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GerryM Tune Req: Name of Tune for Dengate's Punters Song (11) RE: Tune Req: Name of Tune for Dengate's Punters Song 21 Sep 20


Joe, the lyrics as you have posted them are as they were printed in the Bush Music Club booklet of 1982, My Shout! Songs and Poems by John Dengate. They differ in a few places from the way John sang them on the two recordings I have:

The TAB Song
John Dengate

Each Saturday morning I crawl out of bed,
Hungover from Friday's excess,
Feeling crook in the comics and crook in the head
And with mountains of sins to confess.
And then I remember it's race day again,
And I collect up my clothes off the floor.
I tune in to Early's selections at ten
The adrenalin's pumping once more.

I have a snake's hiss, I give breakfast a miss,
Wallet and form guide I grab,
Then I suddenly bolt like a two year old colt
All away down the hill to the Tab.
It's number of units and number of race,
The numbers spin round in my brain,
And I stand there blaspheming and cursing the place,
The biros are broken again.

Oh, the longshots are rough, and the favorites are short,
And I never know what's running dead,
So I ring up my mate, but he got home so late
That his missus won't rouse him from bed.
Beadman could win on a horse made of tin,
So I back everything that he rides,
And the big Melbourne gray is a good thing each way,
And a couple of others besides.

And fellas, quinellas are sometimes a chance,
And doubles are always a go,
So when I walk out I am light in the pants
'Cos the Tab has got most of my dough.

A quick break for grub, then it's into the pub,
And I stand there and weep in my booze,
For the horses I back veer all over the track,
And they lose, and they lose, and they lose.
Oh, seek not escape in the gambling my friend
Though your life may be humdrum and drab.
Seek solace in psalms or in young ladies' arms,
But never go into a Tab.

At Warwick Farm, Rosehill and Randwick they race,
It's a sign of our moral decay,
But wipe that superior smirk off your face,
I expect a trifecta today.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Some of the differences are just updatings John made from the 1982 version when he recorded it on The Follies of Pollies CD, and on 35 Years of the National Folk Festival.
"Mahoney's selections" became "Early's selections" I suppose when Mahoney stopped being broadcast and Early took over (although I don't know whether "Early" is correct, that's just what it sounds like to my ear). And the jockey Ron Quinton was updated first to Mick Dittman and then to (Darren) Beadman. (By the way, the "o" in Mahoney is silent; the name is pronounced as "Mah Knee".)

Another difference is that on the two Dengate recordings there is no chorus. The song is just sung straight through. But other singers have taken the last stanza ("At Warwick Farm....") and used it as a chorus.

"Snake's hiss" on John's recordings is rhyming slang for "piss" in the booklet.

In 1982 it made sense that John's mate would be living with his mother, but by the time John made the recordings his mate had moved out and gotten married, so it was his missus who wouldn't rouse him from bed.

I'm not sure why it's "Warwick Farm, Randwick or Rosehill" in the booklet, "Warwick Farm, Rosehill and Randwick" on the recordings.


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