The Larrikin Gang by Fred McCabe

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Mr. Fred Maccabe, who is a great traveller and goes about the world with eyes wide open, says that one of the signs of evil times to come in Victoria and New South Wales is the prevalence and toleration of larrikinism. The magistrates of these colonies, he says, are afraid to attempt to suppress by drastic punishment this colonial form of ruffianism. A short time ago, however, one sensible man who had been promoted to the bench, had the courage to send some larrikins to gaol, wheneupon Mr. Maccabe burst into poetry and penned the following lines, which he will sing at his farewell performances next week.  

When I was a boy I did enjoy
Strong health in a sinewy frame;
But I did not know
How to get a show
ln the rush of a rowdy game.
Till I found a pal
Who says, "You shall
Indulge in a push and a fight,
I've got some chums
Down in the slums
Who will join us with delight;
And they'll all agree,
With the greatest glee
To row with a slang and a bang.
Let us organise   
And the town surprise
With the pranks of a larrikin gang.
We enjoyed the charm
Of doing harm
To decent women and men,
And oh! t'was a treat
When we made a street
Like a regular wild beast's den.
And we didn't cease
When the stupid p'lice
Began to interfere
And the magistrates,
Who we all hates
Declared it would cost us dear
And they says "Look here
It seems quite clear
Since larrikins we can't hang
We must all combine
To inflict a fine
When we deal with a larrikin gang
So they connived
As we contrived,
By subscribing a bob or a crown,
When a pal was fined
We didn't mind,
'Cos we plonked the money down;
But a cove on the bench
His fist did clench,
And he says, "I'll let them know
That these young blokes
Can't play their jokes
With a curse and a kick or a blow,
With a sentence clear
And very severe
I'll draw the ruffian's fang.
They shall go to gaol
And I'll take no bail -
That settles the larrikin gang."
Since I've been in jail
I've dropped my tail,
And chucked up the larrikin gang.

First published in The West Australian, 29 January 1892

Author: Nothing is known about this author other than the notes printed at the top of this poem.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 29, 2011 7:50 AM.

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