Mudcat Café message #4069524 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4069524
Posted By: Stewie
25-Aug-20 - 12:19 AM
Thread Name: Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
PADDY'S BACK
(Alan Ralph)

Father had a soft spot for the men out on the track
And somehow Paddy featured regularly
He worked upon the rabbit-proof and when he came to town
He'd doss down in our shed for a week or three
He'd spend his days in the town's hotels drinking pinkie wine
And shouting drinks for almost all the town
We'd feed his horse and dog and keep them watered regularly
And when he left, he'd give us half-a-crown

Chorus:
And the spring-cart tracks led through our gate
His horse and dog were there
We ran to mother, shouting out the news
'Paddy's back from the rabbit-proof, he's in from way outback
And I'll bet he's down at the Federal getting boozed'

When Paddy staggered home alone or on a copper's arm
We'd take him down some supper on a tray
A plate of snags and murphys or mother's shepherd pie
He thought it like a banquet, so he'd say
And often when we'd go out to the outhouse in the night
We'd hear old Paddy talking to his dog
Or singing Irish melodies or spieling to the stars
He'd stay a gentle man despite the grog

Chorus

When his money was all gone, then father told him so
His clothes were laundered, he was scrubbed and shaved
He'd join us at the table and tell stories of the bush
Us kids would listen spellbound to his tales
Then next day he'd load his cart up with stores to see him through
And father'd slip some pinkie in the back
He'd head off to the rabbit-proof to check along the fence
And we'd watch him disappear along the track

Chorus

At christmas time there'd always be a parcel for us kids
That Paddy got the local store to send
And one year I remember when he really got it right
Tin soldiers in a box - a hundred men
Father would get a cherry pipe, a tablecloth for mum
The gifts were better than a lump of gold
A flask of Irish whisky was what father'd give to him
To frighten off the snakes and beat the cold

Chorus

But somehow Paddy drifted from our lives as we grew up
I often wonder where old Paddy went
Did he meet a childhood sweetheart and settle down in town
Or did he die out by that lonely fence
The snake that killed his old blue heeler, did it get him too
Or did he strike it rich in someone's will
Either way I still can hear those Irish melodies
And tin soldiers march across the table still

Chorus

That cracker of a song was written from an old-timer's recollections of growing up in country Western Australia. It is on Loaded Dog's 'Dusty gravel road' album. Alan Ralph is not a member of the group. His song was published in 'The West Australian'.

--Stewie.