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DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue

DigiTrad:
BOLD JACK DONOHUE
BOLD JACK DONOHUE (2)


Joe Offer 10 Feb 04 - 12:56 PM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 04 - 12:57 PM
Lighter 10 Feb 04 - 07:23 PM
Bob Bolton 10 Feb 04 - 09:37 PM
Bob Bolton 10 Feb 04 - 10:50 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 04 - 03:45 AM
Bob Bolton 11 Feb 04 - 07:18 AM
Bob Bolton 14 Feb 04 - 02:18 AM
cobber 14 Feb 04 - 02:53 AM
Bob Bolton 14 Feb 04 - 07:36 AM
cobber 14 Feb 04 - 08:02 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Feb 04 - 01:01 PM
Cattail 14 Feb 04 - 05:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Feb 04 - 05:48 PM
Bob Bolton 14 Feb 04 - 09:23 PM
Cattail 15 Feb 04 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,An Pca 15 Feb 04 - 02:21 PM
Bob Bolton 15 Feb 04 - 07:21 PM
Bob Bolton 22 Feb 04 - 11:16 PM
Bob Bolton 22 Feb 04 - 11:26 PM
Hrothgar 23 Feb 04 - 05:10 AM
Bob Bolton 23 Feb 04 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Dave 01 Apr 10 - 07:13 PM
Lighter 09 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM
Goose Gander 09 Sep 10 - 01:18 PM
Joe Offer 09 Sep 10 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,thomas nr castlemaine irl 24 Sep 11 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Kitty Donohoe 29 Dec 11 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Kitty Donohoe 29 Dec 11 - 06:35 PM
freda underhill 10 Feb 13 - 02:05 AM
Lighter 10 Feb 13 - 05:48 PM
freda underhill 10 Feb 13 - 06:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Feb 14 - 12:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Feb 14 - 01:00 PM
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Mr Red 18 Jun 14 - 08:20 AM
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Subject: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 12:56 PM

Bob Bolton sent me a correction for one of our DT entries for this song, and it seemed to be a good idea to compile and correct all the information we have.
This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads



Here are the versions we have in the DT:

BOLD JACK DONOHUE

Come all you gallant bushrangers who gallop o'er the plains
Refuse to live in slavery, or wear the convict chains.
Attention pay to what I say, and value if I do
For I will relate the matchless tale of bold Jack Donohue.

Come all you sons of liberty and everyone besides
I'll sing to you a story that will fill you with surprise
Concerning of a bold bushranger, Jack Donohue was his name
And he scorned to humble to the crown, bound down with iron chain.

Now Donohue was taken all for a notorious crime
And sentenced to be hanged upon the gallow tree so high
But when they to him to Bathurst Gaol, he left them in a stew
For when they came to call the roll, they missed Jack Donohue.

Now when Donohue made his escape, to the bush he went straight way.
The squatters they were all afraid to travel by night and by day
And every day in the newspapers, they brought out something new,
Concerning that bold bushranger they called Jack Donohue.

Now one day as he was riding the mountainside alone
Not thinking that the pains of death would overtake him soon.
When all he spied the horse police well on they came up into view
And in double quick time they did advance to take Jack Donohue.

"Oh Donohue, Donohue, throw down your carbine.
Or do you intend to fight us all and will you not resign?"
"Surrender to such cowardly dogs is a thing that I never would do,
For this day I'll fight with all my might", cried Bold Jack Donohue

Now the sergeant and the corporal, their men they did divide
Some fired at him from behind and some from every side.
The sergeant and the corporal, they both fired at him, too.
And a rifle bullet pierced the heart of Bold Jack Donohue.

Now nine rounds he fired and nine men down before that fated ball
Which pierced his heart and made him smart and caused him for to fall
And as he closed his mournful eyes, he bid the world adieu,
Saying "Convicts all, pray for the soul of Bold Jack Donohue."


-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sung by Trevor Lucas with Fotheringay in 1970. This song is only co
on the (never released) BBC sessions, along with superb versions of Eppie Morrie, Lowlands of Holland and Gipsy Davy.

The bandit Jack Donohue was transported to Australia for life in 18
for intent to commit a "felony". He subsequently escaped and wrough
on the planters and police until he was captured and shot in 1830.
ballad has sported many versions both in Australia and Ireland, amo
"The Wild Colonial Boy" and "The Ballad of Jack Dolan (or Duggan, D
but this one is the original.

See also COLONBOY and JIMJONES.
DT #428
Laws L22
@Australia @outlaw @transport
filename[ DONAHUE
MJ, AB

BOLD JACK DONOHUE (2)

In Dublin town I was brought up that city of great fame
My parents reared me tenderly there's many did the same
Being a wild colonial boy I was forced to cross the main
And for seven long years in New South Wales to wear a convict's chain

Oh I'd been no longer than six months upon Australian shores
When I turned out as a Tory boy as I'd often done before
There was Macnamara from yonder woods and Captain Mackie too
They were the chief associates of bold Jack Donahoe

As O'Donahoe was taken for a notorious crime
And sentenced to be hanged all on the gallows high
But when he came to Sydney gaol he left them in a stew
For when they came to call the roll they missed Jack Donahoe

As O'Donahoe made his escape to the woods he did repair
Where the tyrants dared not show their face by night and day
And every week in the newspapers there was published something new
Concerning that bold hero boy called brave Jack Donahoe

As O'Donahoe was walking one summer's afternoon
Little was his notion that his death should be so soon
When a sergeant of the horse police discharged his carabine
And loudly called to O'Donahoe to fight or else resign

Resign to you, you cowardly dogs its a thing I ne'er will do
For I'll range these woods and valleys like a wolf or kangaroo
Before I'll work for Government said bold Jack Donahoe

Nine rounds the horse policeman fired till at length a fatal ball
He lodged it in O'Donahoe's breast and it caused him to fall
As he closed his mournful eyes to this world he bid adieu
Good people all both great and small pray for Jack Donahoe

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

This version collected by Alan Scott from Mr H. Beatty of Hawthorne Qld.
In his booklet "The Donahoe Ballads," [add: John Meredith] gives some 16 tunes that have been collected. The earliest Donahoe ballad appeared in The Sydney Gazette
7th September 1830. On 2nd January 1825 John Donahoe arrived at Sydney
Cove on board the convict ship 'Ann and Amelia'. He had been sentenced
to transportation for life on a charge "Intent to commit felony".
On 1st September 1830 Donahoe, with his companions William Webber and John Warmsley, was ambushed by a party of police near Bringelly. Donahoe was shot dead, while Webber and Walmsley escaped.

