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Lyr Req: Bastard from the Bush (Australian)

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mcpiper 12 Nov 00 - 04:34 AM
John in Brisbane 12 Nov 00 - 07:04 PM
Bob Bolton 12 Nov 00 - 09:16 PM
Bugsy 12 Nov 00 - 09:23 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Nov 00 - 02:48 AM
mcpiper 13 Nov 00 - 04:21 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Sep 09 - 08:57 AM
Bugsy 24 Sep 09 - 08:59 PM
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Subject: Bastard from the bush
From: mcpiper
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 04:34 AM

Hi to all. I know that it is not a song, but I would like to finds the words to this poem. I realise that it is fairly bawdy, so just links, or even the words to my personal pages would help.
Thanks, mcpiper.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bastard from the bush
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 07:04 PM

Hi McPiper, your basic request is not a hard one but I personally can't help you at this time. The standard version as I know it was written by Henry Lawson as I recall and has been published in a number of his anthologies. I'm sure that a resourceful Mudcatter can cough this up fairly easily.

About 1972 at the National Folk Festival in Melbourne I heard a somewhat embellished version with language a mite more colourful. The name that comes to mind was 'Mossy'. I'm sure that someone like Bob Bolton would have access to the X rated version.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bastard from the bush
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 09:16 PM

G'day Mcpiper,

OK, so John is right. I can scan in the words from Brad Tate's collection of Australian Bawdry ... of the same name - when I get back from tonight's Monday Night Session. There are a few variants of this, but I think Brad's is the most (il)legitimate.

Perhaps I had best PM it to you ... I'll see what it looks like on screen.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bastard from the bush
From: Bugsy
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 09:23 PM

Bob, please PM it to me as well.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAPTAIN OF THE PUSH (Lawson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 02:48 AM

G'day again,

I'll start by upholding poor old Henry's honour and posting the clean version - his 1892 poem The Captain of the Push. He is believed to have written the much morte pungent version for private circiulation. I will PM a copy to mcpiper, Bugsy and John.

BTW: mcpiper, strictly speaking, it IS a song. There is one tune for THE CAPTAIN OF THE PUSH in Chris Kempster's book The Songs of Henry Lawson - not one I am familiar with but it looks an appropriately gloomy tune, in Em. I will try it out ... and MAY end up posting it.

Regards,

Bob Bolton

The Captain of the Push
Henry Lawson

As the night was falling slowly down on city, town, and bush
From a slum in Jones's Alley sloped the Captain of the Push,
And he scowled towards the North, and he scowled towards the South,
As he hooked his little fingers in the corners of his mouth.
Then his whistle, loud and piercing, woke the echoes of the Rocks",
And a dozen ghouls came sloping round the corners of the blocks.

There was nought to rouse their anger; yet the oath that each one swore
Seemed less fit for publication than the one that went before.
For they spoke the gutter language with the easy flow that comes
Only to the men whose childhood knew the gutters and the slums.
Then they spat in turn, and halted; and the one that came behind,
Spitting fiercely at the pavement called on Heaven to strike him blind.

Let me first describe the captain, bottle-shouldered, pale and thin:
He was just the beau-ideal or' a Sydney larrikin.
E'en his hat was most suggestive of the place where Pushes live,
With a gallows-tilt that no one, save a larrikin, can give;
And the coat, a little shorter than the fashion might require,
Showed a (more or less uncertain) lower part of his attire.

That which tailors know as "trousers"-known to him as "blooming bags"-
Hanging loosely from his person, swept, with tattered ends, the flags;
And he had a pointed sternpost to the boots that peeped below
(Which he laced up from the centre of the nail of his great toe),
And he wore his shirt uncollared, and the tie correctly wrong;
But I think his vest was shorter than should be on one so long.

Then the captain crooked his finger at a stranger on the kerb,
Whom he qualified politely with an adjective and verb,
And he begged the Gory Bleeders that they wouldn't interrupt
Till he gave an introduction-it was painfully abrupt
"Here's the bleedin' push, my covey-here's a (something) from the bush!
Strike me dead, he wants to join us!" said the captain of the push.

Said the stranger: "I am nothing but a bushy and a dunce;
But I read about the Bleeders in the Weekly Gasbag once:
Sitting lonely in the humpy when the wind began to woosh,
How I longed to share the dangers and the pleasures of the push!
Gosh! I hate the swells and good uns-I could burn 'em in their beds;
I am with you, if you'll have me, and I'll break their blazing heads."

"Now, look here," exclaimed the captain to the stranger from the bush,
"Now, look here-suppose a feller was to split upon the push,
Would you lay for him and down him, even if the traps were round?
Would you lay him out and kick him to a jelly on the ground?
Would you jump upon the nameless-kill, or cripple him, or both?
Speak? or else I'll-SPEAK!" The stranger answered, "My kerlonial oath!"

"Now, look here," exclaimed the captain to the stranger from the bush,
"Now, look here-suppose the Bleeders let you come and 'join the push,
Would you smash a bleedin' bobby if you got the blank alone?
Would you stoush a swell or Chinkie-split his garret with a stone?
Would you have a 'moll' to keep you-like to swear off work for good?"
"Yes, my oath!" replied the stranger. "My kerlonial oath! I would!"

