Recently in Alcohol and Drinking Category

"By Any Other Name" by C.J. Dennis

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Australian Vignerons vigorously object to the term "plonk" applied to certain Australian wines.

Strange how a thing may be given the bird
By the mere sound of a word.
Consider, for example, the designs
In names for wines.
Has about it an air of gay bravado.
Malmsey, Sauterne, Champagne,
Never gain
Any implication
Of degradation.
But wouldn't it be utterly "cronk" --
Would it have a dreadful sound
To say a certain Duke of Clarence was drowned
In a butt of plonk?

First published in The Herald, 29 October 1937

Sea Piece by C.J. Dennis

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Beer has been banned on British warships as its stowage occupies too much space -- in the ship, not the sailor.

"Beer?" said the tar,
Leaning against the bar.
"Since they left beer ashore
The rollin' billers ain't no more
Me spiritcheoll 'ome.
Beer is wot I craves;
An' I got so perishin' dry
I ketch meself 'avin' a try
To blow the blinkin' foam
Off-er the wild, wild waves."

First published in The Herald, 20 October 1937

Shweemeesh by C.J. Dennis

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Chocolates have recently been discovered in Melbourne containing five per cent. of pure proof spirit.

I would offer you a "snifter," but there's nothing in the house;
And if I bring a bottle home the wife is sure to "rouse."
But a sweetmeat on occasion with her full approval meets;
So, have another chocolate; they're such nice sweets.

She holds "views" concerning alcohol; and probably she's right.
Too many "spots" do harm a man, especially at night.
Go on, old man, just help yourself. It's nothing much in treats;
Still have another chocolate; they're such nice sweets.

Whaz 'at? Oh, yes, the flavor's fine when once you get a taste.
Here, grab a han'ful! Azzer style. Don't let 'em go to waste.
They're quite innoc--(ick)--ocuous. Beats alcohol by streets.
Here, have anuzzer schocolit; they're sush nice sweets ...

S'sh! 'Ere's a wife. ... 'Ullo, me dear. I'm entertainin' Smith.
A lirrle box-a schocolits. Not mush to do it with.
Whaz 'at? Strong drink? Mosh shertinly -- not -- so! I'm on th' leash
'Ere, darlin'. 'Ave a schocolit; they're sush nicesh sweesh.

First published in The Herald, 17 October 1931

Casey by C.J. Dennis

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There's a dab an' wattle shanty of the edge of Wild Dog Scrub,
Which ain't the place, exac'ly thet you'd call a fust-class pub;
But when yer flush yer welcome there -- no matter who you are,
Where Mister Paddy Casey deals the booze across the bar;
For 'e loves you like a brother, when you 'ave a bob to wet,
But when yer awn yer uppers you must 'ump the swag an' get.

Oh, Casey!  Mr. Casey!  Yer a hot un, yer a daisy.
Yer as pisinous an' rotten as yer beer.
You've took us down an' rooked us;
You 'ave blessed nearly cooked us;
But we'll square it with you some day,
          Casey dear.

We grafted 'ard fer six long months an' made a little pile,
Enough to keep us livin' nice an' sober fer a while;
We finished up the shearin' an' we pocketed our pay,
An' reckoned that we'd save it fer to meet a rainy day.
Then, callin' in at Casey's, "just to 'ave a drink or two,"
We made a bloomin' week of it, an' now our pile is blew.

Oh, Casey!  Mr. Casey!  Yer principles is hazy.
Our notions of yer honesty ain't clear;
But you've sharked our blessed cheques,
An' you've made us shakin' wrecks,
You're a scoundrel, an' you know it,
          Casey dear.

We 'anded in our pay, an' sed, "to tell us when 'twas done."
We run thro' seven quid afore we thought we'd busted one,
An' now 'e 'as the cheek to up an' tell us to our face
We'd better shift ourselves, "fer we're a nuisance on the place."
We've begged 'im fer a pick-me-up, but, lor, it ain't no use.
We'll 'ump the drum -- stone broke -- to 'ome, an' shun the bloomin' booze.

But, Casey; darlin' Casey!  Watch yer soul, you daisy.
You ain't upon the narrow way, it's clear;
An' we'll love to 'ear you yell,
When you feel a thirst in 'ell,
For it's there we're bound to meet you,
          Casey dear.