DT #428
Laws L22
@Australia @outlaw
filename[ DONAHU2
TUNE FILE: DONAHUE
CLICK TO PLAY
MG
apr97


The Traditional Ballad Index separated "Bold Jack" from "Jack Donohoe." I think it might be an idea to study both songs in this thread. I'll post both Ballad Index entries:

Bold Jack Donahoe

DESCRIPTION: The singer sadly recalls the death of Donahoe. He and his companions are overtaken by three policemen. Walmsley refuses to fight, and Donahoe is left alone. He is shot and killed
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1941 (Beck)
KEYWORDS: Australia death cowardice fight outlaw
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Sept 1, 1830 (the ballad says Aug 24) - Jack Donahue, formerly of Dublin (transported 1823), is killed by police near Sydney
FOUND IN: Australia US(MW)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 63-64, "Bold Jack Donahoe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck 89, "Bold Jack Donohue" (1 text)
Manifold-PASB, pp. 50-51, "Bold Jack Donahue" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #611
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Jack Donahue" [Laws L22]
cf. "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" (tune)
Notes: This ballad often mixes with "Jack Donahue" (for obvious reasons), and they are lumped by Roud, but the two can be distinguished by the mention of Donahue's companions at the time of Donahoe's capture. Some scholars think this the older of the two.
For historical background on Donahue, see "Jack Donahue" [Laws L22]. - RBW
File: MA063

Jack Donahue [Laws L22]

DESCRIPTION: Irish highwayman Jack Donahue, transported for life, soon escapes prison and returns to his trade. After a hair-raising career, he is confronted by a gang of police and shot after inflicting several casualties upon the constables
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Pound)
KEYWORDS: transportation crime death prison
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Sept 1, 1830 - Jack Donahue, formerly of Dublin (transported 1823), is killed by police near Sydney. He was 23. None of the police were injured in the battle
FOUND IN: US(MW,So,SW) Canada(Mar) Australia
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Laws L22, "Jack Donahue"
Hudson 103, pp. 241-242, "Jack Donahoo" (1 text)
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 97-98, "Bold Jack Donahue" (1 text, 1 tune)
PBB 99, "Bold Jack Donohue" (1 text)
Lomax-FSNA 59, "Bold Jack Donahue" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 82-83, "Bold Jack Donahue" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 71, pp. 158-159, "Jack Donahoo" (1 text)
Manifold-PASB, pp. 48-49, "Bold Jack Donahue" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 111-113, "Jack Donahue" (1 text -- the Lomax "Cowboy Songs" version)
Silber-FSWB, p. 198, "Bold Jack Donahue" (1 text)
DT 428, DONAHUE DONAHU2*

Roud #611
RECORDINGS:
John Greenway, "Bold Jack Donahue" (on JGreenway01)
A. L. Lloyd, "Bold Jack Donahue" (on Lloyd4, Lloyd8)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Bold Jack Donahue" (on NLCR05)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Wild Colonial Boy" [Laws L20]
cf. "Bold Jack Donahoe"
Notes: John Greenway believes this ballad to be the ancestor of "The Wild Colonial Boy" (see the notes on that song). On the other hand, it looks to me as if his version is a mixture of "Bold Jack Donahoe" and "The Wild Colonial Boy."
This piece mixes frequently with "Bold Jack Donahoe." The key element to distinguishing them appears to be that the other song describes Donahue's desertion by his companions at the time of his fatal fight. This song does not mention the companions.
(Exception: The Lomax text in "Cowboy Songs" mentions the companions, but in very debased form. It might be another of their deliberately muddied versions. But Laws files it here, so I do the same.)
Robert Hughes, in The Fatal Shore, notes that Jack Donahue was not the first bushranger -- in Van Diemen's Land, in fact, they existed from the start, because the only means the colony survived was by hunting kangaroos, which meant that the convicts were armed. But the Tasmanian bushrangers, even though they all but controlled the island, left little if any ballad record.
Bushranging came much later to Australia proper, and Jack Donahue was the first truly memorable example. Again according to Hughes, Donahue (1806-1830) was given a life term in 1823. Arriving in Australia 1825, he was assigned to work for a settler, misbehaved, spent time on a road gang, was assigned again, and took to the bush.
Donahue's crime in Australia was robbing bullock teams; at this time (December 1827), he had companions Kilroy and Smith. All three were taken, and Kilroy and Smith hung in March 1827, but Donahue escaped. The price on his head eventually reached a hundred pounds.
When the police caught him, Donahue cursed them and tried to fight, but was shot in the head by a trooper named Muggleston. His confederate Walmsley would later turn informer, and led police to some thirty settlers who had traded with him.
Ironically, Donahue was the only famous bushranger of the transportation era. - RBW
File: LL22

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Note from Bob Bolton:
    ...Meredith's The Donahue Ballads, Red Rooster Press, Ascot Vale Victoria, 1982, ... has"
    2 texts of "I'm Donahue(Donahoo)" with 1 tune (this includes text 3B the Scotty/Beatty one),
    5 texts of "The Wild Colonial Boy" with 3 tunes,

    5 texts of "Bold Jack Donahue(Donohoe)" with 5 tunes,
    The text of the suspect (Ken Cook ?) "Drifting Smoke of the Mountains" - with 1 tune - and
    The text of Doris Woods' "The Road to Vanderville" - with 1 tune.

    (Total 14 texts and 16 tunes.)

    I hope this tends to clear up the confusion caused by the defects of this entry!

    Regards,

    Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: JACK DONAHOO
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 12:57 PM

Thread #43122   Message #628458
Posted By: Dicho
15-Jan-02 - 02:43 PM
Thread Name: Favorite Badman Ballads II
Subject: Lyr Add: JACK DONAHOO

Jack Donahoe (Donahoo), the Australian bushranger, came to the western states- not in person or as a ghost, but in a song. Lomax and Lomax say that the song was probably brought over by Australian cowboys (Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, 1938). Young Australians from the outback still come, especially to western Canada, trying their hand at rodeo, attempting to find work on the ranches (who use many fewer workers nowadays), and end up working in building trades, etc., or returning to Australia.
In the older edition of Cowboy Songs (1910), John A. Lomax printed the ballad "Jack Donahoo." In 1938 and later editions, the Lomaxes fleshed out the ballad, probably using sources other than western cowboys, into a long story that would have been at home in Australia, but one very doubtfully sung by cowboys in America. Even so, I have my doubts about words in the first two verses of the version I give here, to wit, verily, undaunted and associates. The form of some other verbiage is also questionable.
For the story of Donahoe, see Here and two songs in the DT: Bold Jack Donahoe, and Wild Young Irish Boy.
Here is the older version from the 1910 edition.

JACK DONAHOO

Come, all you bold, undaunted men,
You outlaws of the day,
It's time to beware of the ball and chain
And also slavery.
Attention pay to what I say,
And verily if you do,
I will relate you the actual fate
Of bold Jack Donahoo.

He had scarcely landed, as I tell you,
Upon Australia's shore,
Then he became a real highwayman,
As he had been before.
There was Underwood and Mackerman,
And Wade and Wesley too,
These were the four associates
Of bold Jack Donahoo.

Jack Donahoo, who was so brave,
Rode out that afternoon,
Knowing not that the pain of death
Would overtake him soon.
So quickly then the horse police
From Sidney came to view;
"Begone from here, you cowardly dogs,"
Says bold Jack Donahoo.

The captain and the sergeant
Stopped then to decide.
"Do you intend to fight us
Or unto us resign?"
"To surrender to such cowardly dogs
Is more than I will do,
This day I'll fight if I lose my life,"
Says bold Jack Donahoo.

