"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Bush Christening

This poem was one of my Dads favourites and is also

one of mine, we played a recorded version recited by
Dad at his funeral service.

My son Marcus conducted the service which made it

very special, I have agreed that he conduct my funeral

service too, as long as the other kids make sure that

he says some nice things about me, “be creative, lie.”

if need be.

A Bush Christening

On the outer Barcoo where churches are few,

And men of religion are scanty,

On a road never crossed ’cept by folk that are lost,

One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now Mike was the dad of a ten year old lad,

Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;

He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest

For the youngster had never been christened.

And his wife used to cry, ”If our darlin’ should die

Saint Peter would not recognize him,”

But by luck he survived till a preacher arrived,

Who agreed straightaway to baptize him.

Now the artful young rogue, while they held their collogue,

With his ear to the keyhole was listenin’,

And he muttered in fright while his features turned white,

What the divil and all is this christenin’?”

He was none of your dolts, he had seen them brand colts,

And it seemed to his small understanding,

If that man in the frock made him one of the flock,

It must mean something very like branding.

So away with a rush he set off for the bush,

While the tears in his eyelids they glistened –

“’Tis outrageous,” says he, “to brand youngsters like me,

I’ll be dashed if I’ll wait to be christened.”

Like a young native dog he ran into a log,

And his father with language uncivil,

Never heeding the “praste” cried aloud in his haste,

“Come out and be christened you divil!”

But he lay there as snug as a bug in a rug,

And his parents in vain might reprove him,

Till his reverence spoke (he was fond of a joke)

“I’ve a notion” says he, “that’ll move him.”

“Poke a stick up the log, give the spalpeen a prod;

Poke him aisy – don’t hurt him or maim him,

‘Tis not long that he’ll stand, I’ve the water at hand,

As he rushes out of this end here I’ll name him.”

Here he comes, and for shame! I’ve forgotten the name,

Is it Patsy or Michael or Dinnis?”

Here the youngster ran out, and the priest gave a shout,

“Take a chance anyhow wid Maginnis."

As the howling youg cub ran away to the scrub

Where he knew that pursuit would be risky,

The priest, as he fled, flung a flask at his head

That was labeled “Maginnis’s Whiskey.”

And Maginnis Magee has been made a J.P.

And the one thing he hates more than sin is

To be asked by the folk who have heard of the joke,

How he came to be christened “Maginnis” !

By A B “banjo” Patterson.


Davo said...


Plumkrazzee said...

Hi Peter..thanks for stopping by my place earlier. =) I enjoyed the poem, will be back to read more later. How awesome your son conducted the funeral service, I can only imagine the bitter-sweetness of it all. =)

Tan Lucy Pez said...

LOL. These are so good. That's so nice about your dad's service. Just very nice. I'm sure they can make up some good stuff for you.

Marcus said...

Bravo Banjo.

To the international readership, and any family members who may be visiting, regarding Pop's funeral:

I'm not worried about finding some nice things to say about him, my problem is time management, I'm a busy man, if he wants to guarantee my services he needs to make a booking but he just won't commit to a date!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

That was a very nice poem. Clever.

Peter said...

Marcus, there's always the 4x2 alterative!

Ms. Vickie said...

Peter-What a nice poem but forget the booking Marcus has suggested you make. You are to stay around a long time, heck it could be Marcus first. Thanks for the visit to my place and the kind words.

bubba said...

I can only imagine that booking. Marcus will have too much material to choose from by that time. So whats your baptized name? Jack? LOL.

Big Dave T said...

That poem reminds me of the movie "Life with Father." Maybe that's why they try to baptize 'em when they're young.

My son Scott did take your suggestion and comment on my Fantasy Football blog.

Ivy the Goober said...

Hi, Peter. I never knew there was so much bush poetry. But i'm liking it :)

kenju said...

Peter, another good poem. Are these collected in a book?

Tell Marcus to hone up his speaking skills and then put them on ice; you will be around a long time, I am sure! I plan to be.

Jamie Dawn said...

That is so neat how your dad's own voice was played at his funeral service.
What a cute little diddy that is.

Cliff Morrow said...

I hope you don't have a tee time in heaven for monday. Nice post my friend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, This one sure got some comments and is one of my favourites along with Mulga Bill
& The Man from Ironbark.

I hope Marcus doesn't bring another 4 by 2 to your funeral.
Maybe you should start on a jelly bean scramble too. He is being a bit tough expecting a date !!!

Peter said...

Hi all, for those who got the impression Marcus was to do my funeral soon, No bloody way!!!
Lucy, I'm not sure whether to take offence or not, "I'm sure they can make up some good stuff"!!!!!!
Vickie, it's great to have you visit again, be happy.
Bubba, nah I got the other half of the name Daniel.
Ivy, we have not even scratched the surface YET!!!
Judy, in my house there are many rooms, (that sounds familiar?) most of these rooms are filled with books, and a goodly percentage of them are poetry.
Merle, yeah it's hard to go past the ones we grew up with, the 4x2 was to come into play if Dad was still around at 100, on that basis I can live (no pun intended) with that.