First published in The Evening Journal, 12 August 1899

His Colour Sense by C.J. Dennis

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We drove across a spring-clad land,
   A band of devotees,
And marvelled at the shading of
   The soft green in the trees.
He sat apart and smoked his pipe
   In gloomy reverie,
And growled that "in the bloomin' bush
   There's nothin' much to see."

We raved about the fleecy clouds,
   And felt ecstatic thrills,
What time we viewed the colour in
   The opalescent hills.
We pointed out the waving scrub;
   He grumbled low and deep:
"The hills are bloomin' barren, and
   The scrub won't carry sheep."

At length we reached the wayside inn
   And respite sought inside;
'Twas then his eloquence burst forth,
   And would not be denied.
With flashing eye and soul aflame,
   He praised in accents clear
The transcendental beauty of
   The amber in his beer.

First published in The Gadfly, 15 May 1907

The Deadly Dummy by C.J. Dennis

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LONDON, May 11 -- "A child's continual sensual pleasure of sucking a comforter often provides the first downward step in the career of a drunkard," declared Dr Potts, a Birmingham psychologist, addressing the Parents' Educational Conference.

"It's the dummy wot done it," said Bleary Bill.
"As a child I was out o' luck.
A kid in me pram, that's wot I am
When they gimme the thing to suck.
An' I took to it good, for I like the taste;
With never a thought of a life laid waste.

Then I took to nippin' upon the sly,
Or avin' a suck with a friend,
Tho' a neighbourin' kid warned me, 'e did,
It would  get me, sure, in the end.
An' git me it did, as you see today.
In a most insidius an' 'orrible way.

I know as me 'abits is not the best.
An' I know as the beer's a curse;
But don't blame me, for me choice weren't free,
An' the blame of it's all on nurse.
So, please, yer Honor, don't make it 'ot,
An' I'll swear off dummies right on the spot."

First published in The Sun-News Pictorial, 13 May 1927

The Joy Ride by C.J. Dennis

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Ah Gawd! It makes me sick to think
   Of what I 'eard an' seen;
Poor 'Arry like a wet rag flung
   Across the wrecked machine;
An' Rose, 'er face all chiner-white
   Against the gory green.

Now 'Arry Cox 'e drives a car
   For Doctor Percy Gray.
Ses 'e to me: "On Sund'y nex'
   The Doc. will be away.
'Ow is it for a little trip
   To Fernville for the day?

"I know two bonzer girls," 'e ses;
   "Fair 'otties, both, they are.
There's Rose who serves behind the joint
   In Mudge's privit bar,
An' Lena Crump who jerks the pump
   Down at the Southern Star."

Now, who'd refuse a Sund'y trip
   With girls an' all give in?
The car was there an' oil to spare.
   To rat would be a sin!
An' who'd refuse a drop o' booze
   When pals is flush o' tin?

Wot all the courts an' papers say
   Can't add to my distress....
Rose, with the blood upon 'er face
   An' on 'er crumpled dress!
An' that poor champ who got the bump --
   Ah, Gawd! 'E was a mess!

The girls 'ad stout at ten mile out,
   An' we was drinkin' beer.
I swear they lies like 'ell who ses
   That we was on our ear!
For we was both, I take me oath,
   As sober as me here.

Now, Lena was a dashin' piece,
   'Igh-spirited an' flash.
'Twas plain enough to me that day
   That 'Arry'd done 'is dash.
An' Rose -- (Ah! how 'er eyes did stare)
   Rose was my speshul mash.

It's easy now fer folks to talk
   Who might have done the same.
We meant no 'arm to anyone,
   An' 'Arry knew 'is game.
'Twas like a flash, the skid -- the crash.
   An' we was not to blame.

I wisht I could shut out that sight;
   Fergit that awful row!
Poor Rose!  'Er face all chiner-white,
   Like I can see it now;
An' 'Arry like a heap o' clothes
   Jist chucked there any'ow.

They ses we painted Fernville red;
   They ses that we was gay;
But wot come after dull's me mind
   To wot them liars say. 
We never dreamed of death an' 'ell
   When we set out that day.