The captain and the sergeant
The men they did divide;
They fired from behind him
And also from each side;
It's six police he did shoot down
Before the fatal ball
Did pierce the heart of Donahoo
And cause bold Jack to fall.

And when he fell, he closed his eyes,
He bid the world adieu;
Come, all you boys, and sing the song
Of bold Jack Donahoo.
@outlaw @cowboy @Australia


We have a tune in Mudcat MIDIs, but I am not sure of the source. I get the impression it may be the one Q submitted with these lyrics.
-Joe Offer- Click to play


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 07:23 PM

Neither Lomax 1910 or 1938 offer a tune for this song. Tune and text in Alan Lomax's "Folk Songs of North America" are stated to be from W. Roy MacKenzie's "Ballads and Sea Songs of Nova Scotia" (1928). That tune - pretty much the one used by Lou Killen - is not much like the MIDI.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 09:37 PM

G'day Joe,

As I noted above, there are 16 tunes/variants given in John Meredith's The Donahoe Ballads - many from his own collecting work, but he includes those from contemporary collectors (such as Alan Scott) and tunes from older collections of the 19th and early 20th centtury. I can run of MIDI files for all of these (... when I find some of that elusive spare time) and forward them to MMario ... along with full "sheet music" setting, if required ( ... maybe I'll send scans of the settings in the booklet).

Of the 16 tunes, only 13 refer to this "Bold Jack Donahoe / Wild Colonial Boy" group. The first song in the book is credited to Donahoe himself and is completely different - and I've done it as a poem for decades, but when I learned that there was a tune (published in a collection printed in 1895) I got into the habit of singing it.

The second-last song has been represented as a "traditional" song, but I'm sure it was written by Kenneth Cook (who also wrote another song often mistaken for a "folk song": The Cross of the South for his play Stockade, about the rebellion at the Eureka Stockade, on the Victorian Goldfields, 1854) - despite Cook's vague notes and assertions of its 'collected' status).

The last song is a modern song, continuing the Australian fascination with Donahoe. I may be surprised to see what the rest of the world has done to him!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 10:50 PM

G'day again,

I might just throw in some preliminary observations about the first version of Bold Jack Donohoe in the DT:

(The supporting text is rather odd - it appears to have been OCR-scanned with the selected area too narrow, so that the ends of words/sentences have been clipped.)

(this) ballad has sported many versions both in Australia and Ireland, amo(?)
"The Wild Colonial Boy" and "The Ballad of Jack Dolan (or Duggan, D(?))
but this one is the original. ...

As regards the last statement, this version is certainly much later than the originals, which date from the 1830s, when horses were not commonly ridden by ordinary farmers and settlers in the east coast areas of New South Wales where Donahoe operated. In fact, the main reason he, and his gang, stayed free for so long was his policy of staying inconspicuous ... no horses to be tracked - stopping only one night in any location - using inconspicuous caves for shelter. (In fact, one of the recorded "Donahoe Caves" is only a mile or so from where Alison runs the Toongabbie Music Club!)

Anyway, this divides the later versions (with horses ... generally from the Goldrush era and later - post-1855) from the more authentic versions based on Frank "The Poet" MacNamara's verses ... written around 1832/3 ... some two or three years after the death of Donahoe and, thus, already becoming consciously "collected" convict folklore!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 03:45 AM

Amergin posted this in another thread:
Thread #25266   Message #295486
Posted By: Amergin
12-Sep-00 - 01:27 AM
Thread Name: Wild Colonial Boy: any history?
Subject: RE: Wild Colonial Boy: any history?

Ok in my copy of Folk Songs Of North America by Alan Lomax it says that the original name was Bold Jack Donahue....
"The Donahue story began in 1823 in Dublin, when Bold Jack was sentenced to be transported to Australia for life for 'intent to commit a felony'. Brought to Austalia in chains, Jack soom bunked out of his convict stockade and turned bushranger. His mates acted as his spies and in return Donahue kept them supplied with rum and tobacco and wrought instant retribution on any planter who oppressed his convicts. The whole colony was kept in an uproar by Donahue's daring robberies until 1830, when the bush police at last surrounded him and shot him down.

His ballad spread like wildfire through the colony-such a focus for popular discontent that soon it became a civil offence to sing it in any public place. Several variant songs thereupon appeared, with precisely the same content but different names for their heroes. One of these ballads, The Wild Colonial Boy, can be heard today in Irish pubs round the world. The original ballad, meanwhile, took refuge in America, where fishermen, lumberjacks, and cowboys kept the bold bushranger's memory green."

That was excerpted from the aforementioned book....here is the link to Bold Jack located in the Digitrad...Bold Jack Donahue

Amergin


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 07:18 AM

G'day Joe (Amergin ... Uncle Tom Cobbley & all ...),

Apart from the odd Americanism, that covers the basic framework of Jack Donahoe's escape(s), bushranging and death. There are monographs by John Meredith on Jack Donahoe's life and death and on Francis MacNamara ("Frank the Poet") whose verse seems to be the original of all the later songs ... although it was circulated in hand-written and concealed sheets, so we are not sure of the exact original.

I'll scan through both books for the critical points .. and see if some of it might be appropriate for this thread - but this forum is about the song(s) ...not necessarily the bare facts!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 02:18 AM

G'day Joe,

I'm scanning in text ... and texts ... from my copy of John Meredith's The Donahoe Ballads - and will put the tunes into my music processor, so I can send off both MIDIs and "sheet music". I could just scan in the music pages from the book, but the publisher has not laid them out as well as I demand!

Should I e-mail the MIDIs and "sheets" to MMario? I will put the song texts (and, posibly some of Meredith's text on the history and times of John Donahoe) directly into this thread, as I get it into format.

Regards,

Bob Bolton
    Hi, Bob-
    Both MMario and I can handle MIDIs. You can e-mail tunes for posting to me.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-
    joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: cobber
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 02:53 AM

Hi Bob and others
While we're talking about Bold Jack songs, there's one in Stewart & Keesing's collection that we put to music back in the seventies, called The Ballad of Jack Lefroy. There are a lot of similarities to the Donohue stories, such as being shot in the head etc, though Lefroy survives to hang. Does anyone know if this song is related. I've never seen a Jack Lafroy in the books I've read, so I'm guessing he's fictitious and based on the earlier songs.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 07:36 AM

G'day Cobber,

Yeah ... I never really got a good grip on that one ... it has some of the style of the Jack Donahoe ballads, but is clearly a different tale ... goldrush setting rather than Donahoe's 1820s. I see Jack Lefroy was a Vance Palmer Old Austalian Bush Songs item (where Stewart & Keesing got it from) .. but Stan Arthur also collected a version - and published it with music (arranged by himself). I must get all those together some time and get a better feel for the song!

Lefroy doesn't match up with any of the bushrangers I know of ... the somg actually sounds much more like the English "Confession" or "Gallows" ballads ...maybe it's a localisation of that tradition, rather than the Irish traditions that are very strong in the bushranging canon.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: cobber
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 08:02 AM

You're right Bob. It has a touch of Sam Hall about it.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 01:01 PM

Bold Jack Donahoe (2) in the DT shares some verses with the version reproduced in "Folk Songs of Australia," Meredith and Anderson, but has a chorus.
Bob Bolton is rounding up the versions, so no point is posting one.
It does have an inserted chorus;

Now come along my hearties, we'll roam the mountainside,
Together we will plunder and together we will die,
We'll wander o'er the valleys and we'll gallop o'er the plains,
For we scorn to live in slavery, bound down in iron chains.

