Digital Tradition Mirror

Wild Young Irish Boy

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Wild Young Irish Boy

Sure I am a wild young Irish boy and from Dublin town I came
Transported out to Van Dieman's Land; of it I ain't ashamed
Sure I'll have you all to know, me byes, that wherever I may be
I'll die at my post like an Irish lad, or a wild colonial boy

Now, I done my time in Hobart and they sent me over here.
They yoked me to a plough the fields for me to tier.
But I didn't understand farming as I had been to sea;
I'd sailed the oceans far and wide, so I a farmer could not be.

But I became a bold young renegade and I traveled far and near.
Oh, I robbed the rich and I gave to the poor; of it I ain't ashamed,
But I never killed a man that didn't cause me any pain;
But the troopers knew Jack O'Brien, and they let me ride for gain

Now, one morning in the merry month of May, sure I did find
A wagon bringin' in gold from the Bendigo find.
"Oh, halt, you boys, and 'old up your 'ands!"-when a sergeant did appear
Says he, "Look, Jack O'Brien, me boy, you'll do this once too near!

"Your time it is over and you sure must fight or die!"
"Then I'll fight the six of you troopers, and I am only one.
Sure I'll fight to the end or victory, and I don't give a damn.
I'll be at my post like an Irish lad or a wild colonial boy,"

Now, the six troopers fell upon the ground, from their 'orses off did slide
And the sergeant he cried out to Jack Donahoo [O'Brien?] to abide
"By, the law, you're a prisoner!" "Then take me," said old Jack.
"But  Sergeant, you've got some children, and look that I don't
     shoot the track!

"McKenzie, you're a brave man, and I 'ate like 'ell to do,
To take your wife and children's bread from them for to kill you
So take my advice and ride away, and don't say what I've done.
I'm only takin' this gold to buy some pleasin' place for some."

Now when I'm far away and the farmers all will buy
Foine horses and foine wagons for their farms to die upon,
Sure you'll all live to wonder why Jack Donahoo [O'Brien?] would say
That I work for the farmers night and day, and for the rich and
         poor I've  prayed.

I've robbed the coaches day and night, but I never robbed the poor.
I have never committed murder, nor have I strayed from fields galore.
I'm chased from country to country and from borderline to town
But ne'er can they catch bold Jack again, for O'Brien is far away.

Now at last I'm lying on my bed and God does only know
I haven't long to live, I know, for I surely must go.
I would love to tell the truth-oh, before I pass away,
But I would love for some poor person to collect that bounty pay!

Sure I'm still a wild old renegade; Starlight is my name.
Oh they've looked for me from shore to shore and along the coast for miles
From state to state they've chased me, and at last I'm on my bed
If that newsboy would only come in, I'd tell him what to do

Just then the door it opened and the newsboy did come in
"Good mornin', Captain Starlight. Oh, good morning, sir," he said.
No answer but a beckon and a little note to say:
"Jack O'Brien is dying and he wants you for to take

"This note unto your mother, and let her do the rest,
And call the doctor first, and the police can come at last.
They can take my body away, and they never will be able to say
That Jack O'Brien didn't die like an Irish lad or a wild colonial boy!"

Now, I've traveled through the bushes, oh, both night and day,
With my bundle on my shoulder and a billy-can in my hand;
But I've always played the game, as every Australian should,
I've died at my post like an Irish lad, or a wild colonial boy.

DT #573
Laws L19
From Doerflinger

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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