Saltbush Bill and other Verses

An Evening in Dandaloo

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

IT was while we held our races—
Hurdles, sprints and steeplechases—
    Up in Dandaloo,
That a crowd of Sydney stealers,
Jockeys, pugilists and spielers
Brought some horses, real heelers,
    Came and put us through.

Beat our nags and won our money,
Made the game by no means funny,
    Made us rather blue;
When the racing was concluded,
Of our hard-earned coin denuded
Dandaloonies sat and brooded
    There in Dandaloo.

.     .     .     .     .

Night came down on Johnson’s shanty
Where the grog was no way scanty,
    And a tumult grew
Till some wild, excited person
Galloped down the township cursing,
“Sydney push have mobbed Macpherson,
    Roll up, Dandaloo!”

Great St Denis! what commotion!
Like the rush of stormy ocean
    Fiery horsemen flew.
Dust and smoke and din and rattle,
Down the street they spurred their cattle
To the war-cry of the battle,
    “Wade in, Dandaloo!”

So the boys might have their fight out,
Johnson blew the bar-room light out,
    Then, in haste, withdrew.
And in darkness and in doubting
Raged the conflict and the shouting,
“Give the Sydney push a clouting,
    Go it, Dandaloo!”

Jack Macpherson seized a bucket,
Every head he saw he struck it—
    Struck in earnest, too;
And a man from Lower Wattle,
Whom a shearer tried to throttle,
Hit out freely with a bottle
    There in Dandaloo.

Skin and hair were flying thickly,
When a light was fetched, and quickly
    Brought a fact to view—
On the scene of the diversion
Every single, solid person
Come along to help Macpherson—
    All were Dandaloo!

When the list of slain was tabled—
Some were drunk and some disabled—
    Still we found it true.
In the darkness and the smother
We’d been belting one another;
Jack Macpherson bashed his brother
    There in Dandaloo.

So we drank, and all departed—
How the “mobbing” yarn was started
    No one ever knew—
And the stockmen tell the story
Of that conflict fierce and gory,
How he fought for love and glory
    Up in Dandaloo.

It’s a proverb now, or near it—
At the races you can hear it,
    At the dog-fights, too!
Every shrieking, dancing drover
As the canines topple over
Yells applause to Grip or Rover,
    “Give him ‘Dandaloo’!”

And the teamster slowly toiling
Through the deep black country, soiling
    Wheels and rides, too,
Lays the whip on Spot and Banker,
Rouses Tarboy with a flanker—
”Redman! Ginger! Heave there! Yank her
    Wade in, Dandaloo!”

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