Bold Jack Donohue


In Dublin town I was brought up, a city of great fame
My honest friends and parents will tell to you the same
It was for the sake of five hundred pounds I was sent across the main
For seven long years in New South Wales to wear a convict’s chain

So come all my hearties, we’ll roam the mountains high
Together we will plunder, together we will die
We’ll wander through the valleys and gallop o’er the plains
And scorn to live in slavery bound down by iron chains

I’d scarce been there twelve months or more upon the Australian shore
When I took to the highway as I’d oftimes done before
There was me and Jackie Underwood, and Webber and Webster too
These were the true associates of bold Jack Donohue

Now Donohue was taken, all for a notorious crime
And sentenced to be hanged upon the gallows tree so high
But when they came to Sydney gaol, he left them in a stew
And when they came to call the roll, they missed bold Donohue

As Donohue made his escape, to the bush went straightway
The people, they were all afraid to travel night or day
For every week in the newspapers, there was published something new
Of this brave and dauntless hero, that bold Jack Donohue

As Donohue was cruising one summer’s afternoon
Little was his notion his death it would be so soon
When a sergeant discharged his carbine
And called aloud for Donohue to fight or to resign

‘Resign to you? You cowardly dogs, Such a thing I’d never do
I’ll fight this night with all my might’ cried bold Jack Donohue
‘I’d rather roam these hills and dales like a wolf or kangaroo
Than work one hour for government’ said bold Jack Donahue

He fought six rounds with the horse police until that fatal ball
Which pierced his heart and made him start, caused Donohue to fall
And as he closed his mournful eyes, he bade this world adieu,
Saying ‘Convicts all, pray for the soul of bold Jack Donohue’


The lyrics here are from a more informative version of ‘Bold Jack Donaghue’ but less often heard than the more common version below

Song Clip