Mudcat Café message #1113727 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66885   Message #1113727
Posted By: Bob Bolton
10-Feb-04 - 10:50 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
Subject: RE: DTStudy: Bold Jack Donohue
G'day again,

I might just throw in some preliminary observations about the first version of Bold Jack Donohoe in the DT:

(The supporting text is rather odd - it appears to have been OCR-scanned with the selected area too narrow, so that the ends of words/sentences have been clipped.)

(this) ballad has sported many versions both in Australia and Ireland, amo(?)
"The Wild Colonial Boy" and "The Ballad of Jack Dolan (or Duggan, D(?))
but this one is the original. ...

As regards the last statement, this version is certainly much later than the originals, which date from the 1830s, when horses were not commonly ridden by ordinary farmers and settlers in the east coast areas of New South Wales where Donahoe operated. In fact, the main reason he, and his gang, stayed free for so long was his policy of staying inconspicuous ... no horses to be tracked - stopping only one night in any location - using inconspicuous caves for shelter. (In fact, one of the recorded "Donahoe Caves" is only a mile or so from where Alison runs the Toongabbie Music Club!)

Anyway, this divides the later versions (with horses ... generally from the Goldrush era and later - post-1855) from the more authentic versions based on Frank "The Poet" MacNamara's verses ... written around 1832/3 ... some two or three years after the death of Donahoe and, thus, already becoming consciously "collected" convict folklore!