'Twas ev'nin' when we turned for 'ome:
   The moon shone full that night:
An' for a mile or more ahead
   The road lay gleamin' white:
An' Rose sat close aside o' me.
   'Er face turned to the light.

Wot if we sung a song or two?
   Wot it they 'eard us shout?
Is song an' laughter things to curse
   An' make a fuss about?
"Go faster! faster!" Lena screams.
   An' 'Arry let 'er out.

I'd give me soul jist to ferget.
   Lord!  how 'er eyes did stare!
'Er kisses warm upon me lips,
   I seen 'er lyin' there.
Blood on 'er face, all chiner-white,
   An' on 'er yeller 'air.

I never took no 'eed o' pace
   (I've been on twenty trips).
An' Rose was restin' in me arms,
   'Er cheek against my lips.
A precious lot I dream of skids,
   A lot I thought o' slips.

I only know we never thinks --
   I know we never dreams
Of folk walkin' on that road;
   Till, sudden, Lena screams....
An', after that, the sights I saw
   I've seen again in dreams.

We never seen the bloke ahead!
   'Ow can they call us rash?
I jist seen 'Arry move to shove
   'Is arm around 'is mash;
I seen 'er jump to grab the wheel,
   Then, Lord!...there came the smash!

Aw, they can blame an' cry their shame!
   It ain't for that I care.
I held 'er in my arms an' laughed....
   Then seen 'er lying' there,
The moonlight streamin' on 'er face,
   An' on 'er yeller 'air.

First published in The Bulletin, 20 March 1913;
and later in
Backblock Ballads and Other Verses by C.J. Dennis, 1918.

Casey's Shanty by C.J. Dennis

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It's empty now, but years ago
   It used to be a pub;
'Twas built by Hicks in '76,
   On the edge of Wild Dog Scrub.   

Built of slab, an' ir'n an' dab --
   It's done it's bit o' trade,
An' many a bloke it's rooned an' broke,
   An' one or two it's made.

Hicks sold out to Tate, fur 'bout
   A thousan', so they say;
But 'Arry Tate was far too straight
   To make the shanty pay.

Refused ye drink if 'e should think
   Ye'd 'ad enough already;
Tried to arrange a sort o' change,
   An' keep the fellers steady.

An' as I say, it didn't pay,
   'Arry 'ad to hook it;
'Ad to go in a year or so,
   Then Paddy Casey took it.

Strike me dumb!  'E made things 'um --
   Casey was a daisy!
Tanglefoot an' doctored rum
   Drove the fellers crazy.

Casey 'd snap our 'ard-earned cheques,
   Pour the liquor down us;
Make us broken, tremblin' wrecks,
   Then 'e wouldn't own us.

Made 'is pile?  Well I should smile!
   Livin' down below;
Does the grand with four in 'and --
   Quite a toff you know.

Well, when Casey left the place
   Things wus gettin' slack;
Teams wus gittin' rather scarce
   Comin' down the track.

Times, you see, thet used to be
   Wus gawn, an' biz was slow;
So the bloke thet took it broke --
   Smashed, an' 'ad to go.

Now it's empty, an' its days is
   Over - never fear;
Many men it's sent to blazis
   In it's short career.

First published in The Critic, 19 March 1898

The Bar-Room Patriot by C. J. Dennis

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Following Lord Kitchener's advice, a number of patriotic people have resolved to refrain from treating soldiers to intoxicating drinks.

Why, 'ow's she goin', Bill, ole sport?
   I thort I knoo your dile!
My oath!  You look the proper sort!
   That khaki soots your style.
I never 'eard you'd joined, yeh know --
It makes me feel I want to go.

Must be a year or more, I s'pose,
   Since last time we two met!
An' then, to see you in them clothes --
   Can't realise it yet!
I'm proud to think a friend o' mine
Is off to biff the German swine!

You look slap-up in that rig-out.
   We ort to celebrate --
I fell it's up to me to shout!
   But -- can't be done, ole mate!
For I 'ave took a solemn vow
I never shout for soldiers now.

No, Bill; you mustn't take offence;
   You'll undertsand, I think.
I've come to see there ain't no sense
   In buyin' soldiers drink.
I loves me country an' me king;
An' boozin' soldiers ain't the thing.

