Breedloves's Folk Songs



“The Wild Colonial Boy” is a traditional Irish/Australian ballad of which there are many
different versions, the most prominent being the Irish and Australian versions. The Irish
version is about a young emigrant, named Jack Duggan, who left the town of
Castlemaine, County Kerry, Ireland, for Australia in the 1800s. According to the song, he
spent his time there ‘robbing from the rich to feed the poor’. In the song, the protagonist is
fatally wounded in an ambush when his heart is pierced by the bullet of Fitzroy. The song
has been recorded by Dr. Hook and The Clancy Brothers, among others.
There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Doolan was his name
Of poor but honest parents, he was born near Castlemaine
He was his father’s only son, and his mother’s pride and joy
So dearly did his parents love their wild colonial boy
Barely sixteen years of age, he first began to roam
And found Australia’s sunny shores, and called it his true home
He robbed the wealthy squatters, their assetts to destroy
A terror to the rich ones, was the wild colonial boy
Back in eighteen sixty one, began his wild career
With a head that knew no danger, and a heart that held no fear
He held the Mudgee mail coach up, and he shot Judge MacEvoy
A curse to every copper was the wild colonial boy
Later on that very day, as Jack he rode along
Listening to the kookaburras, pleasant laughing song
He spied three mounted troopers, Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy
With a warrant for the capture of the wild colonial boy
“Surrender now, Jack Doolan, for you see we’re three to one
Surrender now in the Queen’s high name, or your living days are done”
Jack drew two pistols from his belt, and he waved them proud and high
“I’ll fight, but not surrender”, cried the wild colonial boy
Jack fired once at Kelly, brought him to the ground
Then turning round from Davis’ gun, received his mortal wound
A bullet pierced his proud young heart, from the pistol of Fitzroy
And that’s the way they captured him, the wild colonial boy
Yes that’s the way they captured him, the wild colonial boy

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