The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126636 Message #3438495
Posted By: The Sandman
19-Nov-12 - 03:31 AM
Thread Name: Song about the Thames River
Subject: RE: Song about the Thames River
sorry about thread creep about pub with no beer, the song was originally a poem by dan sheehan,[bert] the words are quota not quarter, some info about the actual pub.
The song made Slim Dusty an international star, but the famous words have humble beginnings in an old Ingham pub called the Day Dawn. And the history lives on today through the Lee's Hotel
During World War II, the Day Dawn Hotel in Ingham was a popular spot, and not just with locals.
The small town was the first night's stop for convoys of thirsty American soldiers travelling from Townsville to Cairns and Darwin.
And if it wasn't for those soldiers drinking the Day Dawn dry one evening in 1943, the iconic Aussie song "A Pub With No Beer" would never have been recorded by Slim Dusty, it would never have gone gold, and would never have become internationally renowned.
Lee's Hotel now stands where the Day Dawn once did, and publican Mark Doyle says the story of the infamous pub began the following day, with a poem by local Irish-born farmer Dan Sheahan.
"Dan came in from a small area called Long Pocket and was told by the then publican, 'We've run out of beer'," Mark explains. "He was quite a prolific Irish poet and he sat in the corner with a warm glass of wine and penned the poem 'A pub without beer'."
The Harvey family were the publicans at the time, and the family still owns the Station Hotel in Ingham. "Dulcie Harvey who runs the Station Hotel now still recalls the day her mum Gladys actually told Dan that the pub had run out of beer," Mark says.
The poem was published in The North Queensland Register, and about 12 years later Gordon Parsons found the verses.
He added his own characters, set it to music and his friend Slim Dusty recorded it as a b-side in 1957.
As the song became an international success, controversy grew over the identity of the pub.
"The controversy is where the song was written versus where the poem was written I suppose," Mark Doyle explains.
"The actual poem was written here in Ingham, and that poem was then translated into the song some years later down in a pub in New South Wales, [whose owners] also claimed the same fame."
The Taylor's Arms Hotel was Gordon Parson's local, and according to the pub's website it's the one that ran out of beer.
"But of course Slim Dusty mentions in his book Walk a Country Mile that this is the pub that the song came from," Mark Doyle says.
"Of course there's the New South Wales/Queensland rivalry that always occurs. But we know this one's the right one, as do the family of Dan Sheahan, and there's quite a few of them around town here in Ingham," he says.
Controversy aside, Mark says the original Day Dawn Hotel was a typical western-style pub. It was a Queenslander-style hotel, with hitching rails and swinging doors out the front.
"It was very popular back then with one cold beer on tap and that was about it, apart from a bit of warm wine that Dan had to have," Mark laughs.
The Day Dawn replaced the Telegraph Hotel, which was built on the site in the late 1800s. Then the Day Dawn was eventually demolished, and Rupert Lee built a new pub in its place: Lee's Hotel.
"[Rupert Lee's] whole family was in town and he owned a number of stores and built a couple of buildings around the town as well."
The current publicans Mark and Belinda Doyle have owned Lee's Hotel for three and a half years, after moving up from Melbourne.
"We saw this one and thought it a great opportunity for us to develop and to modernise it to what it is now, and it'll continue to go that way.
"We're proud of the fact that it's the original pub with no beer and that the Sheahan family come in here regularly."
Mark Doyle says it's currently going through a refurbishment phase. He and his wife have fitted a new wine and cocktail bar and the restaurant out the back is empty for renovations.
"It's more your 1960s style of hotel that's going through this phase of modernisation," Mark says.
Not long after the Doyles took over in 2005 the pub was named as a National Trust Queensland Icon.
"We elected for the Sheahan family to go down and pick up the award, which is fantastic given the history that they have in creating the icon status that it is," Mark says.
But should visitors be concerned that the Lee's Hotel might actually run out of beer again?
"I've sworn now that we'll never run out of beer," Mark says. "There was a flood about two years ago and the
International Hotel in Giru was looking at running out of beer. I was almost tempted to supply them with some so they couldn't take my story away from me," he laughs.
So it seems the pub with no beer will always have beer - or perhaps a glass of warm wine for budding Irish poets.
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