Is this a floater? Lookslike it could fit in "Bold Ben Hall," etc.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD JACK DONAHUE
From: Cattail
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 05:31 PM

Hi Joe.

I don't know if this will be of any help to you, it bears a strong resemblance to your number two version but with minor variations.


I have it on a tape called:-

BUSHWACKERS AND CITY SLICKERS.
a Larrikin collection of Australian songs

By: AXIS: (EMI)

No: TC-AX 701305

Year: 1982

And sung and played by DANNY SPOONER on solo accordian

I have indicated where I cannot get the words, and what they sound
like to me. Perhaps our Australian friends can help us out with this?


BOLD JACK DONAHUE

Oh it's of a bold Australian
Of courage and renown
Who swore to live in slavery
Or be humble to the crown
In Dublin city were the place
Where first a breath he drew
Was here they christened him
The brave and bold Jack Donahue

Now Donahue was transported
All for a notorious crime
And sentenced to be hung upon
The gallows tree so high
But when they got him to Bathurst jail
He left them in a stew
For when they came to call the roll
They missed Jack Donahue

Instrumental of verse

Well when Donahue made his escape
to the bush he went straight 'way
The squatters they was feared for
To travel by night and day
For every day in the newspaper
They publish something new
Concerning all the valiant deeds
Of bold Jack Donahue


But as Donahue were cruisin'
One Sunday afternoon
And little was his notion
That his death would come so soon
When the sergeant of the *old* police (sounds like owse, probably horse)
Discharged his carabine
And called aloud on Donahue
To fight or to resign


Resign to you
You cowardly dogs
A thing I'd never do
I'd rather fight with all me might
Said bold Jack Donahue
I'd rather roam these hills around
Like wolf or kangaroo
Than I'd work one hour for your government
Said bold Jack Donahue


And three rounds he fought with the *old* police   (sounds like owse, as above)
Until the final ball
That pierced his heart
And *cruelly smart*   (can't get this at all, but sounds like this)
Caused Donahue to fall
The sergeant and the corporal
and all their cowardly crew
Well it took them all their time to fall
The bold Jack Donahue


Instrumental of verse


Well if *__* Grant, and Robin Hood   (sounds like freezy)
O'Hagan and O'Hare
But with Donahue the highwayman
Theres none who can compare
And now he's up in heaven I hope
With saints and angels too
Well I hope the lord have mercy on
The bold Jack Donahue


Cheers for now

Cattail !


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 05:48 PM

Sergeant of the horse police.

-and made him start.
These from the version in Meredith and Anderson, Folk Songs of Australia, p. 97-98.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 09:23 PM

G'day again Cobber,

Jack Lefroy is an interesting oddity of a song. It was around at the very start of the Australian "Folk Revival" as it was one of the 13 songs in Vance Palmer's Old Australian Bush Ballads, Allen & Co, 1950. This booklet was one of the sources for songs used in the 1953 Australian musical play Reedy River, which launched public awareness of a surviving and interesting Australian song tradition.

The version in Old Australian Bush Ballads is from Vance Palmer's memory, with tune "restored" by Margaret Sutherland (Vance was no great singer, by then). I don't know that tune, as I've never located a copy of the Palmer book though I should really seek one out for my archives or the Bush Music Club's!

Another version, collected by Stan Arthur (presumably in Queensland) appears in Bill Scott's Complete Book of Australian Folk Lore, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1976. Bill gives no collecting details and the tune (arr. Arthur) is, more or less, Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane ... or its hymn form; He's the Lily of the Valley with an interesting second part, repeated for the chorus. I must ask Bill (or Ron Edwards) if Stan ever mentioned any relevant background to his collected version.

Anyway, I notice that Bill Scott's notes remark on the similarity in style and content of . Jack Lefroy to English "execution ballads" although I find his attempt to lump the I'm Donahoe ballad into the same category rather forced. Jack Lefroy fits in well, with its tale of youthful derring-do, warnings, imprisonment, recidivism, capture, imminent execution and repentant warnings to the listeners. On the other hand I'm Donahoe presents a considered location of the history of English oppression of the Irish into a view of classical history, a plan and resolve to fight to the death if necessary, the justification and consolation of his religious faith and the final summary: "You still are the stranger - and I'm Donahoe!".

I think this could sum up the way that Jack Lefroy doesn't fit in with the Donahoe genre. Lefroy's tales is of a misspent youth, brought to its doom by the 'proper authorities'. Donahoe lays the foundations for the continuation, in an Australian context, of a millennium of resistance by the Irish!

Q: That verse is well attached to "Donahoe / Wild Colonial Boy" songs and I've not heard it in Ben Hall songs ... but it is a later insertion, as John Donahoe never rode horses in his bushramging career on the outskirts of old Sydney ... horses are too easily traced in a small community.

Cattail: That name is Freincy - presumably an historical outlaw from British or Irish history (I must check him out ... off-line!). The "Donahoe" line of ballads uses a lot of 'historical' antecedents and justification.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Cattail
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 10:28 AM

Hello Bob, thanks for the information on the name, there's no chance
that I'd have got it on my own, it's so unusual.

As I said before I just couldn't get some of the words off the track
and in some ways they don't seem to make much sense, as in the line
with Freincy in it,

Ah well we can't win them all, life would be too easy, wouldn't it?

Cheers for now

Cattail !


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: GUEST,An Pca
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 02:21 PM

I think Phil Butterss from a University in Adelaide did some work on Jack Donohue and the Irish outlaw context which was later than Meredith's work. I haven't seen it so I'd be grateful if any of the Aussies here could tell if it has appeared in print and outline any interesting contents.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 07:21 PM

G'day An Pca,

A quick web search doesn't find the work you describe, but I did get a good CV page for Dr Phil Butterss.

(Well ... maybe:

Butterss, Phil. 'Wild Colonial Boys' Games: Bold Jack Donahoe to R.J. Hawke'. Meanjin 48.3 (1989): 561-71.

in his journal articles list is relevant. (R[obert].J[ames]. [Lee] Hawke was Bob Hawke ... our "larrikin" Prime Minister, 1983-91 ... and Australians often confuse politicians with bushrangers!)

I'll see if I can get Phil's work, to which you refer, identified and located - but I suspect, from the general tenor of the articles cited, that Phil's territory is more in the area of modern social context and interpretation than the historicity and development of the ballads. John Meredith's concern was the collection of Australian traditional folklore and song. The Donahoe Ballads booklet, comprising material extracted from his larger work on Jack Donahoe, was an attempt to bring together all the historical texts relating to Donahoe - and examine their relationaship to each other.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WILD COLONIAL BOY
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 11:16 PM

G'day again,

OK - this is where we chuck in large lumps of text! This is all selected from The Donahoe Ballads, John Meredith, Red Rooster Press, Ascot Vale, Victoria, Australia, 1982. I have just selected the texts, with a minimum of background information. I have retained Meredith's numbering for each version, but I think that supplying all the running commentary would make the postings unworkable.