An' yet it's sich a time ago
   Since you an' me 'ave met,
It's sorter 'ard to let you go
   Without one little wet.
Say, come in 'ere, an' you can take 
A soft-un, jist fer ole time's sake.

Well, Bill -- 'ere Miss!  Don't you attend
   To customers in 'ere?
A lime-an'-soder fer me friend:
   And' mine's a long, cool beer.
Ah, Bill, you stick to that soft stuff;
Chuck booze, an' you'll be right enough.

Well, 'ere's a go!...My oath, that's goo!
   Bets beer I've 'ad to-day....
Yes, Bill, I 'olds no soldier should
   Drink all 'is brains away.
I'm patriotic, that I am;
To fight on beer ain't worth a damn.

Now, Bill, look 'ere, you take my tip --
   I know that German lot --
An', when you meet 'em, let 'er rip.
   An' prod 'em in the -- wot?
Well, jist one more.  Mine's beer thish time.
An' bill, ole frien', you shtick to lime.

'Ere's joy!...Wot was I sayin'?  Oh!
   Them Germans allush funk
The bay'nit.  Take my tip, an' go
   Fair for their stummicks -- plunk!
Jist stick 'em in the -- 'Ere, Miss, 'ere!
Give 'im the soft one!  Mine's the beer.

See, Miss, I don't booze sojers now.
   They shouldn't drink the stuff!
Me conshuns, Miss, it won't allow --
   'Right, Bill; don't cut up rough.
I'm proud to let the ole bar 'ear
I wouldn't buy no sojers beer.

I wouldn't buy no cursed drink
   Fer any fightin' bloke!
Wot?  Torkin' loud?  Well, do yeh think
   I'm 'shamed o' wot I shpoke?
I stansh on principle, by Gosh!
'Ere, 'ave anurrer lemin squash.

Oh, yesh; I've 'ad a few ter-day.
   Thish makes -- eighteen er so.
But I don't 'ave to go away
   To fight no rotten foe!
Go fer their stummichsk, Bill, ole man!
Jist prod 'em - why, 'ello!  'Ere's Dan!

'Ave one wi' ush, Dan.  Yoush a beer?
   Yes, mine'sh a -- wot-o, Jim!
Lesh innerjooce my cobber 'ere --
   I'm buyin' squash fer 'im.
'E's sojer....Took a solemn vow:
I don't -- (hic) -- shoush fer soljersh now.

I jist been tellin' soljer frien'
   Them Germans got no -- whash?
Orright, Dan: mine's a beer agen.
   Me friend 'ere'sh drinkin' sqauash.
Yeh mustn't buy no beer fer 'im --
Unpa'ri -- (hic) --.  Whash you think, Jim?

It 'urts me feelin's, all er same.
   Bill'sh 'listed!....Orful sad!....
Pore bill!  That fightin'sh rotten game.
   Go fer their stummicksh, lad!
Sharge wisher bay'nit, ev'ry time!
An' take my tip -- you shtick ter lime!

'Ere'sh to Aushtralier, ev'ry time!
   I doesh my lirrle bit
Be buyin' only squash 'n' lime
   To keep er soljersh fit.
Fine, pa'ri-otic effort.  Wot?
'Ere's to er blockesh wash gettin' shot!

Aw, I kin shtan' annurrer, Jim.
   Yesh, mine's a long, wet beer.
But don't you buy no beer fer 'im,
   'N' get 'im on 'is ear!
I never shoush fer sojersh now.
Unpari-pari -- sholum vow!

Wash sayin', Bill?  Wash 'at I 'ear?
   Yeh don't want me ter shout?
You been teeto'ler fer a year!
   Well, 'ash a fair knock-out!
You mean er shay...lemme buy lime,
Wile you....injoyed it all er time!

You mean er shay you thort it ni-esh
   To take yer ole pal in?
You lemme make self-sacrifi'esh,
   Wile you stan' there an' grin!
Wash?  Goin', is 'e?  Let 'im go!
Ni'esh sorter bloke ter fighter foe!

I wouldn't shoush fer sojersh now --
   Not fer a million poun'!
I bought 'im lemon-squash, ther cow,
   And then 'e takesh me down!
Go fer the'r stummiscksh?  'Im?  No fear!
Down wish er Kaiser!  Mine'sh a beer.

