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Origins: When Dacey Rode the Mule

GUEST,rank 12 Jul 14 - 10:03 AM
Rank 13 Jul 14 - 04:18 PM
sciencegeek 13 Jul 14 - 08:15 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Jul 14 - 09:13 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Jul 14 - 10:40 PM
Rank 14 Jul 14 - 04:32 PM
Bob Bolton 14 Jul 14 - 07:55 PM
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Subject: Origins: When Dacey rode the mule
From: GUEST,rank
Date: 12 Jul 14 - 10:03 AM

The Australian bush poem/song "When Dacey rode the mule" appears to be ascribed to both Banjo Paterson and Harry Morant (the breaker). Does anyone have a definitive line on this.

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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN DACEY RODE THE MULE (Paterson?Morant
From: Rank
Date: 13 Jul 14 - 04:18 PM

I'd better put the words up to see if that helps then.

When Dacey Rode the Mule

By Harry Morant ("The Breaker.").
Also ascribed to Banjo Paterson 1893

'Twas in a small, up-country town,
When we were boys at school,
There came a circus with a clown,
And with a bucking mule.
The clown announced a scheme they had-
The mule was such a King-
They'd give a crown to any lad
Who'd ride him round the ring.

And, gentle reader, do not scoff,
Nor think the man a fool;
To buck a porous plaster off
Was pastime to that mule!

The boys got on-he bucked like sin-
He threw them in the dirt;
And then the clown would raise a grin,
By asking, "Are yez hurt?"
But Johnny Dacey came one night,
The crack of all the school;
Said he, "I'll win the crown all right;
Bring in your bucking mule!"

The elephant went off his trunk,
The monkey played the fool;
And all the band got blazing drunk,
When Dacey rode the mule.

But soon there was an awful shout
Of laughter, as the clown,
From somewhere in his pants drew out
A little paper crown:
He placed the crown on Dacey's head,
While Dacey looked a fool:
"Now, there's your crown, my lad," he said,
"For riding of the mule!"

The band struck up with "Killaloe,"
And "Rule Britannia, Rule,"
And "Young Man from the Country," too,
When Dacey rode the mu1e.

Then Dacey, in a furious rage,
For vengeance on the show,
Ascended to the monkey's cage,
And let the monkeys go.
The blue-tailed ape and chimpanzee,
He turned abroad to roam;
Good faith! It was a sight to see
The people step for home.

For big baboons with canine snout,
Are spiteful as a rule;
The people didn't sit it out,-
When Dacey rode the mule.

And from the beasts that did escape,
The bushmen all declare,
Were born some creatures partly ape
And partly native bear.
They're rather few and far between;
The race is nearly spent-
But some of them may still be seen
In Sydney Parliament!

And when those legislators fight,
And drink, and act the fool-
It all commenced that wretched night,
When Dacey rode the mule!

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Subject: RE: Origins: When Dacey rode the mule
From: sciencegeek
Date: 13 Jul 14 - 08:15 PM

The Australian Poetry Library cites this as Patterson's work published in Saltbush Bill, J.P. and Other Verses.

Mike knows it from his book of the Complete Poetry Collection of Banjo Patterson.

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Subject: RE: Origins: When Dacey rode the mule
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Jul 14 - 09:13 PM


Very interesting ... almost all reputable source credit to A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson.

The date of Banjo's publishing falls close to execution of 'Breaker' Morant ... and ... inevitably ... gets tangled in the morass of behind the scenes politics and judicial murder in the suppression of the Dutch element of South Australia ... versus "Military Law"!

... Just try mentioning - in a "Scouting" family - like the one I grew up with - that Baden Powell back then "invented" the concept of the Prison Camp ... !



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Subject: RE: Origins: When Dacey rode the mule
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Jul 14 - 10:40 PM

Err ... G'day again ...

Actually, the entity 'ascribed' to Baden Powell's management of the circumstances of South Africa was "Concentration Camp" ... designed to minimise contact and cross-support of the 'Dutch' fighters with their families and none (- or less - "combabant") supporters.

Keeping my head down ...


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Subject: RE: Origins: When Dacey rode the mule
From: Rank
Date: 14 Jul 14 - 04:32 PM

A book I have just acquired -Australian Bush Songs and Ballads ed. Will Lawson 1943 attributes the song to Harry Morant. An article, by Bartley Frere, in the Townsville Daily Bulletin of 28th Oct 1954 prints this song together with an article about Harry Morant. Access to the Sydney Bulletin where Morant's poems were published would be interesting.

While the song may well have been written by Banjo Patterson I am conscious that not everything attributed to a particular person has always been written by them. I am thinking in particular of Robert Burns, possibly our greatest plagiarist.

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Subject: RE: Origins: When Dacey rode the mule
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Jul 14 - 07:55 PM

G'day Rank,

If you follow up 'Breaker' Morant's history ... you'll see why a lot of people might be likely to embellish the facts ... and ascribing a favourite poem could easily become part of avoiding / bypassing / ignoring the unpleasant facts ...



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