We will start with the versions of the song that are generally called The Wild Colonial Boy ... although these are generally the later forms of what, Meredith believes, all started from the poem (c. 1832) by "Frank the Poet" - Irish convict Francis McNamara:

The ballad which became the most popular one of the series is that which refers to Jack Donahoe as "the wild colonial boy". An early version of this was taken down from an old convict named Timms by Malcolm Ellis, towards the end of the 19th century. Timms, according to his own story was transported when eight years of age, and lived to become a prosperous carrier in South Western Queensland in the 1890's. Timms sang "The Wild Colonial Boy" to the tune of "The wearing of the Green", though he did mention another tune as being used after the song was banned. during the decade of its origin the singing of the ballad was forbidden in hostelries, probably because it was the anthem of rebellion (Ireland, 1798). To authorities the idea of Irish risings remained a bogey for many a year. No actual legislation has been traced regarding this prohibition, but there is a reference to it in The Historical Records of Australia, in a footnote to a letter from Governor Darling to Sir George Murray in 1831:

"Jack Donahoe was one of the most notorious bushrangers of the first epoch in bushranging or highway robbery in New South Wales.

He arrived in the colony as a convict, and during his career committed several murders. After he was shot, a pipe maker was permitted to take a cast of his head showing a bullet wound in the forehead. One of these casts is still extant. The pipemaker made clay pipes, the bowl bearing a facsimile of the cast, and these pipes had a large sale. A song composed called "Bold Jack Donahoe", and, as this song had an evil influence, its singing was prohibited in any public house on pain of loss of licence."

Timms' version was as follows:

THE WILD COLONIAL BOY

No.2A Ellis/Timms version

There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Donahoe by name,
Of poor but honest parents he was born in Castlemaine.
He was his father's dearest hope, his mother's pride and joy,
O, fondly did his parents love the wild colonial boy.
Chorus:
Then come away my hearties, we'll roam the hills so high,
Together we will plunder, together we will die.
We'll cross the wild Blue Mountains, and scour the Bathurst Plains,
For we scorn to live in slavery, bound down with iron chains.


He was scarcely sixteen years of age when he left his father's home,
A convict to Australia, across the seas to roam,
They put him in the iron gang in the Government employ,
But never an iron on earth could hold the wild colonial boy.

And when they sentenced him to hang to end his wild career,
With a loud shout of defiance, bold Donahoe broke clear.
He robbed the wealthy silvertails, their stock he did destroy,
But no trooper in the land could catch the wild colonial boy.

Then one day when he was cruising near the broad Nepean's side,
From out the thick Bringelly bush the horse police did ride.
"Die or resign, Jack Donahoe" they shouted in their joy,
"I'll fight this night with all my might!" cried the wild colonial boy.!"

Thus he fought six rounds with the horse police before the fatal ball,
Which pierced his heart and made him start, caused Donahoe to fall,
And then he closed his mournful eyes, his pistol an empty toy,
Crying, "Parents dear, O say a prayer for the wild colonial boy."

A version of "The Wild Colonial Boy" similar to Timms' version appears in a little songbook which was published anonymously in Western Australia several years ago:

THE WILD COLONIAL BOY
No. 2B West Australian version

There was a wild colonial youth, Jack Donahue by name;
Of poor but honest parents he was born in Castlemaine.
He was his father's only hope, his mother's pride and joy,
And dearly did his parents love that wild colonial boy.
Chorus:
Then come all my hearties, well roam the mountains high
Together we will wander, together we will die,
We'll roam beneath the bluegums, and gallop over plains,
For we scorn to live in slavery, bound down with iron chains.


He was scarcely sixteen years of age when he left his father's home,
And through Australia's sunny clime a bushranger did roam,
He robbed the wealthy squatters, their stocks he did destroy,
And a terror to the rich man was the wild colonial boy.

One day as he was riding the mountainside along,
A-listening to the little birds, their pleasant laughing song,
Three mounted troopers met him, Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy,
And thought that they would capture him, the wild colonial boy.

"Surrender now Jack Donahue, you see there's three to one,
Surrender now Jack Donahue, you daring highway man!"
He drew a pistol from his belt and waved it like a toy;
"I'll fight but won't surrender", cried the wild colonial boy.

He fired at trooper Kelly, and brought him to the ground,
And in return from Davis received a mortal wound;
All shattered through the jaws he lay, still firing at Fitzroy,
And that's the way they captured him, the wild colonial boy.

Another version of interest is that sung by Mr Theo. Archdeacon, of lnglewood, Western Australia, with this introduction:

"I happened to be going to Hale School here in the middle [18]eighties when the song "The Wild Colonial Boy" first came out, two schoolboys often used to sing it

Mr Archdeacon omits the usual second verse, but includes what is the third verse in most versions, the year in which the boy began his career 1836, 1861, 1863 or 1865 in different versions. It is also of interest to note, that in this Western Australian version, Jack Dowling is not killed, but comes out victorious over the troopers. This is most likely an expression of local sentiment at that period, either of Western Australians in general, or of the Hale schoolboys:

THE WILD COLONIAL BOY
No. 2C Archdeacon version
He was a wild colonial boy, Jack Dowling was his name,
Brought up by honest parents, and born in Castlemaine,
He was his father's only son; his mother's pride and joy,
And dearly, dearly did they love this wild colonial boy.
Chorus:
Then come along my hearties, who roam the mountains wide,
Together we will plunder, together we will ride,
We'll ride o'er the mountains and gallop o'er the plains,
Before we'll die in slavery, bound down by iron chains.


In eighteen hundred and sixty three he commenced his wild career,
With a heart that felt no danger and a mind that knew no fear,
He robbed the mail coach on the beach with judge or viceroy,
And a terror to-Australia was the wild colonial boy.

As Jack went out one morning and gaily rode along,
Listening to the mocking birds pretty little song,
Approached three mounted troopers, Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy,
Who rode up and tried to capture him, the wild colonial boy.

"Surrender now Jack Dowling, you outlawed plundering son,
Surrender in the Queen's name for we are three to one".
Jack drew a pistol from his belt and waved the little toy,
Saying "I'll fight but not surrender, I'm the wild colonial boy!"

He shot the trooper Kelly, and laid him on the !ground,
Davis firing in return, received a fatal wound,
He fired another shot, which stretched out poor Fitzroy,
And that was how they captured him, the wild colonial boy.

An unusual little fragment of "The Wild Colonial Boy" was sung to me by a ringer from the Gulf Country of Northern Queensland. This version has acquired an American cowboy chorus:

THE WILD COLONIAL BOY

Jack Donahoe, he is known by name,
Born and bred up in Castlemaine,
He was his mother's only hope, his father's only joy,
But how they dearly loved him, that wild colonial boy.

Chorus:
Yippee-i-ay, yippee-i-ohhh,
That wild colonial boy.


