We are happy to offer some special notes on all of the songs on the CD. Some of the text will be identical to that found on the CD, while there are special comments and further information added--some of which was not able to be printed due to size constraints. We hope you will enjoy this companion to your CD purchase. There are additional external links to other sites offering lyrics and guitar chords and tabulature for your convenience.
This is a mid-19th century tale of a lad from Castlemaine, Co. Kerry. The 18 year old Irish transport John Donohoe arrived at Sydney Cove in 1825. 3 years later he convicted of highway robbery and sentenced to death. He escaped and waged a guerrilla war against the wealthy for more than 2 years in the country around Sydney. On September 1st 1830 he was ambushed by a police party near Cambelltown and shot dead, his companions Webber and Warmsley escaping into the bush. This is one song where we pull out the Bluegrass influences in our music front and center for the performance. It was a lot of fun!
There are a whole genre of Australian bush ballads. It is amazing how "Cowboy Poetry" has become so popular in the U. S., but we fail to recognize the wonderful talents of people like Banjo Patterson and A. L. Lloyd
In his Old Bush Songs , Banjo Patterson wrote "it will be noticed that the same chorus is sung to both 'The Wild Colonial Boy' and 'Bold Jack Donahoo'. Several versions of both songs were sent in, but the same chorus was always made to do duty for both songs."
The Wild Colonial Boy
There was a Wild Colonial Boy, Jack Duggan was his name
He was born and raised in Ireland
In a place called Castlemaine;
He was his father's only son; His mother's pride and joy
And dearly did his parents love the Wild Colonial Boy.
A the early age of 16 years he left his native home
And to Australia's sunny shores he was inclined to roam
He robbed the rich, he helped the poor,
He shot James MacAvoy
A terror to Australia was the Wild Colonial Boy.
One morning on the prairie as Jack he rode along
A'listening to the mockingbird singing its cheerful song
Out stepped a band of troopers--Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy
They all set out to capture him-- The Wild Colonial Boy
Surrender now, Jack Duggan
For you see we're three to one
Surrender in the Queen's high name,
For you are a plundering son
Jack drew two pistols from his belt and
He proudly waved them high
" I'll fight but not surrender," said The Wild Colonial Boy
He fired a shot at Kelly which brought him to the ground
And turning 'round to Davis he received a fatal wound
A bullet pierced his proud young heart
From the pistol of Fitzroy
And that was how they captured him
The Wild Colonial Boy.