"Now, look here," exclaimed the captain to that stranger from the bush,
"Now, look here-before the Bleeders let you come and join the push.
You must prove that you're a blazer-you must prove that you have grit
Worthy of a Gory Bleeder-you must show your form a bit
Take a rock and smash that winder!" and the stranger, nothing loth,
Took the rock and - smash! The Bleeders muttered "My kerlonial oath!"

So they swore him in, and found him sure of aim and light of heel,
And his only fault, if any, lay in his excessive zeal.
He was good at throwing metal, but I chronicle with pain
That he jumped upon a victim, damaging the watch and chain
Ere the Bleeders had secured them; yet the captain of the push
Swore a dozen oaths in favour of the stranger from the bush.

Late next mom the captain, rising, hoarse and thirsty, from his lair,
Called the newly-feathered Bleeder; but the stranger wasn't there!
Quickly going through the pockets of his bloomin' bags, he learned
That the stranger had been through him for the stuff his moll had earned;
And the language that he uttered I should scarcely like to tell
(Stars! and note's of exclamation!! blank and dash will do as well).

That same night the captain's signal woke the echoes of The Rocks,
Brought the Gory Bleeders sloping through the shadows of the blocks;
And they swore the stranger's action was a blood-escaping shame,
While they waited for the nameless-but the nameless never came.
And the Bleeders soon forgot him; but the captain of the push
Still is laying round, in ballast, for the stranger "from the bush'.

Poetical Works of Henry Lawson, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1918 – 1979 (et seq), p. 202


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bastard from the bush
From: mcpiper
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 04:21 AM

Thanks heaps Bob, I've just read the version on my PM, thats the bugger. I suppose some people may be shocked or offended by verse or songs such as this, but I find them screamingly funny in the right company. Over the years I have worked with quite a few Aussies who knew the odd line, but to have the full version is just the ducks guts, as they say. Many thanks, all power to the Mudcat community.
mcpiper


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Subject: Lyr Req: THE BASTARD FROM THE BUSH (Australian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 08:57 AM

From The New Oxford Book of Australian Verse by Les A. Murray (Melbourne; New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), page 83:


THE BASTARD FROM THE BUSH
Anonymous (Attributed in part to Henry Lawson)

As night was falling slowly on city, town and bush,
From a slum in Jones's Alley came the Captain of the Push,
And his whistle, loud and piercing, woke the echoes of the Rocks,
And a dozen ghouls came slouching round the corners of the blocks.

Then the Captain jerked a finger at a stranger by the kerb,
Whom he qualified politely with an adjective and verb.
Then he made the introduction: 'Here's a covey from the bush;
Fuck me blind, he wants to join us, be a member of the Push!'

Then the stranger made this answer to the Captain of the Push:
'Why, fuck me dead, I'm Foreskin Fred, the Bastard from the Bush!
I've been in every two-up school from Darwin to the Loo;
I've ridden colts and blackgins; what more can a bugger do?'

'Are you game to break a window?' said the Captain of the Push.
'I'd knock a fucking house down!' said the Bastard from the Bush.
'Would you out a man and rob him?' said the Captain of the Push.
'I'd knock him down and fuck him!' said the Bastard from the Bush.

'Would you dong a bloody copper if you caught the cunt alone?
Would you stoush a swell or Chinkie, split his garret with a stone?
Would you have a moll to keep you; would you swear off work for good?'
Said the Bastard: 'My colonial silver-mounted oath I would!

'Would you care to have a gasper?' said the Captain of the Push.
'I'll take that bloody packet! said the Bastard from the Bush.
Then the Pushites all took council, saying, 'Fuck me, but he's game!
Let's make him our star basher; he'll live up to his name.'

So they took him to their hideout, that Bastard from the Bush,
And granted him all privileges appertaining to the Push.
But soon they found his little ways were more than they could stand,
And finally their Captain addressed the members of his band:

'Now listen here, you buggers, we've caught a fucking Tartar.
At every kind of bludging, that Bastard is a starter.
At poker and at two-up he's shook our fucking rolls;
He swipes our fucking likker and he robs our bloody molls!'

So down in Jones's Alley all the members of the Push
Laid a dark and dirty ambush for that Bastard from the Bush.
But against the wall of Riley's pub the Bastard made a stand,
A nasty grin upon his dial; a bike-chain in each hand.

They sprang upon him in a bunch, but one by one they fell,
With crack of bone, unearthly groan and agonising yell,
Till the sorely battered Captain, spitting teeth and gouts of blood,
Held an ear all torn and bleeding in a hand bedaubed with mud.

'You low polluted Bastard! snarled the Captain of the Push,
'Get back where your sort belongs — that's somewhere in the bush.
And I hope heaps of misfortunes may soon tumble down on you;
May some lousy harlot dose you till your ballocks turn sky-blue!

'May the itching piles torment you; may corns grow on your feet!
May crabs as big as spiders attack your balls a treat!
And when you're down and outed, to a hopeless bloody wreck,
May you slip back through your arsehole and break your fucking neck!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bastard from the Bush (Australian)
From: Bugsy
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 08:59 PM

Ahhh, There's something about a romantic bush ballad that tugs at the heart strings.

CHeers

Bugsy.


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