Another version of "The Wild Colonial Boy", which seemingly travelled to Ireland via America appears in an Irish songbook, Walton's 132 best Irish Songs and Ballads, for which publication it has been adapted by J. M. Crofts

THE WILD COLONIAL BOY
No.2E Walton's Irish songs version

There was a Wild Colonial Boy,
Jack Duggan was his name,
He was born and reared in Ireland,
In a place called Castlemaine,
He was his father's only son,
And his mother's pride and joy,
And dearly did his parents love
The Wild Colonial Boy.

At hammer throwing Jack was great,
Or swinging a caman,
He led the boys in all their pranks
From dusk to early dawn.
At fishin' or at poachin' trout,
He was the real McCoy,
And all the neighbours loved young Jack,
The Wild Colonial Boy.

At the early age of sixteen years,
He left his native home;
And to Australia's sunny land
He was inclined to roam.
He robbed the rich, and he helped the poor
He stabbed James MacEvoy.
A terror to Australia was
The Wild Colonial Boy.

For two more years this daring youth
Ran on his wild career,
With a head that knew no danger
And a heart that knew no fear.
He robbed outright the wealthy squires,
And their arms he did destroy;
And woe to all who dared to fight
The Wild Colonial Boy.

He loved the Prairie and the Bush,
Where Rangers rode along;
With his gun stuck in its holster deep,
He sang a merry song.
But if a foe once crossed his track,
And sought him to destroy
He'd get sharp shootin' sure from Jack,
The Wild Colonial Boy.

One morning on the prairie wild,
Jack Duggan rode along,
While listening to the mocking bird
Singing a cheerful song,
Out jumped three troopers, fierce and grim,
Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy:
They all set out to capture him,
The Wild Colonial boy.

"Surrender now, Jack Duggan, Come:
"You see there's three to one!
Surrender in the Queen's name, Sir,
You are a plundering son!"
Jack drew two pistols from his side,
And glared upon Fitzroy;
"I'll fight, but not surrender!" cried
The Wild Colonial Boy.

He fired a shot at Kelly
Which brought him to the ground,
He fired point blank at Davis, too
Who fell dead at the sound,
But a bullet pierced his brave young heart
From the pistol of Fitzroy;
And that was how they captured him,
The Wild Colonial Boy.


Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD JACK DONAHOE / BOLD JACK DONOHUE
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 11:26 PM

G'day again,

This time I will post the set of song texts that are usually known by the name Bold Jack Donahoe. These also come from John Meredith's book The Donahoe Ballads:

One of the "Bold Jack Donahoe" ballads has the first two verses and the chorus sung in the first person, and the remainder in the third person. The version following was sung to me by Mrs Gladys Scrivener, of Erskineville, N.S.W. Mrs Scrivener learned the ballad along with many other folk songs from her father, Mr J. M. Power, of West Maitland, who learned them whilst working in the bush in Northern New South Wales.

BOLD JACK DONAHOE
No.3 A Gladys Scrivener version
In Dublin Town I was brought up, in that city of great fame,
My decent friends and parents they will tell to you the same;
It was all for five hundred pounds I was sent across the main,
For seven long years in New South Wales to wear a convict's chain.

Chorus:
Now come along my hearties, we'll roam the mountainside,
Together we will plunder and together we will die,
We'll wander o'er the valleys and we'll gallop o'er the plains,
For we scorn to live in slavery, bound down in iron chains.


I'd scarce been there twelve months or more upon the Australian shore,
When I took to the highway as I'd oft-times done before,
There was me and Jacky Underwood, and Webber and Walmsley too,
These were the true associates of bold Jack Donahoe.

Now Donahoe was taken all for a notorious crime,
And sentenced to be hung upon the gallows tree so high,
But when they came to Sydney gaol he left them in a stew
And when they came to call the roll they missed Jack Donahoe.

Now Donahoe made his escape, to the bush he went straightway,
The people they were all afraid to travel night or day,
For every day the newspapers had something published new,
Concerning this dauntless hero the bold Jack Donahoe.

As Donahoe was cruising one summer's afternoon,
Listening to the mocking birds, their pretty laughing tune,
When the sergeant of the horse police discharged his carabine,
And called aloud on Donahoe to fight or to resign.

"Resign to you, you cowardly dogs, a thing I ne'er will do,
For I'll fight this night with all my might", cried bold Jack Donahoe,
"I'd rather roam these hills and dales like a wolf or kangaroo,
Than work one hour for government", cried bold Jack Donahoe.

He fought six rounds with the horse police until the fatal ball,
Which pierced his heart and made him start, caused Donahoe to fall,
And as he closed his mournful eyes, he bade this world adieu,
Saying, "Convicts all, both large and small, say prayers for Donahoe".

Like several other singers, Gladys Scrivener said that she had heard "The Wild Colonial Boy" sung to the same tune as "Bold Jack Donahoe".

A variant of this same ballad was collected by Alan Scott from the singing of Mr H. Beatty, of Hawthorne, a suburb of Brisbane, to a tune which differs greatly from that used by Gladys Scrivener:

BOLD JACK DONAHOE
No3B Beatty/Scott version

In Dublin Town I was brought up, that city of great fame,
My parents reared me tenderly, there was many that used the same;
Being a wild colonial boy, I was forced to cross the main,
And for seven long years to New South Wales to wear a convict chain.

Oh, I'd been no longer than six months upon the Australian shores,
When I turned out as a Tory boy, as I'd often done before.
There was Macnamara from yonder woods, and Captain Mackie too,
They were the chief associates of bold Jack Donahoe.

As O'Donahoe was taken for a notorious crime,
And sentenced to be hanged all on the gallows high;
But when they came to Sydney gaol, he left them in a stew,
For when they went to call the roll, they missed Jack Donahoe.

As O'Donahoe made his escape, to the woods he did repair,
Where the tyrants dared not show their face by night or by day;
And every week in the newspapers, there was published something new, Concerning that bold hero boy, called brave Jack Donahoe.

As O'Donahoe was walking one summer's afternoon,
Little was his notion that his death should be so soon,
When a sergeant of the horse police discharged his carabine, And loudly called to O'Donahoe to fight or else resign.

"Resign to you, you cowardly dog, it's a thing I ne'er will do,
For I'll range these woods and valleys like a wolf or a kangaroo;
I'll range these woods and valleys like a wolf or kangaroo
Before I'll work for Government -" said bold Jack Donahoe.

Nine rounds the horse policeman fired till at length the fatal ball,
He lodged it in O'Donahoe's breast and it caused him for to fall.
As he closed his mournful eyes, to this world he bade adieu;
"Good people all, both great and small, pray for Jack Donahoe."

The line "When I turned out as a Tory boy . . ." does not imply that Donahoe was a Conservative. In 17th century Ireland a "tory" was an outlaw, and the word was used more in a political than a criminal sense.