First published in The Bulletin, 11 March 1915

Reformation by C.J. Dennis

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A whisky still is to be erected near Melbourne. - News item.

George was never for sport or game;
   He was never the outdoor kind.
And, after the early closing came
He sat indoors at a parlor game
   At the back of a close-drawn blind.
But often now, on the lawn, I spy
   George in the darkness there,
Face upturned to the starlit sky,
Breathing deep and -- I wonder why --
   Sniffing the evening air.

First published in The Sun News-Pictorial, 25 February 1927

The Varied Phases of Beer by Harold Mercer

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It was a bet 'twixt Brown and Jones.
   Brown blatantly made claim
That he could order twenty beers
   And never speak the name.

It was included in the bet
   That never twice should he
Use any phrase. Conditions set,
   We started on the spree.

Commencing, Brown bespoke "A pot,"
   And, next, "The same," he said:
Then "Ditto"; and, to get a fourth,
   "This time a bit more head."

Then Jones protested, stating we
   From bar to bar should run:
"The same" and "ditto" was not fair.
   We scored the four as one.

Thence, passing on to other bars,
   Brown ordered, first, "A mug,"
And then "A pint," "Some amber juice,"
   "Your nearest to a jug."

"Just something long and cool and wet,"
   "A trifle from the cask,"
"A schooner," and, to get the ninth,
   "A quart is all I ask."

And then he sought "A Tommy Dodd,"
   "A little with a dash
Of gingerbeer," "A simple glass,"
   "Your best for threepence, cash."

"Some yellow stuff," "A length of froth."
   "A hop-juice," "Drunkard's tea,"
And striking then a pub we knew:
   "The usual thing for me."

"A mead of stagger," then he craved;
   And with "A pony one,"
He smiled triumphantly at Jones,
   Claiming the deed as done.

Though Smith depreciated it --
   He said the name of beer
Had not at all been touched by Brown --
   The others raised a cheer.

And though old Brown inclined to doubt
   The deed as finished yet,
We promptly settled down to drink
   The ten rounds of the bet.

First published in The Bulletin, 21 October 1915

Author: Harold Bayley was born in Kelvin Grove, Queensland, in 1882 and took the name Harold Mercer after his mother divorced in 1893.  He was a chess prodigy as a child and began writing poetry at the age of 15.  He took up acting but left that role when he married in 1905.  Heavily involved in the union movement in Australia he helped set up 28 new unions.  He was appointed to the Sydney Morning Herald on the basis of his knowledge of labour affairs.  Mercer served in the AIF in France, was invalided out and returned to Australia where he worked in journalism and magazine publishing.  He died in Bondi, New South Wales, in 1952.

Author reference sites:

The Song of the Wowser Cray by Hal Gye

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I ride no more in the Drunks' Express,
   Where travellers howl and rave;
I lie no more as a nasty mess
   Of scraps on the morning pave;
I don't go home in the dawn's grey light
   With yells and a drunked song;
I take no part in a drunken fight,
   Or anything else that's wrong.

I ride no more in the seaside train,
   With chaps for a gay weekend;
I float no more through the window-pane,
   Which somebody's got to mend;
My claws don't fall on the ladies' hats,
   Nor my tail on someone's knee;
My innards have given up spoiling spats
   Of passengers next to me.

I lie no more in splashes of beer,
   'Mid splinters of broken glass;
I'm followed no more by "Johns" severe,
  Nor warned by curates who pass.
I cause no rows in the Dago shops
   With "blokes on a bonzer spree";
And I don't make Dagoes send for the "cops"
   To settle the price of me.

I don't go home in the black coat-tails
   Of gentlemen slightly tight;
And I don't affront the grim females
   I used to offend at night;
I lie no more on the carpet neat,
   Nor rest on the counterpane;
I do not damage the parler suite
   With my claw or my ribald stain.

I've come to the end of festive night
   And trips in a Drunks' Express;
I won't see any more wondrous sights
   Of the midnight wickedness;
I'll be no more what I used to be,
   For all it's passed away --
The early-closing of pubs, you see,
   Has made me a wowser cray.

