”
The above lines, which are now to be seen on match box covers etc were not published in “Gundagai Times” of 1864. That particular “jingle-jangle” was put together about ten years ago by two local residents, who came to the assistance of a former local enterprising business man in framing the lines. The “poem” was then set in old type at the “Times” printing office, and printed on the reverse side of a paper which bore the date 1864. That paper was then proclaimed as an original, and exhibited in a glassed frame.
Bill the Bullocky — “a better poor old —— never drug a whip through dust” is a fictional character, and “Gundagai”, like Alice, has been lost in the wonderland of legend that is now associated with Gundagai’s mythical dog.
The Gundagai Independent (Gundagai, NSW), 1 February 1945, p. 4
Also published (with some differences) in:
Yass Tribune-Courier (Yass, NSW), 5 February 1945, p. 3 (entitled: “The Dog Sat on the Tucker Box” — another dog disclaimed)
—— = two em dashes (or a variant number of em dashes) can be used to indicate swearing, just as “****”, “$#*!”, “#$@&%*!”, or similar, can indicate swearing (a series of typographical symbols used to indicate profanity is called a “grawlix”); an em dash is an extended dash (also known as an “em rule” or a “horizontal bar”), being a dash which is as wide as the height of the font being used (em dashes can also be used in place of a person’s name, so as to ensure anonymity; or used to indicate an unknown word)
Alice = the main character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), also published as Alice in Wonderland, written by the English author “Lewis Carroll”, the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898)
See: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Wikipedia
[Editor: Replaced the single quotation mark with a double quotation mark before “Gundagai Times” (in the first instance). Changed “jingle-gangle” to “jingle-jangle”.]