In the Hawkesbury Herald of 17 June, 1904, in one of a series of articles entitled "Reminiscences of Richmond" there is included a fragment of yet another Donahoe ballad, with an introductory note:

BOLD JACK DONOHUE

One old ditty that I have often heard sung when I was a boy. It related to the death of Donohue. The vocalist was one old blind "Tommy the Fiddler", and his platform was, generally, an empty rum-cask in a taproom, where he generally had an appreciative audience. I will repeat the song, not because it is anything intellectual, but it will give some idea of the sentiment of the times. It is thus:

No . 4A 1904 Printed version

Come all you lads of loyalty, a story I will tell,
It's of a gallant hero, who in action lately fell;
His name it was Jack Donohue, of courage and renown,
Who scorned to live in slavery or humble to the crown;
"I'd sooner range the forest like some wilful kangaroo,
Than work one hour for government," says bold Jack Donohue.

As Donohue and his two' companions were cruising the highway,
They were hailed by the horse police who boldly bade them stay;
"Come on, my lads of loyalty, we'll fight them man for man,
There are only three of them, you see, our number is just the same".
"Oh no," says cowardly Walmsley, "your wish we'll not fulfil;
Don't you see nine or ten of them advancing over the hill!

If it comes to a close engagement, we'll see it when too late;
So come along with me, my boys, we'll beat a quick retreat."
"Begone, you cowardly rascals, begone from me, I pray;
I'll fight them all myself, and that you plain will see."
The police commenced firing, poor Donohue did say,

"Oh, curse you, cowardly rascals, that from me have run away."
While one got out in front of him, another on each side,
At last the gallant hero received a ball and died;
Our holy angels guard him, before our heavenly King,
Our Saviour dear, who died for us, redeem his soul from sin.

" I have missed a couple of lines, but etc. "

In 1954 I made a tape-recording of a variant sung by an old man named Edwin Goodwin, aged, at the time, 75 years, who had learned a more complete version than that just quoted, when working as a timbercutter in the Nambucca River district on the North Coast of New South Wales:


BOLD JACK DONAHOE
No.4B Goodwin version
If you'll but listen, a sorrowful tale I'll tell,
Concerning a young hero, in action lately fell,
His name it was Jack Donahoe, of courage and renown,
He'd scorn to live in slavery or be humbled to the crown.

On the twenty-fourth of August, it be his fatal day,
As he and his companions were cruising the highway,
He was hailed by the horse-police, he stood with heart and hand,
"Come on, my lads," cried Donahoe, "We'll fight them man for mans'

Says he to his companions, "Now if you're game -
You'll see there's only three of them, our number's just the same,
        (line omitted by the singer)
For today it's life or liberty, or fall upon the plain."

"Oh no," says        cowardly Walmsley, "Your laws well] not fulfil,
You'll see there's eight or ten of them advancing on yon hill.
If it comes to an engagement, you'll rue it when too late,
So turn about and come with us - we'll form a quick retrate," [sic]

"Begone you cowardly scoundrels, begone, I pray from me,
For if we were united, weld gain this victory.
Today I'll fight with courage bold that all the world may see,
For I'd rather die in battle than be hung on a !gallows tree."

Soon they commenced their firing; poor Donahoe did say,
"My curse lay on you, Walmsley, for from me you've run away!"
The one played off in front of him, the other at each side,
At length he received a mortal wound and in his glory died.

The equals of Jack Donahoe this country has never seen,
He did maintain his rights, my boys, and that right manfully;
He was chased about by hundreds, for three long years or more,
Until, at length the heavens decreed that he should roam no more.

The awful end of Donahoe, the truth to you I've told,
And hope that all good Christians will pray for his soul,
May the Holy Angels guard him, likewise our Heavenly King,
And our Saviour dear who died for us, redeem his soul from sin.

The fifth Donahoe ballad contains, here and there, lines from No.4 group, is sufficiently different, and has developed sufficient variants of its own to be placed in a separate group. Variants of this ballad have been collected By John Manifold, in Queensland, and by A. L. Lloyd, in the Lachlan district Of New South Wales, but their published versions bear evidence of editorial "polishing up", so I have used the version published by A. B. Paterson in his folk song anthology, Old Bush Songs:

BOLD JACK DONAHOE
No 5 Paterson version

'Twas of a valiant highwayman and outlaw of disdain,
Who'd scorn to live in slavery or wear a convict's chain;
His name it was Jack Donahoe of courage and renown -
He'd scorn to live in slavery or humble to the Crown.

This bold undaunted highwayman, as you may understand,
Was banished for his natural life from Erin's happy land.
In Dublin City of renown, where his first breath he drew,
It's there they titled him the brave and bold Jack Donahoe.

He scarce had been a twelve-month on the Australian shore,
When he took to the highway, as oft he had before.
Brave Macnamara, Underwood, Webber and Walmsley too,
These were the four associates of bold Jack Donahoe.

As Jack and his companions roved out one afternoon,
Not thinking that the pains of death would overcome so soon,
To their surprise five horse police appeared all in their view,
And in quick time they did advance to take Jack Donahoe.

Come, come, you cowardly rascals, oh do not run away!
We'll fight them man to man, my boys, their number's only three;
For I'd rather range the bush around, like dingo or kangaroo,
Than work one hour for Government," said bold Jack Donahoe.

"Oh no," said cowardly Walmsley, "to that I won't agree;
I see they're still advancing us ~ their number's more than three.
And if we wait we'll be too late, the battle we will rue."
"Then begone from me, you cowardly dog," replied Jack Donahoe.

The Sergeant of the horse police discharged his carabine,
And called aloud to Donahoe "Will you fight or resign,"
"Resign, no, no! I never will, unto your cowardly crew,
For today I'll fight with all my might," cried bold Jack Donahoe.

The Sergeant then, in a hurry his party to divide,
Placed one to fire in front of him, and another on each side;
The Sergeant and the Corporal, they both fired too,
Till the fatal ball had pierced the heart of bold Jack Donahoe.

Six rounds he fought those horse police before the fatal ball,
Which pierced his heart with cruel smart, caused Donahoe to fall;
And as he closed his mournful eyes he bade this world adieu,
Saying, "Good people all, pray for the soul of poor Jack Donahoe".

There were Freincy, Grant, bold Robin Hood, Brennan and O'Hare;
With Donahoe this highwayman none of them could compare.
But now he's gone to Heaven, I hope, with saints and angels too
May the Lord have mercy on the soul of brave Jack Donahoe.

The book also has texts of an earlier song - said to have been written by John Donahoe himself: I'm Donahoe and two later songs.

One, The Drifting Smoke of the Mountains is said to have been "collected by" (although, more likely "written by") author, playwright, Kenneth Cook. The other, The Road to Vanderville is a modern song by Mrs Doris Woods, of "The Oaks".

I may have already posted the early song in another thread, but there seems little point in posting the modern ones.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Hrothgar
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:10 AM

This is quoted by Frank Clune in his book "Wild Colonial Boys."

Old Ireland lies groaning,
A hand at her throat
By coward betrayed
And by foreigners bought,
Forget not the lessons
Our fathers have taught
Though our land's full of danger
And held by the stranger
Be brave and true!

We'll take to the hills
Like the bandits of old
When Rome was first founded
By warriors bold,
Who knew how to plunder
The rich of their gold;
A life full of danger
With Jack the bushranger -
The bold Donahue!