First published in The Bulletin, 26 August 1915

Author: Harold Frederick Neville Gye (1887-1967) was born in Ryde, New South Wales, and is primarily known as the illustrator of C.J. Dennis's works such as The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke.  Gye moved to Melbourne with his family at the age of 12 and became a law clerk before finding that he could make a living from his drawing.  He produced work for many magazines such as The Bulletin, The Gadfly, Punch and The Lone Hand as well as numerous newspapers.  He also wrote a number of poems and short stories, mainly published in The Bulletin.  He died in Beaumaris in Victoria in 1967.

Author reference sites:
Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Arid Wet and Dampish Dry by C. J. Dennis

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It has been discovered that a number of drinking men intend to vote dry at the forthcoming liquor poll, while many teetotallers are voting against No-Licence.

If one should say: "For many a day
   From alcohol I abstained
Because I think, in taking drink,
   For me, there's nothing to be gained."

And if he say: "Tho' others may
   Indulge in liquor now and then,
And find it good; think not I should
   Hold liberty from other men."

The chosen plan of such a man
   I find not hard to comprehend.
He may give up, himself, the cup,
   Yet not deny it to a friend.

No Pharisee to scold and fret
   I find in him, nor wonder why
A man, politically wet,
   May still be personally dry.

But if one say: "Take drink away!
   For, lo, my brother is a sot!
Tho', for myself I keep a shelf
   Within my cupboard for a 'spot.'

"For I am strong.  I see no wrong
   In holding from another's reach
This baneful stuff.  While I've enough
   Why should I practise what I preach?"

Such man I cannot understand,
   Now what his aim, nor what his end,
Who for himself one law has planned,
   But quite another for his friend.

May be that I am dull; but I
   Have never comprehended yet
How one, politically dry,
   Can still be personally wet.

First published in The Herald, 26 March 1930

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

How M'Ginness Went Missing by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

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Let us cease our idle chatter,
   Let the tears bedew our cheek,
For a man from Tallangatta
   Has been missing for a week.

Where the roaring flooded Murray
   Covered all the lower land,
There he started in a hurry,
   With a bottle in his hand.

And his fate is hid for ever,
   But the public seem to think
That he slumbered by the river,
   'Neath the influence of drink.

And they scarcely seem to wonder
   That the river, wide and deep,
Never woke him with its thunder,
   Never stirred him in his sleep.

As the crashing logs came sweeping,
   And their tumult filled the air,
Then M'Ginnis murmured, sleeping,
   "'Tis a wake in ould Kildare."

So the river rose and found him
   Sleeping softly by the stream,
And the cruel waters drowned him
   Ere he wakened from his dream.

And the blossom-tufted wattle,
   Blooming brightly on the lea,
Saw M'Ginnis and the bottle
   Going drifting out to sea.

First published in The Bulletin, 21 September 1889;
and later in
The Man From Snowy River and Other Verses by A.B. Paterson, 1895;
The Collected Verse of A.B. Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1982;
Singer of the Bush, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1885-1900 compiled by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983;
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990;
The Collected Verse of Banjo Paterson edited by Clement Semmler, 1993; and
Classic Australian Verse edited by Maggie Pinkney, 2001.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Mulligan's Shanty by W. T. Goodge

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   Things is just the same as ever
   On the outer Never-Never,
And you look to find the stock of liquor scanty,
   But we found things worse than ordin'ry,
   And in fact a bit extraordin'ry,
When myself and Bill the Pinker struck the shanty.
      "Shanty,"  says you. "What shanty?"
      Why, Mulligan's shanty!

   I says "Whisky"; Bill says "Brandy";
   But there wasn't either handy,
For the boss was out of liquor in that line.
   "Well, I'll try a rum," says Billy.
   "Got no rum," he answers, chilly,
"But I'll recommend a decent drop o' tine."
      "Tine?" says Bill; "what tine?"
      "Why, turpentine!"

   "Blow me blue!" says Bill the Pinker,
   "Can't yer give us a deep-sinker?
Ain't yer got a cask o' beer behind the screen?"
   Bill was getting pretty cranky,
   But there wasn't any swankey.
Says the landlord, "Why not try a drop o' sene?"
      "Sene?" says Bill; "what sene?"
      "Why, kerosene!"

