Mudcat Café message #1113456 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66885   Message #1113456
Posted By: Joe Offer
10-Feb-04 - 12:57 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
Subject: Lyr Add: JACK DONAHOO
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.


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