We've left dear pld Ireland's
Hospitable shores -
The land of the Emmetts
The Tones and the Moores.
Sweet liberty o'er us
Her scalding tear pours,
She points at the Manger
Where Christ was a stranger -
And perished for you.

You may hurl us to crome
And brand us with shame;
But you never will catch us
Our spirit to tame;
For we'll fight to the last
In Old Ireland's sweet name
And we are bushrangers
Who care not for dangers -
With Bold Donahue!

Clune, Francis; "Wild Colonial Boys," Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1948.

I wouldn't quote Clune as an authority, but he did get around amongst people who knew this sort of stuff. It wouldn't surprise me if he remembered about two-thirds and filled in the rest himself.

I have seen the song elsewhere, though, and I seem to remember another verse that finishes:

Though I be a bushranger
You still are the stranger
And I'm Donahue!

Just can't lay my hand on it at the moment.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 06:56 AM

G'day Hrothgar,

The text you quote is a rather "Cluned" version of the song I'm Donahoe that I mentioned in my post above ... It was published in Thomas Walker's Felonry of new South Wales (c. 1895 ...?) - the tune is a slightly extended variant of that Irish tune well-known today as The Parting Glass, though Meredith comments that the song is 'parodied' on an earlier Irish patriotic anthem. Clune has interpolated into the main verse a "response" by the other bushrangers, quoted in Will Jones' Told Around the Bushranger's Fire (Walker's source).

I recited this as a poem for years, but when I came across the tune in Walker - I switched to singing it (mostly).
I did not post the text to this thread as I have probably posted it separately before ... and it is not a member of the Bold Jack Donahoe ballad variants.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 07:13 PM

Jack Donohue was transported on the 'Ann & Amelia' in the company of another Irish convict James Kerwin. Kerwin was a horse groom and unlike Donohoe, became successful as a jockey, horse breeder and publican upon gaining his freedom. Kerwin's early nickname on the Turf was "The Milkman" and was later known as "Jemmy the Jockey". He leased the old Half Way House Hotel on Parramatta Road Homebush and re-named it "The Horse and Jockey Hotel".
It's entirely possible that Donohoe visited Kerwin during his bushranging days. Interesting that directly after Donohoe was killed, his two partners were next reported conducting a holdup within sight of Kerwin's hotel. Also a few years later Kerwin named one of his racehorses "Jack Donohoe". Kerwin died in 1855.
The Horse and Jockey Hotel is still trading although it has been re-built three times. The original hotel was next door to the current building, and was timber and 'wattle & daub" with a shingle roof and extensive acerage with many outbuildings and stables.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 08:37 AM

Belated thanks to Bob Bolton and the rest for posting so much valuable info about this well-loved song.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 01:18 PM

Bold Jack Donahue as performed by O.C Davis and Red Harmon at Shafter FSA Camp, 1940.

Come all you jolly highway men and outlaws of the land
Whose kind do live in slavery or wear a convict's brand.
Attention pay to what I say and value it if you do
While I relate the naturala fate of Bold Jack Donahue.

This bold adopted highwayman as you may understand
Transported by a natural life from Ireland's happy land
From Dublin down while I reknown his first breath he drew
His deeds of honor entitle him to Bold Jack Donahue.

When he effected his escape to rob he went straightway
The people were afraid of him to travel night or day
For every day in the newspapers they were reading of something new
Concerning this bold highwayman called Bold Jack Donahue.

Will Wright, McClellan, Bill Collins and also Winselow
These were the four associates of Bold Jack Donahue.

Bold Donahue and his comrades rode out one afternoon
Not thinking of the hands of death that may o'er sail them soon
But acurst police to their surprise they quickly rode in view
And in quick turn they did advance to take Bold Donahue.

Bold Donahue to his comrades: if you prove true to me
Be willing, be bold, be upright, be legally firm and true
This day we'll gain our liberty said bold Jack Donahue.

Oh no, said cowardly Winselow to that we won't agree
For you see there are l5 of them and it's best for us to flee
For if we stay we'll lose the day and battle we will rue
Be gone from me you cowardly dog said Bold Jack Donahue.

The sergent unto Donahue: what do you carobine
Will you attempt to fight us or unto us resign
To surrender to such cowardly dogs is something I never would do
I'll fight this day until I die said Bold Jack Donahue.

The sergeant and the corporal their men they did divide
While some rode in behind him and others at his side
The sergeant fired at him and the people fired too

Nine men he forced to bite the dust before the fatal ball
Had pierced the heart of Donahue which caused him for to fall
And when he closed his trembling eyes he bid this world adieu
Dear Christians all pray for the soul of Bold Jack Donahue.

"Learned in South McAllister, Oklahoma."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 08:37 PM

Kitty Donohoe, you want to be in this thread....

-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: GUEST,thomas nr castlemaine irl
Date: 24 Sep 11 - 07:59 AM

dia dhuit
thomas o sullivan kerry irl...heard story re jack duggan from 1960,s
from an old man saying that jack was sent to his relatives in dublin early 1800,s as he fell out of favour with local landlord wm godfrey
as he got in tow with his daughter...sent to donoghue relatives in dublin...rest is history,,,,story stands up any discussion
slan tamallin thomas


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: GUEST,Kitty Donohoe
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 06:28 PM

I may have posted about this before, but it would have been awhile ago. I'm in the process
of compiling music for my 5th CD which will have a decidedly 'diaspora' slant of Irish- American music - some trad and some of my own. I've only found one Ballad of Jack Donohoe
with our spelling of the name and am looking for a traditional melody to accompany those
lyrics. Any thoughts out there?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: GUEST,Kitty Donohoe
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 06:35 PM

I should clarify that I have found lyrics that use the exact spelling of our version of the name - all 'o's and an 'e' - no 'a' or 'u'. What I'm trying to find is a melody that corresponds with that version of the song. And it could well be that there isn't one. In which case, I'll make up my own. :-) But I'd like to be as authentic as possible.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: freda underhill
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 02:05 AM

Here's a great version of the Wild Colonial Boy from Jason and Chloe Roweth


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 05:48 PM

Nice. Their tune is half the standard one, half "Son of a Gambolier."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: freda underhill
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 06:30 PM

Chlo and Jason Roweth have been performing and recording for over 18 years. They are wonderful musicians, but as well, true folk historians who enjoy bringing almost forgotten songs back to life again. Rob Willis, a song collector and musician who works with the National Library in Canberra, often gives them newly discovered songs or versions of songs to sing.

As well, they also write songs, such as this one, the beautiful
songs of the bush


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 12:56 PM

Carriage


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Feb 14 - 01:00 PM

Sorry, the above is a mistake.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: GUEST,Neil
Date: 18 Jun 14 - 04:25 AM

"The earliest Donahoe ballad appeared in The Sydney Gazette
7th September 1830"

This is simply not true. It is very easy to go check the paper in question at NLA digital collections.

see: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page499335


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Jun 14 - 08:20 AM

Oh the folk process.

I sing "Jack Dougan was his name" (to rhyme with Castlemain)

& I have seen references to Doolan. I have to say Dougan & Doolan scan much better in the tune I sing.

I found the words somewhere in print (or on the web possibly). bThe tune I absorbed in Folk Clubs.


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