   Well, we wouldn't spend a tanner,
   But the boss's pleasant manner
All our cursing couldn't easily demolish.
   Says he, "Strike me perpendic'lar
   But you beggars are partic'lar,
Why, the squatter in the parlor's drinking polish!"
      "Polish?" says Bill, "what polish?"
      "Why, furniture-polish!"

First published in The Bulletin, 23 April 1898 , and then in the same magazine on 17 May 1933, and 29 January 1980;
and later in
Australian Bush Songs and Ballads edited by Will Lawson, 1944;
Old Ballads from the Bush edited by Bill Scott, 1987; and
An Australian Treasury of Popular Verse edited by Jim Haynes, 2002.

Author: William Thomas Goodge (1862-1909) was born in Middlesex, England and arrived in Australia in 1882: he had jumped ship after serving as a ship-steward.  He spent the next decade in outback New South Wales working as a journalist and writer of verse before becoming editor and then part-owner of the Orange Leader. He eventually moved to Sydney where he wrote a weekly column for the Sydney Truth.  He died in North Sydney in 1909.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

The Castlemaine Pub by Max A.

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(It was stated at a recent deputation to Mr. Bent that in Castlemaine there was estimated to
be one hotel for every 32 persons-after making allowance for total abstainers.)

We come with a thirst from our labour,
   And townwards we hurry abreast,
Each leans on his bibulous neighbour,
   And orders a quart of the best;
The bar where the landlord stands stolid
   Is our playground, our home and our club;
You've got to drink steady and solid,
   With thirty-two men to a pub.

Each night in the worship of Bacchus
   We twist the vine leaves in our hair;
Teetotallers taunt and attack us --
   So we drink the teetotallers' share.
We hear not the Rechabites' chidings,
   The Good Templar a dullard we dub;
There's no time for disputes and deridings,
   With thirty-two men to the pub.

Oh, the beer, in its bubbling, brown beauty!
   Oh, the gin, in the jolly jug pent!
Should one of us fail in his duty,
   Then our host would be short in his rent.
Should one of us turn to sobriety,
   His children would starve -- there's the rub,
It's a duty we owe to society,
   We thirty-two men in the pub.

So we cling to the counter unceasing
   (Save on days when we stand in the courts),
And our power to absorb is increasing,
   We drink gallons where once we drank quarts.
We are thirty-two heroes, and we all
   Are braver than when we began;
For we struggle towards the ideal
   Of thirty-two pubs to a man.

First published in Melbourne Punch, 5 April 1906

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

The Beers We Used to Drink by Grant Hervey

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   Where are the Beers of long ago?
I often deep and darkly ponder;
   Where are the Beers that used to flow?
Where are they now? I guess and wonder.
   Lie they at rest in tombs afar
Along with thoughts we used to think?
   Say, Bacchus -- tell us where they are,
Those long, cool Beers we used to drink?

   Do they, re-drawn all far away,
Scent fairy-fashioned Hebes' bowers!
   Or fail to cheer the dead men gray
With brown and softly falling showers?
   Perhaps behind some spectral bar
They're quaffed with winks we used to wink,
   And wealthy goblins globular
Drink ghosts of Beers we used to drink!

First published in The Bulletin, 29 March 1902

Author: Grant Madison Hervey (1880-1933) was born George Henry Cochrane in Casterton, Victoria.  After working as a blacksmith in his youth, Hervey began to write poetry, journalism and fiction.  He was a larger-than-life character, being charged with attempted murder in 1905, and later serving gaol terms for "forging and uttering".  He traveled to Sydney, Perth and the Western Australian goldfields earning a reputation as a "despicable" journalist.  He died in Melbourne in 1933.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

His Love by Norman Lilley

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He said his love was like a red, red rose,
   As if the phrase had been his own invention;
And as I marked his style and red, red nose,
   I pitied her, with thoughts I needn't mention.

He said she always played a cheery part --
   Had many virtues, each one eighteen-carat;
Then staggered on, and clasped her to his heart --
   His love indeed, a bottle of old claret.

First published in The Bulletin, 23 January 1913

Author: Norman Lilley (ca1875-1941) worked as a journalist for The Bulletin, and the Argus in Melbourne.  He published and edited the short-lived Lilley's Magazine, which only lasted for 5 issues in 1911.

Author reference sites: Austlit

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